If it seems like nearly every Stephen King work has been adapted for film or television, it’s because more than 40 of his novels and novellas have. Even King’s seemingly unadaptable post-apocalyptic epic The Stand made it to the small screen in the form of a 1994 TV miniseries, but putting together a feature-film length version of the book has proved to be a much more challenging endeavor for Warner Bros., which has been trying for years to attract a director up for the task.
Ben Affleck was attached to direct the project for over a year, but could never figure out how to condense the 800-1100 page novel (depending on the edition) down to a feature-length script and ended up dropping out a few months back. Shortly thereafter, Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) picked up the torch, but he didn’t carry it for long and decided to leave the project last week. Now, Warner Bros. has another director in mind, at least according to a new rumor.
This week, unidentified sources are telling Badass Digest that WB has placed Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass at the top of its director wishlist for the film. It’s unclear if the studio has reached out to Greengrass yet, but apparently, he could be the next helmer in line if he chooses to accept the challenge that some of his colleagues have declined.
While Greengrass is certainly a talented filmmaker in his own right, he seems like an odd choice for this particular project. Firstly, his visual style – which fans would call cinema verite, but others would call shaky cam – probably wouldn’t work on a film of such size and scope. Secondly, Greengrass’ grounded, strive-for-realism sensibility would seem to clash with the more fantastical and symbolic elements of the story.
Of course, it’s easy to judge an actor or director on the basis of what he/she hasn’t done and just because Greengrass hasn’t directed a film like The Stand, doesn’t mean he isn’t capable. Plus, there are sections – such as the viral outbreak of “Captain Trips” – of the narrative that Greengrass’ film style could mesh well with.
Like every director that has been attached to, or even considered, adapting The Stand, Greengrass’ biggest hurdle would be compressing its expansive world and narrative arc into a two-hour film. While a logical solution has always been to adapt the novel into a trilogy – especially since the book is conveniently divided into three parts – it appears that’s not WB’s plan, or at least it hasn’t heard a suitable pitch for three films yet because there’s no indication the project is headed in that direction.
Greengrass hasn’t officially been offered the job, but do you think he would do King’s novel justice? And do you think The Stand can be adapted into a single feature film? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
We should know if Greengrass has joined The Stand soon, so stay tuned for updates on the project as it continues to develop.
Source: Badass Digest