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Billy Summers - Everything We Know So Far About The Stephen King Adaptation

There's a good chance that at least one of your favorite movies is an adaptation of the works of Stephen King. The famed author's reputation was long cemented before his books were adapted, but the films and shows based on his novels have gone on to have their own respective legacies. From "It" and "The Shining" to "The Shawshank Redemption," King's stories have achieved the rare balance of working just as well on the page as they do on screen. 

And it appears we're soon to be strapped in for a cinematic adaptation of one of King's most recent hits, "Billy Summers." King's 2021 novel of the same name saw great success with its release. Along with being a New York Times Best Seller (via The New York Times), the novel received rave reviews, with The Sunday Times even saying, "King shows with this novel that, at 73, he's a writer back at the top of his game." If such rich source material from an acclaimed name like Stephen King doesn't pique your interest enough, sit tight as Looper uncovers all the thrilling details you won't want to miss. 

When will Billy Summers be released?

Currently, there is no official release date for "Billy Summers." The project was initially announced in February 2022, when it was revealed that the adaptation would be produced by J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot. "The Last Samurai" writers Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz helmed the screenplay (via Deadline). However, "Billy Summers" saw some major updates a year later. Per Deadline, along with Abrams' company working on the film, Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way is also set to produce. 

Another significant change, per Deadline, is that the "Billy Summers" adaptation is now a feature film. When first announced, the project was set to be a 10-episode limited series similar to the approach seen with Netflix-produced King adaptations such as "Gerald's Game" and "1922." However, it was later decided that the project's story would better suit a feature film format. Speaking of which ... 

What is the plot of Billy Summers?

According to Deadline, "Billy Summers" will be a crime story that follows the exploits of the titular hitman. Before he fully retires, Summers takes on one last job where he masquerades as a mild-mannered author, with plans to take down another infamous hitman. However, things begin to take a turn as Summers grows suspicious about the people who hired him. 

The original Stephen King novel that the film will be based on contains other details that open the door to plenty of possibilities. Per GoodReads, the character of Billy Summers is not only known as one of the world's greatest snipers, but he also only takes jobs to gun down evil people. With this and the character's background as a veteran of the Iraq War, Billy Summers is a fascinating figure in his own right. As a result, the film could work equally well as a thriller and a unique character study that sees Summers' morals being tested. It's still up in the air until we see the film, but that doesn't lessen the excitement. 

Who is starring in Billy Summers?

There is currently no official cast attached to the film adaptation of "Billy Summers." However, one of the film's key players could very well slip into the role of the titular character. 

As mentioned earlier, alongside J.J. Abrams, Leonardo DiCaprio will be producing the film under his production company Appian Way (via Deadline). But if all goes well, we could see DiCaprio take on the role of Billy Summers himself. And it seems like a natural fit. DiCaprio's legendary filmography needs no introduction, as his roles in such acclaimed films as "Titanic," "Inception," "Django Unchained," and "The Revenant," the latter of which earned him an Academy Award, have launched the actor into a level of stardom that few could imagine. On top of that, many of DiCaprio's projects saw him pull double duty as both actor and producer. This includes his several collaborations with hailed director Martin Scorsese such as "The Aviator," "The Wolf of Wall Street" (via IMDb), and the upcoming "Killers of the Flower Moon" (via Coming Soon). 

Who is directing Billy Summers?

No director is officially attached to "Billy Summers" at the moment. But just as it seems likely that co-producer Leonardo DiCaprio could very well star in the film, the project's other notable contributor could very well take the director's chair. 

J.J. Abrams will be producing the film under his Bad Robot production company (via Deadline), opening up the chances of having him as director. Abrams is no stranger to the world of adaptations. His directorial career was kick-started with 2006's "Mission Impossible III," which went on to earn positive reviews (via Rotten Tomatoes) and nearly $400 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo). Along with helming the 2011 sci-fi cult classic "Super 8," Abrams' next cinematic ventures saw the director tackle arguably the two biggest sci-fi movie franchises out there. 

Abrams lived long and prospered directing both 2009's "Star Trek" and its 2013 follow-up "Star Trek Into Darkness," both of which also saw positive reviews, with the former even winning an Academy Award for best makeup (via IMDb). His adventures in the galaxy far, far away have yielded even more significant box office numbers, with 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" earning over $2 billion, while its 2019 threequel "The Rise of Skywalker" closed out the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy with over $1 billion earned. "Billy Summers" likely won't hit those same box office results, but nevertheless, Abrams' unique take on various source material could certainly help elevate the upcoming adaptation.