After spending the early part of this century mostly consigned to forgettable romantic comedies, Matthew McConaughey is in the middle of a true career renaissance. He already won an Oscar this year for his work in the emotional drama Dallas Buyers Club, and seems like the odds-on favorite to take home an Emmy on Monday for his terrific work as Rust Cohle on HBO’s early-2014 phenomenon, True Detective.
Unsurprisingly, McConaughey currently finds himself with no shortage of offers on the table, and his dance card seems to be rapidly becoming full. Case in point, Deadline is now reporting that McConaughey is being heavily considered for the pivotal villainous role of Randall Flagg in Josh Boone’s upcoming theatrical adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal novel The Stand.
For anyone unfamiliar with the 1000-plus page tome known as The Stand, it chronicles both the destruction of most of humanity at the hands of an engineered super-flu virus known as Captain Trips, and the struggle of the few remaining survivors to rebuild a new society from the ashes.
Many consider The Stand to be King’s finest work as an author, and the book was previously adapted into a six-hour miniseries that aired on ABC in 1994. The project boasted a star-studded cast, but it was the near-unknown Jamey Sheridan that perhaps made the biggest mark as manipulative yet charming demonic entity, Randall Flagg. With a blue-collar look, a mile-wide grin, and an affable demeanor, Flagg could be your best friend. That is until you made the mistake of crossing him.
While some fans still wonder whether Boone can successfully adapt the mammoth tale that is The Stand over the course of only one three-hour film, it goes without saying that the casting of Flagg will play a huge factor in the final product. Flagg is a villain so captivating that he went on to play a major antagonistic role in Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower series, and is arguably King’s most iconic bad guy in history.
Thankfully for fans, an actor of McConaughey’s caliber more than has the chops necessary to bring the character to life, and his laid-back southern charm would likely meld perfectly with Flagg’s smooth and inviting surface tendencies. When it comes time to increase the intensity, McConaughey can draw from characters like Rust Cohle, Fenton Meiks and Joe Cooper in order to put the fear of God (or in this case, Satan) into his enemies. In short, it’s very hard to imagine McConaughey not owning this role in every possible way, as it seems right up his alley as an actor.
That all said, it’s important to keep in mind that McConaughey playing Flagg is far from a done deal. The two sides have not formally talked yet, it’s just been made clear that production studio Warner Bros. really, really wants McConaughey to play the role, and will presumably make an overture at some point soon. With all the offers on his plate, it’s quite possible that McConaughey wouldn’t even want the job. After all, he’ll likely be even more in-demand after Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar comes out. For now, all The Stand fans can do is hope that McConaughey – or someone equally as talented – ends up signing on the dotted line.
The Stand is in development, and has no current release date.