Mr. Mercedes is looking like the perfect Stephen King adaptation. The TV pilot follows the first book in The Bill Hodges trilogy better than we ever could’ve hoped for.
Mr. Mercedes is finally here and it’s looking so good and true to the original book that I almost can’t contain myself.
Full disclosure: I absolutely adored the Mr. Mercedes book – along with the other two books in the recent Stephen King trilogy. I literally counted down the days for the next book to be released and ever since I heard it would be made into a TV show, I was beyond thrilled.
And yes, also a bit terrified. Mr. Mercedes is a very gruesome book in many ways, and I was nervous it wouldn’t translate well to screen.
Well, color me pleasantly surprised. If the Mr. Mercedes TV pilot is any indication, then they will not be holding back. At all.
What The Mist (still!) has going for it are a few amazing actors – most prominently Frances Conroy and Danica Curcic. Other than the few good characters and actors, it’s a mess that strays further from the original book with each episode.
Mr. Mercedes, however, is chock-full of absolutely brilliant characters that seem to follow the book very closely. Or actually, a few changes are already happening, but they make good sense, so we’ll see how that evolves.
Also, the actors portraying them are off to a very strong start.
We have Brendan Gleeson (the Harry Potter franchise) portraying the lead character of Bill Hodges. A retired police detective, who can’t really get comfortable with retirement. Especially since there’s still one big case he never solved; The Mercedes killer, who plowed a big Mercedes into a crowd waiting at a job fair very early in the morning.
Just like the book, the TV pilot for Mr. Mercedes opens with this. And yes, it is every bit as gruesome as you might imagine.
The Mercedes killer is a young man named Brady Hartfield and we follow him from the beginning as well. Originally, Anton Yelchin (Fright Night) was cast in this role before he tragically passed away shortly after.
Instead, Harry Treadaway (Victor Frankenstein on Penny Dreadful) was cast and from the pilot, he looks like the perfect casting choice.
Tough women at every turn
As his mother, we see Kelly Lynch (Charlie’s Angels) portray Deborah Hartsfield. And she definitely leaves an extremely lasting impression from the few minutes she’s in the pilot episode. It’s very clear that every actor cast in this, are ready to go all the way. And really, for this adaptation of Mr. Mercedes to work really well, that needs to happen!
But mark my words, you will definitely remember Kelly Lynch from this TV show. Again, if the pilot is any indication, then she could easily be on her way to loads of award nominations.
Also, Breeda Wool (The XX horror anthology) is introduced in the pilot as Lou Linklatter, who works with Brady Hartfield. She delivers a brilliant portrayal that fits perfectly with the character from the book.
Well, except for the fact that that the character was named Freddi in the book. Whatever the name, her characters ends up having a very prominent role to play throughout the trilogy.
Finally, I have to mention Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men). Not only because I’ve always loved her, but because she is another perfect casting choice as Ida Silver. She’s a tough broad, who knows exactly what she wants – whether we’re talking yard work, recycling or sexual partners.
Also, Holland Taylor has perfect comedic timing which offers comic relief in a way that doesn’t take anything away from the serious and dark vibe of the story.
You don’t want to miss Mr. Mercedes
If you’ve read the book by Stephen King, and loved it, then this should be the perfect adaptation for you. It stays true to the story and vibe from the book and the casting is spot-on.
Mr. Mercedes airs on Audience and premiered on August 9, 2017.
Series directed by: Jack Bender
Series Writing Credits: David E. Kelley (based on the book by Stephen King)
Tells the story of a psychopathic killer who drives a stolen Mercedes into a crowd and a recently retired detective who tries to bring him down.