11.22.63 was one of Stephen King’s best books in years, and made for a great TV show, but here’s why it won’t get a sequel, despite an idea existing.
11.22.63 was one of Stephen King’s best books in years, and made for a great TV show, but here’s why it won’t get a sequel, despite an idea existing. While King has delved into just about every horror topic, and many a sci-fi topic, during his long career, one element he’s rarely utilized is time travel. Perhaps that’s for the best, as time travel is a plot element notoriously easy to mess up, with each twist in the timeline a potential logic gap in the making.
Thankfully, King’s biggest foray into the world of time travel, his novel 11.22.63, turned out very, very well. It became King’s umpteenth bestseller, drew raves from critics, and was beloved by fans, despite it not being the traditional King horror story. It has horrific elements, and even a cameo by characters from IT, but 11.22.63 is definitely more of a sci-fi/fantasy tale than horror, albeit filtered through King’s unmistakably unique creative lens. 11.22.63 is still most definitely a Stephen King story.
In 2016, 11.22.63 was adapted pretty faithfully into an eight-episode Hulu series, which also drew rave reviews. Many would love to see more of Jake and Sadie, and it turns out King himself would too. He even has an idea for how he’d continue their adventures with an 11.22.63 sequel, but sadly, it actually happening is unlikely.
Stephen King’s 11.22.63 Sequel Plans
11.22.63 ended with Jake’s quest to prevent the assassination of JFK all being for naught, as it did so much damage to the timeline that Jake was forced to reenter the “rabbit hole” time portal, thus resetting things. He came to terms with the loss of his relationship with Sadie, shared a dance with her older self in the present, and everyone watching/reading suddenly had something in their eye. When asked in 2016 about the possibility of an 11.22.63 sequel, King said that he’d considered bringing back Jake and Sadie, and his plot idea would involve Jake being forced to go back to the past again in order to stop villainous actors from altering time for the worse. Along the way, Jake would of course run into Sadie again, because the two seem destined to fall in love.
Why The 11.22.63 Sequel Won’t Happen
As fun as this plan sounds though, King doesn’t seem to have any plans to actually follow through with that plan, despite 11.22.63‘s connection to Stephen King’s real life. King says he felt quite nervous when weaving real historical figures and events into his writing for the first time, and almost felt akin to Jake, not so sure if he wanted to mess with the past. Additionally, King is fearful he might risk disappointing fans with a follow-up, which perhaps explains how few sequels he’s ever written. Considering how divisive Doctor Sleep proved to be among diehard fans of The Shining, perhaps King’s trepidation is warranted.
Is 11.22.63 Based on a True Story?
Stephen King’s 11.22.63 does indeed incorporate many historical events and people into its story, most notably by featuring Lee Harvey Oswald and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which was also used for an alternate history story by Quantum Leap. However, the main characters such as Jake, Sadie, Al, and Bill and their actions are entirely fictitious. King, as many great writers have done before him, merely used real-world history as a jumping off point from which to spin his own tale. Sadly, he doesn’t seem keen on doing that again, despite it working so well.
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