J.J. Abrams is fresh off the Star Wars press tour, but he's steam-rolling right into another hefty project. Abrams is producing 11.22.63, a new Hulu miniseries starring James Franco and based off the bestselling novel by Stephen King. Following a baffling backwards teaser trailer released in December, the first official trailer for the series is out today, and boy is it something.
In the series, which will be released in eight parts, Franco plays Jake Epping, a teacher who travels back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy by killing Lee Harvey Oswald. But the past doesn't like to be changed—it resists Franco's efforts with the apparent help of cockroaches, car crashes, and knife-weilding assassins. "We’re not exactly telling a history lesson," Franco told critics during a press tour in Pasadena. "You get to learn everything all over again but from a completely fresh perspective we haven’t really seen before. It’s a way to guide a new generation into what happened."
The most notable change from King's novel is that Franco's character isn't alone in his schemes—Abrams created an accomplice so the series wouldn't need to rely so heavily on internal monologue. "The book is such a great internal experience," said executive producer Bridget Carpenter. "J.J.’s excellent idea [was] he needs somebody with him so he can be dramatic so he’s not just staring hard at things all the time." We all know that Franco is very gifted at "internal experiences," but it'll be interesting to see how King's novel is adapted for streaming. The series premieres Feb. 15.