Watch: JJ Abrams discusses Stephen King and Star Wars fans
JJ Abrams says devotees of Stephen King are every bit as terrifying as the fanbases of long-running franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek.
Abrams, who has been controversial for his work on divisive blockbusters like Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, is currently promoting Apple TV+ series Lisey's Story.
The show, adapted from a 2006 King novel, follows Julianne Moore as the title character as she deals with the fallout of the death of her husband (Clive Owen) — a beloved novelist.
Abrams is the executive producer of the show and told Yahoo Entertainment UK that terrifying fandoms are a huge part of Lisey's Story.
"I think that's very much what the story is about," said the 54-year-old filmmaker.
He added: "I do think that one of the things that [King] is grappling with in Lisey's Story is the consequences and the by-product of the creative worlds and the creative impulses and choices that can sometimes attract people who aren't considering the work as entertainment, but something far more personal.
"[Fans] have a sort of ownership and relationship with the people creating the work, and that's something I think Stephen was working through in addition to obvious and maybe bigger issues like questions of his life choices."
The show features Dane DeHaan as the unhinged Jim Dooley, who is a superfan of Owen's character Scott Landon.
He is determined to get hold of unpublished manuscripts which are being kept in Lisey's home and becomes increasingly menacing in his attempts to encourage her to hand them over.
Abrams said King was also influenced by the accident he suffered in 1999, in which he was left seriously injured after a people carrier collided with him while he was walking.
He added: "When he wrote the book, he had been in that accident and he was, I think, thinking about what a burden that might be on his wife Tabitha at the time. There's a lot of personal stuff that was in that story.
"But certainly, the fan storyline basically tells you that the answer is yes. Fans of Stephen King could rival all of them, I think."
Abrams will certainly be out of the firing line on this one, given the creative responsibility is with director Pablo Larrain, whose next project is directing Kristen Stewart in a Princess Diana biopic, and the screenwriter for the series — none other than King himself.
Lisey's Story focuses not only on Moore, but also on Joan Allen and Jennifer Jason Leigh as her siblings.
Allen's character, Amanda, is living with mental illness and appears to spend some of her time in an unusual fantasy land, into which Scott also used to retreat when he was alive.
The cast of the eight-episode series also includes Ron Cephas Jones and Sung Kang.
Lisey's Story premieres globally on 4 June, exclusively on Apple TV+.
Watch: Trailer for Stephen King series Lisey's Story