‘The Stand’ Snags A Writer; Ben Affleck Still Onboard To Direct

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

stand stephen king ben affleck The Stand Snags A Writer; Ben Affleck Still Onboard To Direct

Back in August of 2011, it looked like Warner Bros. was going to reunite Harry Potter franchise screenwriter Steve Kloves and director David Yates on a new ambitious adaptation of a dense literary work: The Stand, based on Stephen King’s popular post-apocalyptic supernatural horror/sci-fi tale – which has already inspired both an award-winning 1994 TV mini-series and Marvel comic book spinoff.

When that deal failed to materialize, studio heads then turned their eyes onto Ben Affleck as a potential helmer; now, we have confirmation that the Oscar-winning actor/writer/director is indeed involved with the project, seeing how he’s recruited a screenwriter to try their hand at adapting King’s source material.

Vulture says that David Kajganich has been hired on to script The Stand. It’s not clear yet whether Affleck will also be contributing directly to the screenwriting process on this project, like he did with his first two directorial efforts (Gone Baby Gone and The Town) – or, if he’ll be more hands-off with the script, as is the case with his upcoming 2012 release, Argo.

Kajganich was previously responsible for scripting two critical duds: the 2007 version of The Invasion and director Joel Schumacher’s horror-thriller, Blood Creek. However, it’s been said that Kaganich’s work on the script for a new feature-length adaptation of another well-known King book, It, impressed both Warner heads and Affleck alike; hence, he’s been tasked with penning The Stand.

King’s original Stand novel is divided into three sections, titled “Captain Trips”, “On the Border”, and “The Stand”; each of these sections (arguably) feature more than enough narrative material to fill up an entire film, on their own. That Warner Bros. was previously said to be giving serious consideration to developing a trilogy of movies based on King’s book is no surprise; however, it’s not clear as to whether or not that remains the plan, now that Affleck is involved.

That said: movies with built-in franchise potential are all the rage in Hollywood right now, with upcoming 2012 flicks such as Snow White and the Huntsman and World War Z also hoping to be the first installments in three-part series. Don’t be surprised if Warner Bros. goes a similar route with The Stand, for both artistic and financial purposes.

Ben Affleck is preparing to take 'The Stand'

Affleck has directed two critically-acclaimed, character-heavy crime dramas/thrillers in a row and he looks to spread his wings as a filmmaker even more, with the globe-trotting historical CIA thriller that is Argo. The Stand will see the man working on different genre territory with a story that starts out global in scope, but eventually evolves into more of a smaller-scale and personal conflict between the survivors of an apocalyptic event. So, in that sense, the King adaptation could (in part) play to Affleck’s strengths as a cinematic storyteller, while also presenting him with some new challenges – regardless of how he and Kajganich adapt King’s source material, i.e. as one or three movies.

King himself has already expressed a healthy amount of skepticism about the idea of turning The Stand into a single feature-length film, as have many fans of the novel in general. Hence, until we have a better idea of exactly what Affleck and Co. have in mind with this venture, it’s probably best to hold off on jumping to too many conclusions about the potential results of their efforts (good and bad).

We will continue to keep you updated on the status of The Stand as more information is released.

Source: Vulture

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  1. Trying to a** jam 3 full books of material into a single movie is just…./slaps forehead.

    If you can’t do something RIGHT then don’t do it at all.

  2. Make mistakes and learn from it. Just because it’s not right the first time doesn’t mean people cannot learn from it. Do it right the 2nd time, it’s never too late.

  3. No way it could work as anything less than a trilogy, but Affleck at the helm does peak my interest. He’s more than proven his chops when it comes to directing.

  4. Cranium

    i agree with you 100% on both accounts. As for turning this into a movie…while the made for tv movie was well put together..theres a ton of room for improvement. As long as they go with a trilogy i’m willing to check it out.

  5. Intuition says even though this is much larger in scope than anything he’s done before, Affleck would rise to the occasion. He’s creative, works hard, and his directing gigs have turned out really well.

    2 things which are critical to it’s success is King’s involvement and retaining the story in 3 parts.

  6. If anyone can pull off an epic duel between Luke Skywalker and sickle-wielding crow-face guy, it’s Affleck. Gimme what I want!

    • hahahah
      you know…i always thought the same thing when i saw that cover art

  7. The Stand is one of my favourite novels… my only issue with it is the ending. If they make a film out of it, I would rather they extended the climactic confrontation scene, rather than stick true to the source. This is one of those instances where King’s sense of proportion seems a bit off. The end just happens too fast for it to truly be emotionally satisfying, especially after you’ve invested heavily in the 800 preceding pages of the novel.

    I really would kill for a good film trilogy version of this book.

    • This seems to, at least for me, be a repeating theme with King. He creates this great and engaging story but then usually does a poor job at resolving and ending it.

      • yeah…The Dark Tower

  8. they better not mess it up,I love that book

  9. A rough assignment for anyone, The Stand is a beast of a book that is as dense as the Lord of the Rings in allot of ways. Affleck is actually a better director then I thought he could be, but any King book can get out of hand when adapted to a movie. Darabont might even have a hard time putting all the pieces of that book together in one film, hell anyone would.

    • I always thought that if Darabont tackled another King story The Stand would be it. I loved his 3 adapts so far so IMO he seemed to be a good fit.
      Staying on subject though, Affleck has really delivered the goods directing so far so I’m curious to see what he could do with a “big” film like this.

      • For me this was kind of like when Peter Jackson did Lord of the Rings. I was familiar with his work, but the idea of adapting those books seemed like rolling the dice at a craps table. This go right and the payoff is huge, you crap out and you go home a loser.

        Affleck could either make a name for himself as a legit director with this, or be the scapegoat for years to come. The main thing with the Stand is the amount of characters that have to be developed and juggled correctly, which could play to Ben’s strengths because he does well with character driven stories.

        One other thing anyone doing this film luckily won’t have to deal with is needing to worry about special effects or relying on CGI. That will save on budget and having to worry about making sure the actual actors performances are on point and then having to pretty much do a whole other movie in post production.

  10. How about Russel Brandt for the devil? He’s got that natural snarky appeal

  11. i think they should get Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens to do the screenplay. they obviously have a knack for turning a massive novel into a coherent film. this is also one of my favorite novels. i would love to see a big screen version, without the network restrictions of the 1st version. while that version did capture some of the characters, it was ultimately just too tame. i think affleck could do for this novel what peter jackson has done with his work on the tolkein films, and i think he could play the part of nick andros fairly well

  12. So long as Molly Ringwald isn’t allowed anywhere on set… out of the several missteps made in the original tv miniseries, her portrayal of Fran Goldsmith was far and away the biggest. Corin Nemic as Harold and Laura San Giacomo as Nadine were pretty hammy and badly done as well. The others were, for the most part, ok, but seemed constrained both by a novel that had been cut to death and overly moralized tv standards at the time that didn’t really allow for communicating the actual horror of a worldwide plague. Gary Sinise and Jamey Sheridan were about the closest to capturing their respective characters…

    • Im reading the book for the second time right now.. Its been 10 years or so since I read it originally and watched the movie.. When I heard they were going to make another movie I thought the same thing about Molly Ringwald.. Shes about as far from Fran as you could possibly get.. Since Im reading it again I cant imaging anyone else playing Stu Redman but Gary Sinise..

  13. First of all Affleck is not the best director but he has great talent, so I believe he might do a great job with this film, but it’s a stupid idea make just one movie of this story, because they’re going to f**k the hard work of King, it must be a trilogy !!! Learn from the mistakes of other directors and success, make it a trilogy and the whole world will be grateful.

  14. by the way I love you George!!

  15. Last I heard, they planned to split it into 2 films. 2 2.5 hour films should be more than enough, if the writer knows what he’s doing. I love the sprawling nature of the book, but there is a LOT of fat that could easily be cut. Would it work better as an HBO miniseries (like Band of Brothers)? Probably, but I can just about guarantee that whatever happens, it’ll be tons better than the horrendous mini-series.
    Read the George Romero script for his cancelled early 80s film adaptation. It’s a great read for anyone who wants to see how it SHOULDN’T be done.

  16. I’m thinking Affleck should also read the novel first before he starts anything on this?? If he read the book already, I assuming he did, then he would fully understand the advantage he would have to have on making this possibly 3 hour or more film or trilogy as close to the book as possible. That’s what needs to happen. He is one that does not film make off of money, but for how a story unfolds with it’s deep characters.

  17. I really hope this will be two movies. I am confident Affleck will pull this off beautifully, as someone commented before his strong suit is character development. I read his brother Casey will be in it, wondering which role would suit him? Would he fit as Larry? Is it just me or would Jennifer Lawrence make a perfect Frannie?

  18. I really hope this will be two movies. I am confident Affleck will pull this off beautifully, as someone commented before his strong suit is character driven films. I read his brother Casey will be in it, wondering which role would suit him? Would he fit as Larry? Is it just me or would Jennifer Lawrence make a perfect Frannie?