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The Outsider's Jason Bateman and Richard Price on Doing Horror for the First Time

Their dread-filled Stephen King adaptation 'glides into the supernatural'

Liam Mathews

The cast and producers of The Outsider visited the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday. Executive producer, director, and star Jason Bateman, executive producer Richard Price, and star Cynthia Erivo (via satellite) were on hand to talk about their adaptation of the Stephen King supernatural murder mystery, which also stars Ben Mendelsohn.

Price is one of America's greatest crime writers, with credits including The Wire, The Night Of, and the novel Lush Life, but he'd never done horror before The Outsider. King's novel has elements of what was already in his wheelhouse, as well as something new for him. "What appealed to me was that it started out like a police procedural, which was probably why they came to me to begin with, but then it sort of started to glide into the supernatural," he said. "I've always wanted to write something scary ever since I was a kid. It was perfect for me."

The Outsider Review: HBO's Stephen King Adaptation Is a Chilling Blend of Crime and Horror

Horror is also new for Bateman, who as an actor had mostly done comedy before moving to Netflix's crime thriller Ozark, which has also established his reputation as a director. "I'm not a huge sort of horror fan or scare, jump, gore, slasher kind of audience member," he said. "I really love dread and thriller and tension and all that stuff. So I was really excited that this story lived in more sort of Stephen King's Shining world as opposed to some of his other great stories that live more in that that frightening, scare, shock world."

The Outsider airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

Jason Bateman, The Outsider

Jason Bateman, The Outsider


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