Stephen King shares his excitement about The Stand's upcoming limited series, which boasts a bigger budget and more violence than 1994's adaptation. While King's work has been turned into movies and TV shows for basically his entire writing career, the horror master is currently seeing a noted uptick in adaptations of his material. This fall will see IT: Chapter Two arrive to continue the story of the Losers' Club vs. Pennywise, a Pet Sematary remake recently hit theaters, Hulu is readying season 2 of Castle Rock, and this November sees King's The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep become a movie.
Also on the way though is a CBS All Access limited series adaptation of King's apocalyptic epic The Stand, directed by Josh Boone. The Stand was originally developed as a series of films to be directed by Boone, but the project eventually morphed into its current 10-hour limited series format. CBS All Access continues to try its best to grow as a competitor to big streaming players like Netflix and Hulu, and to do so it needs to play host to content with big existing name value such as The Stand.
The Stand was of course previously adapted into a 1994 ABC miniseries, which was pretty well-received all things considered, but fell victim to some of the creative limitations inherent to airing on network TV in the 1990s. Thankfully, during a recent appearance on The Stand miniseries director Mick Garris' Post Mortem podcast, King let it be known how excited he is for this new take on his gargantuan book, which will have much more freedom when it comes to resources and adult content than the original.
Really the thing I’m most excited about is, first of all, we’ve got two more hours to tell the story. And second, we’re free of all those things that held us back with [the original mini-series]. Not only is the budget bigger… we’re free… in terms of language, in terms of violence… in a way that we weren’t with the original. CBS All Access would really like this to work. And they’ve put a lot of muscle behind it. So I’m hopeful. But it’s early days yet… so. The casting isn’t complete. My son Owen has written some of the scripts, and they’re terrific. So. It’s good.
Now, that's not to say that King dislikes the 1994 adaptation. After all, he wrote the script, was an executive producer, and worked closely with frequent collaborator Garris on the project, including appearing in a small role himself. It's just that King isn't afraid to admit that the final product could've been better with more money to work with and more freedom when it comes to adapting the often quite R-rated content found in The Stand novel. From the sound of things, CBS All Access is basically letting Boone and company do whatever they need to in order to properly capture the spirit of King's prose.
Oddly enough, when The Stand's 1994 miniseries adaptation was made, it was actually notable for being one of the most expensive productions in the history of TV. The large cast, dozens of needed locations, and multiple visual effects shots required a lot more than TV miniseries usually got to work with. The problem is that in 1994, even a large budget for TV paled in comparison to that of most blockbuster feature films, and nowadays, prestige TV - such as Game of Thrones, Westworld, and Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings series - often commands blockbuster-esque budgets.
Source: Post Mortem