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Upcoming Hulu originals you didn't know were being made

Netflix may dominate the bulk of the streaming conversation, but Hulu has been a lovable underdog for a while now, with a library of original content that includes incredible dramas like The Handmaid's Tale and The Path as well as laugh-out-loud comedies like Casual and Future Man. The streamer is building on its recent success with an impressive future slate of projects featuring huge stars on both sides of the camera, so let's take a look at some upcoming Hulu originals you didn't know were being made. 

Locke and Key

Hulu recruited Lost's Carlton Cuse for their high-concept comic book adaptation Locke and Key, based on the graphic novel from acclaimed writer (and Stephen King's son) Joe Hill. The show follows the Locke family after the patriarch, Rendell, is brutally murdered and his widow Nina (Frances O'Connor) takes their three children (Jackson Robert Scott, Megan Charpentier, Jack Mulhern) to the Keyhouse, a mysterious mansion in New England.

The Keyhouse is filled with secrets, held back by magical keys that allow the children to open doors into other dimensions. However, a terrifying demon has other plans for the portals, and won't stop until it gets the keys back. Hill is set to write the first episode, which It's Andy Muschietti is on board to direct.

This isn't the first time someone has tried bringing Locke and Key to the screen—a 2010 pilot starring Miranda Otto and Jesse McCartney earned rave reviews at San Diego Comic-Con, but failed to earn a pickup. A film trilogy was announced in 2014, although that also failed to come to fruition. Locke and Key clearly has a lot of onscreen potential, and with the impressive cast and crew assembled for their pilot, Hulu seems ripe to capitalize on it. 

Castle Rock

Stephen King adaptations are all the rage, and Hulu has already had luck with one—the James Franco-led 11.22.63. They're planning on putting even more skin in the King game with Castle Rock, a 10-episode psychological thriller focusing on different characters from King's novels each season. As fans are no doubt already aware, the series revolves around Castle Rock, the fictional Maine town featured in King stories like The Body, Cujo, It, and The Dead Zone.

Moonlight's Andre Holland is set to lead the series as Henry, a death row attorney with a unique and complicated history. He'll be joined by a few past King favorites, including Carrie's Sissy Spacek and It's Bill Skarsgård. The cast also includes Melanie Lynskey, Scott Glenn, Terry O'Quinn, and Jane Levy.

Castle Rock also isn't without talent behind the scenes. The show is executive produced by Star Trek's J.J. Abrams through his Bad Robot Productions, with Manhattan's Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason writing and executive producing and American Horror Story's Michael Uppendahl directing the pilot. With so many huge names involved, this seems like a welcome addition to the Stephen King canon.

The Looming Tower

Hulu recruited Jeff Daniels to take on their adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Looming Tower, which covers the infighting between the FBI and the CIA in the years leading up to the 9/11 attack—and how their rivalry could have left the country defenseless against an imminent threat. 

Daniels will play John O'Neil, the head of the FBI's New York counterterrorism unit who's convinced the U.S. has been targeted for an attack and is upset about the inability of the law enforcement agencies to work together. Daniels has an impressive supporting cast, including Alec Baldwin, set to guest star as ex-CIA director George Tenet, and Peter Sarsgaard, who will play CIA analyst Martin Schmidt.

Tahar Rahim, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Camp, Virginia Kull, Louis Cancelmi, Ella Rae Peck, Sullivan Jones, and Wrenn Schmidt also star. Foxcatcher's Dan Futterman is set to write the 10-episode series, while Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief's Alex Gibney will direct. The show has a Feb. 28, 2018 premiere date, so expect to be hearing a lot more about this prestige drama soon. 

Queen

J.J. Abrams will help Hulu explore the making of a legend in the dramedy series Queen, based on the life of singer and drag queen RuPaul. The series follows a fictionalized version of RuPaul's life, starting in 1980s New York and continuing through the present day. 

RuPaul himself is on board with the series as an executive producer, alongside Orange is the New Black Emmy nominee Gary Lennon, who's also set to write the script. The half-hour show is still in the pilot stage, meaning that it has yet to be ordered to series, but with RuPaul continuing to dominate the pop culture conversation, this one seems like a no-brainer. 

Untitled Robert F. Kennedy series

Chris Pine has ruled the box office with Star Trek and Wonder Woman, but he's taking a detour to the small screen for Hulu with a limited series about the life of Robert F. Kennedy. The show, based on the biography Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye, will be written and executive produced by The Good Wife's Todd E. Kessler. 

Pine is also set to executive produce the series, which will actually be Hulu's second Kennedy-inspired program, after James Franco traveled through time to prevent John F. Kennedy's assassination in the Stephen King adaptation 11.22.63. The book on which the show is based provided a deep new insight into Kennedy's life, and attaching Pine to an already impressive project just makes it more exciting. 

The First

Hulu made the big move of poaching House of Cards creator Beau Willimon from Netflix to work on their Mars-set drama The First, and they made the project even more exciting when they signed Sean Penn to star. The show takes place in the near future, and follows the first human mission to Mars and their attempts to colonize the planet. 

The show won't just focus on the astronauts, though—it will also feature their families and loved ones as well as the ground team on Earth. Willimon has said he wants The First to delve into the costs associated with "our indomitable need to reach for unknown horizons," talking about the "myriad of obstacles to grasp the extraordinary." 

Willimon has already proved able to show what it takes to reach the stars as he chronicled the difficulties of rising up in Washington on House of Cards, but The First looks like it'll provide a new and different take on the quest for power. Natascha McElhone is also set to star in the series, which is likely to arrive in 2018. 

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Mindy Kaling recently wrapped a successful run at Hulu with The Mindy Project, and the Office alum has already signed on to return for an anthology series based on the 1994 Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell-led romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Like the movie, the show is set to follow a group of friends as their lives crisscross throughout five different big moments, with each season following one of their story arcs. Reports say that the show, which is still in its early stages, will feature different characters in a different location each season, with the main character staying the same.

Kaling is set to work on the script alongside The Mindy Project executive producer Matt Warburton, with the movie's screenwriter, Richard Curtis, also on board to executive produce. The idea for the show is said to have come from The Cleaner's Jonathan Price, another executive producer on the project.

Kaling revitalized the TV rom-com with The Mindy Project, and giving her the chance to take on a classic seems like a surefire hit. The fact that Hulu is reportedly considering giving the show a straight-to-series order after Kaling and Warburton turn in a script also suggests they have high hopes for the show.

Hitman

Love John Wick? Then you'll probably love Hitman, a Hulu action series from the character's creator Derek Kolstad. The show will be based on the best-selling video game of the same name, with Kolstad writing the pilot and serving as an executive producer.

The Hitman games have already been adapted into two feature films, 2007's Hitman and 2015's Hitman: Agent 47, but neither was well received by critics, earning a 15 percent and a nine percent on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively. Needless to say, there's a lot of room for a more character-driven, serialized take on the story, and bringing Kolstad on board seems like a match made in heaven. 

The Act

True crime stories are taking over entertainment, and Hulu is getting in the game with The Act, an anthology series from Channel Zero's Nick Antosca and reporter Michelle Dean. Each season of the show is set to focus on a different case, with the first season following Dean's 2016 Buzzfeed article "Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom To Be Murdered." 

Dean's creepy article told the story of single mom Dee Dee Blanchard, who convinced everyone in her life that her daughter Gypsy was ill, even though she wasn't. After Dee Dee was found murdered, her friends and family were shocked to learn that the culprit was actually Gypsy, who had paid her boyfriend to stab her mother to death.

Dean's article was very popular, earning over four million page views and a spot on Longform's list of the top ten articles of 2016. "In Gypsy Rose Blanchard's story, nothing was as it seemed: the sick girl wasn't sick, the perfect mom wasn't perfect," said Antosca and Dean when the show was announced. "In The Act, we're going to show you the human story behind bizarre crimes like this one." Sign us up.

Invisible Man

After finding success with their adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu is taking on another classic novel: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. The streamer acquired the rights to the novel in 2016 and are set to develop a TV series based on its story, which followed an unidentified African-American narrator who believed himself to be "socially invisible" because of his race.

Although the project is still in its early stages without any writer or director attached, Ellison's literary executor John Callahan is on board as an executive producer, hinting that the project is in good hands. The timely novel would fit right in at Hulu, and could help the network set itself up as a destination for prestige dramas.

Postal

Hulu has also optioned the rights to the Top Cow crime comic Postal, following a mail carrier named Mark, the son of the mayor of Eden, Wyoming, a town made up entirely of fugitive convicts. As the only non-con around, Mark, who has Asperger syndrome, jumps at the chance to solve the crime after a woman is found murdered on Eden's main street.

Competition for the project was said to be tough, which makes sense considering the caliber of talent involved—Seth Hoffman, a co-executive producer for The Walking Dead, is writing and The Amazing Spider-Man's Matt Tolmach is also on board to executive produce, having already had success at Hulu with the Josh Hutcherson-led sci-fi comedy Future Man

Although Postal is still in its early stages, dark comic books have a history of translating well to the screen. Postal's more grounded narrative should make for an interesting jump to live action, and if done well, this series could be the next big thing.

Queen of Shadows

Hulu might have found the next Game of Thrones with Queen of Shadows, an adaptation of the bestselling Throne of Glass book series by Sarah J. Maas. The books follow the 18-year-old Celaena Sardothien who, after a year in prison, agrees to carry out assassinations for the king's son in exchange or her freedom. Things get more complicated as she realizes there's been a conspiracy brewing in the kingdom for decades.

The show already has someone with experience in intense teen dramas and dystopias on board, with The 100 and The Handmaid's Tale's Kira Snyder set to write. Underworld: Blood Wars' Anna Foerster will direct the pilot episode, which will be produced by the Mark Gordon Company, the same people behind Quantico and Criminal Minds. Although high-concept fantasy series are always a risk, Queen of Shadows seems like the type of epic tale we can get behind. 

Untitled Kelly Oxford series

James Franco and Seth Rogen are joining together for your new favorite comedy. The two Freaks and Geeks alums are set to executive produce a '90s-set teen drama about author and social media personality Kelly Oxford, with Oxford writing the script. Franco's producing partner Vince Jolivette and Rogen's producing partner Evan Goldberg are also on board. 

Oxford has already teamed up with Franco and Rogen for the indie hit The Disaster Artist, and although she doesn't have much screen experience, she proved her affinity for comedy in her two bestselling books Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar and When You Find Out the World is Against You: And Other Funny Memories About Awful Moments. Three great comedians coming together looks like a recipe for success.