Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ Being Adapted as a Feature Film

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 23rd, 2013 at 4:09 pm,

Last year an unprecedented movie/TV adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series was announced, with director Ron Howard onboard and Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend) writing the script. But if an adaptation of King’s mammoth Dark Tower series wasn’t enough, then how about a big screen version of one of King’s other legendary stories, The Stand?

Heat Vision is exclusively reporting that Warner Bros. has teamed up with CBS Films to bring King’s “magnum opus” The Stand to the big screen. The two companies will co-develop and co-produce the feature film adaptation, with CBS possibly co-financing the film and WB handling worldwide distribution and marketing.

A director, writer or stars aren’t in place (yet) but WB and CBS will reportedly sit down with potentials in the next few weeks in order to figure out what sort of direction to take the adaptation. One of the big decisions to be made at this point is whether to make just one film or spread the story across several films. I’m sure many fans of King’s book will want multiple films in order to see as much of the story brought to life as possible (is another Lord of the Rings-type trilogy in order here?).

CBS has actually held the rights to a film adaptation of The Stand for years but finally decided that the best way to make it a reality was to team up with another production company. WB apparently beat out harsh competition from both Sony and Fox in a “tight bidding war” for the chance to team-up with CBS on the adaptation.

Fans will be glad to hear that King himself will be involved with the adaptation in some capacity. With this being one of his most beloved titles – at one point it was voted by fans as his most popular book – I’m not surprised in the slightest that King wants to be involved.

Originally published in 1978 (and re-released in 1990), The Stand tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world resulting from a virus which wiped out most of Earth’s population. The tale is vast with more characters and story arcs than you could shake a stick at, but the main focus is on a single group of survivors and their good vs. evil battle against Randall Flagg, a demonic figure who wreaks havoc (the character also appears in various other King books).

King fans will likely be aware that this isn’t the first time The Stand has received the live-action treatment. In 1994, a 6-part TV mini-series was made starring Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe and Jamey Sheridan (amongst many others). Although well-received critically (it won two Emmys, for Makeup and Sound Mixing), I’m sure fans were expecting more from the rather toned-down version of the original story.

Hopefully WB and CBS respect the original source material and give The Stand the epic and detailed big screen adaptation that it truly deserves.

Source: Heat Vision

TAGS: The stand
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  1. this is going to be a huge undertaking. I cant really see them making this into just one big movie.
    Would work much better as a trilogy.
    I actually really enjoyed the original made for TV series, granted it doesn’t age too well in the graphics department but one of my favorite scenes is at the beginning as the camera pans over the dead bodies in the military base as “don’t fear the reaper” plays in the background.
    good stuffs.

    • theres something to be said about keeping the graphics simple. Yes some of those in the mini-series could use and update but i’ve seen many a movie that was just ruined by over the top fx.

  2. i vote for trilogy

    Part I the flu and its impact/devistation
    Part II the two froces gather during which we get to know mother abigail and Randall Flagg and what there all about
    cuilminating to the final showdown in Part III

  3. I agree with Champ, I for one would side with the Cable mini series , like HBO, Showtime, or STarz. I say this route works better cause that way I dont have to wait for each part to come out. I think the quality of cable broadcasting has become good enough to really do right by the show.
    I also beleive that there enough Big actors out there that would do this for cable. It will be very intresting to see who they get to direct this

  4. I don’t really know if the public could sit down and watch a trilogy. I mean it would go in different directions. A virus wipes everyone out in the first and focus on the survivers and major chararcter introductions, but then you switch to god/devil personas in the second and climax the third? I almost read all the uncut version years ago so I would go, but hollywood doesn’t make movies for the dedicated (ie most comic book movies) and it seems hard for me to invision studios taking a chance on that. And I WOULD NOT

    • See it if they crammed it into one movie.

    • Hmm, I wouldn’t be so sure that an audience “wouldn’t sit down and watch a trilogy” – they certainly did for LORD OF THE RINGS, right?

      And they’re watching way more than only 3 movies for HARRY POTTER.

  5. This will HAVE to be made into more than 1 film to do it justice I’m a massive king fan and this is one of his best imo

  6. Yeah, I’ve read both the ’78 and ’90 versions. Amazing. I think it would be very difficult to condense it to one movie for tow obvious reasons:

    1) The scope of the story. It’s HUGE. There’s no way to make this into a 3 hour movie.

    2) The ensemble cast. This is golden opportunity for some big names to get together for some really memorable performances.

    A problem right from the start is… it’s a Stephen King adaptation. Most of them have been mediocre at best.

    There have been a few fan favorites (Green Mile, Carrie, Christine, Needful Things, etc…) and even fewer truly great SK movies (The Shining, Misery, Shawshank Redemption). But for the most part, SK movies seem to get really poor directors, and even worse performances of the characters that don’t always translate well from the books themselves (Tommyknockers, The Langoliers, Pet Cemetery, Dream catchers, It {don’t get me started on that one!}, The Stand, etc…). Just look at the wikipedia page and all of his media.

    Anyway, my point is, i hope they give this one due consideration for a quality director and good cast.


    • It was the WORST TV adaptation of Kings books. IMO opinion all TV adaptations of his books have been terrible.

      • You really didn’t like the adaptations of “Silver Bullet”, “The Shining”, and “The Dead Zone”?

        I think those were really decent adaptations.

        • Sorry, I did n’t realize you qualified it with TV adaptations.

          For the time it was made, “Salem’s Lot” was a cool TV movie.

  7. YAY!

    And a trilogy could work, i mean isn’t the book in three parts anyway?

    also, when i first saw that CBS films would be co-producing it, I couldn’t help but think “Hey, they actually have a film that might not flop!”

  8. It would be impossible to put the whole story into one two hour movie. They would have to cut it to the bare bones and what is the point of watching that? So yes they would have to do a trilogy just to get the story across. Hell the mini-series was 4 episodes.

  9. Trilogy.

  10. This is so not made for the big screen , to make a movie out this is a huge huge huge mistake

  11. I guess it’s going to happen no matter if we like it or not… I personally have yet to read even one Stephen King novel at all, so it’s not like my opinion counts, but most of his movies suck without having read the book first, so I can only IMAGINE how crappy they would be to watch if I had read them.

    • i disagree the shining, shawshank redemption, misey,it, carrie, apt pupil, the mist, running man, stand by me need i go on this guy has been involved with alot of great movies

      • Yeah, but they’ve ALL been a shadow of the book. King is nearly impossible to get right on film. I’m REALLY hoping that Ron Howard does The Dark Tower series right, but you know right away there will be King fans that are disappointed no matter how good it comes out.

        • Yeah Howard isn’t the right guy for the Tower series. And unless This version of The Stand is made up 3 parts, it wont work as 1 feature film.

        • The Shining isnt a shadow of the book at all, arguably the book is better but that almost always the case with adaptations.

          The Mist
          Stand By Me

          are all better than the stories they are based on.

  12. Yes a trilogy is a must. There is no way it can fit properly into a single movie. Casting will be a HUGE undertaking!!

    Does anyone know what happened to “The Dome”? Apparently that was to be turned to a movie as well. Is it canned?

    • really enjoyed the dome one of his best in recent years I heard a rumbling about that to any news would be appreciated

  13. I would make the decision to see this only if they for one, offered something different than the ABC miniseries. Stephen King’s book was very adult and the television had its moments, Ed Harris’ performance was awesome. But otherwise it didnt get room to breathe even though it was a four parter, and truly never got to let loose with the intensity of the book. How will a trilogy serve justice to massive novel? And will they make this for the audience that read and loved the book? Or will they dumb it down for a general audience?

    I appreciate and agree that it would be better suited for cable. A season long maxiseries. But we know they arent that smart and we will get a trimmed down, edited version from CBS Studios.

    Frank Durabont would be the first person I would involve. If he’s too busy running the show at The Walking Dead, maybe get him to do the final script brushup. He’s the only director/writer I feel who gets Kings material. What do you guys think of this idea?

  14. I wonder if Randal Flag will be the same actor in the Dark Tower Series as he is in the Stand. There is some major crossover potential here. I love this book and they will almost have to make it into 3 movies. This book is so big it is retarded. M, O, O, N, that spells retarded. :)

    • The DT books cross into SEVERAL of Kings books, not just The Stand. They didn’t have the same actor in The Dark Half or Needful Things playing Pangborn. Rooker was the better of the two incarnations.

      • Right, DT actually got me to read and re-read all of his books just to find out the tie-ins. I just think it would be cool for them to work in the crossovers since they are making all these movies at the same time. Such as, it would be cool to see Anthony Hopkins reprise his role as Ted Brodigan in the last of the DT series. It would also be really cool for them to show the Turtle in IT.

  15. I was happy with the book. In this case this is just another remake to me.

    • I didn’t care for the TV mimi series 790, Flagg was miscast in a bad way.

  16. I didn’t see the Mini Series Anthony, I didn’t want it to taint the memory of the book.

    I read the expanded version of The Stand. Thats enough for me. I don’t need to go through that again. :)

    • Yeah 790, I have both versions of the book in hardcover as well as most of his others on hardcover as well. I stay away from TV adaptations now, lessons learned.

  17. I really hope Mr. Darabont is somehow involved, he seems to be the only one who can adapt King to the big screen.

  18. @Ants,,, (on my 6th,)
    In this reality, there’s great films, and there’s great books.

    The Stand is a great book, one that my imagination can easily trump over anything this Hollywood can produce.

    Peter Jackson, could maybe come close, but why bother. The book was a vivid masterpiece of literature.

    • Yes I agree 790.

  19. Casting and direction are key components but something that a LOT of directors seem to miss in SK stories is how much the music matters to set the mood and SK’s proclivity to use song lyrics to set the mood for his chapters. I thought that the miniseries was okay but again, casting failed it (sorry Rob Lowe as a deaf mute?) its as if the casting directors didn’t read the source material to get an understanding of how SK crafted the characters and as such completely gaffed the project.

    Darabont seems to understand how SK works his magic by taking something plausible and getting you to take that first step to draw you in by remaining true to the story and the characters before the world gets turned on its ear. I would be interested in how this is developed, but like most fans, if the casting of certain actors in certain roles doesn’t jive with my own internal vision of the characters, they’ll probably just end up pissing money away. This has been the failing of a LOT of SK projects, i.e. casting Richard Thomas in the lead for IT! or even Martin Sheen as Greg Stillson in The Dead Zone.

  20. The only way I could see doing it in a single movie would be by a single individual telling the story like it happened in the past. However it would end up as a series of vignettes with a narrator to give the story context. Perhaps the narrator would naturally be Abigail but if you go that route to make it half interesting you would need Flagg narrating some of the story as well. Perhaps having the last 25-30 minutes happen in real time.

    You’re still talking a hollow story though and a 3 hour one at that. Would love to see David Lynch and Mark Frost take a crack at it. Wicked scary it would be…

  21. I just started the dark tower series. Do j have to get these now too?

    • The Stand is King’s best book. More than that, it is one of the great novels of the 20th century. I would recommend it highly.

  22. Definitely good news. I’ve always said that I would prefer them to do The Stand rather than The Dark Tower. The miniseries was good for what was essentially a really long made-for-tv movie, but it didn’t do the book justice.

    Considering that it seems like these films will be made at roughly the same time, I’m wondering if they’ll both have the same actor for Flagg. He appears in both books.

    Also, there’s no way they could do this in a single film. This is meant to be a trilogy.

  23. I didn’t like the miniseries. Guess I’m alone there. It just felt… faded, when compared to the book.

    This is also one of those King books with a VERY awkward finale. It happens VERY suddenly, and slightly “deus ex machina”. So it can seem kind of cheesy (in my opinion, this was a major fault in the TV miniseries).

    If they can flesh out that very abrupt ending, give it a bit more rhythm, then it will work well. It’s certainly VERY dramatic.

    I can see the whole “plague” part of the book being a single film. I don’t know that the longer remaining section of the book would work cut into two parts. It would make for a potentially boring middle film. Unless they REALLY dug into those re-integrated chapters of the later re-release of the book? It’s an emotionally draining read. The film couldn’t get away with just being an action or horror film. The audience would HAVE to walk away from the film feeling queasy and depressed.

    As long as no one gets “inventive” with the original material and decides to add anything that was not in the book.

    • Mike, you’re not alone, I hated the mini series as well.

    • I’ve only read the extended version, maybe that’s why I can see this as a trilogy. Even then it would be tough to drag it out over 3 films, but 2 would probably be too little. I don’t want the filmmakers tinkering with the story either, but it wouldn’t bother me if King was there to make a few suggestions on how to spruce it up a bit so that none of the films ever got boring.

      • I’ve read (repeatedly… this is one of my favourite books) both versions.

        The extended version (which is actually the “original” version of the book before the editors put the hatchet to it), adds a lot of very pensive and descriptive material that isn’t terribly suited to the film world. At least, in my opinion. It is incredible writing, part poetry, part prose. The “lost chapters” in particular (the whole section that is sort of an “aside” to the rest of the book.. the stories of survivors who don’t actually survive) would make for very painful, bitter-sweet, viewing.

        While I absolutely love King’s writing, I’m not keen on his involvement when it comes to films of his books. His writing is vivid and imaginative, visual while still literary, yet his own grasp of what works and what does not work on screen is, to say the least, feeble.

  24. I don’t see the need to try to translate the book into a movie or three.

    The expanded version of the book as a little too bloated for me.

  25. I read The Stand years ago and then the mini series came out. That waqsn’t too bad, but you could do a much better account of the original. I would rather see them do a three or four part movie on HBO or Showtime. Splitting it up like Lord Of The Rings just makes people angry to stop part way and have to wait several months for the next installment.

  26. Sorry but I’m just not feeling this. I don’t think the book is epic enough to be done as a full blown silver screen trilogy but yet there is no way to do it correctly as a single movie (even if it’s 3+ hrs)

    It wouldn’t be bad though if it was redone as a TV mini-series but if they are going to do it they HAVE to follow the blasted story better. That’s what I absolutely hated about the SYFY channel’s re-doing of Dune as a mini series. They had 2-3 times the amount of time but STILL managed to completely butcher the the story.

  27. BAAAADDD idea. I for one loved the TV mini-series but going for a movie version is a very bad idea.

    First off, the track record for Steven king stories translated to the Big Screen is not good, not good at all. Where as the track record of the made for TV mini-series translations have been far better received. This is because King is a character centric story teller and you need time to properly develop that character when going to the screen; the kind of time that a TV mini-series allows for and a major film does not.

    I’m kind of surprised they talked Stephen King into this. While the last King based movie THE MIST did well I believe it was the first in quite a while to do so. Even then I believe THE MIST was based on a short story by KING which would explain why it was easier to do well within the time frame of a movie.

  28. I’m uneasy about this, as I thought the miniseries was watered-down.

    But the only thing that I truly require (and one big thing the miniseries did right) is that throwaway line that someone at the CDC says to Stu while he’s trying to break out — “Come down and eat chicken with me, beautiful, it’s so dark…”