By Evan DeSimone
Hulu has chosen Presidents Day 2016 as the eerily appropriate premiere date for “11.22.63,” it’s latest original mini-series about an unexpected time traveler who ventures back to that infamous date to thwart the Kennedy assassination.
The series stars actor and multi-hyphenate art personality James Franco as Jake Epper, an English teacher who has to contend with a number of challenges after travelling back in time with the intent of stopping the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and changing history for the better. Along the way, he has to face not just would-be Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, but also his affection for the past itself and history’s natural resistance to being altered.
“11.22.63” also stars Chris Cooper, Josh Duhamel, T.R. Knight, Cherry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Lucy Fry, George MacKay and Daniel Webber. Based on the novel of the same name by prolific author Stephen King, who also executive produced and wrote or co-wrote all nine episodes, it was produced by “Star Trek” and “Alias” mastermind J.J. Abrams and Joseph Boccia for the former’s Bad Robot Productions.
The mini-series was picked up by Hulu in September as part of a push by the streamer to own more original content that included “Difficult People,” from executive producer Amy Poehler and creators Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner and the recently-launched “Casual,” executive produced by Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air,” “Juno”).