One Stephen King adaptation, a remake of It, recently hit a snag when Cary Fukunaga departed the director's chair, but fans of the author's material still have The Stand to look forward to. The tale of two factions of survivors at war after a deadly plague kills most of humanity has long had Fault in Our Stars helmsman Josh Boone attached to direct and has steadily been moving forward in development, as the creative team tries to find the right formula to tell the story.
When last we heard of any updates concerning the project, Boone was saying that the narrative would most likely have to be broken into multiple films to cover all the necessary material, but he seems to have found an alternative method. Instead of calling the shots on multiple features, the plan is now to bring The Stand to TV before a movie hits theaters to serve as a grand finale.
The Wrap is reporting that Warner Bros. and CBS Films are currently in talks with Showtime to commission the production of an 8-part miniseries, which will culminate with a big-budget film. Principal photography is expected to begin early next year and will be one singular production a la Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. King should be involved in some capacity, along with producers Roy Lee and Jimmy Miller.
It's an ambitious undertaking for Boone to say the least, but should he pull it off, it should benefit The Stand adaptation. The original novel is around 1,100 pages, meaning that the story is perhaps better suited for a short TV run as opposed to a series of films. This way, Boone will have more time to develop the characters and themes that readers responded strongly to. Since The Stand is also noteworthy for its ensemble cast, it will also allow whatever actors sign on ample opportunity to deliver well-rounded and interesting performances (instead of some people getting shortchanged due to time constraints).
Speaking of casting, it will be interesting to see which thespians sign on for The Stand in its new state as a multi-platform project. Based on quotes from Boone last year, he seemed to already have an A-list collection of performers at the ready, but so far no official casting announcements have been made. In fact, the only name who has been associated with The Stand in recent months is Matthew McConaughey, endlessly rumored to be playing villain Randall Flagg. The Oscar winner would be a strong addition to the adaptation, but there are no guarantees the in-demand star will sign on, especially with Marvel and DC knocking at his door.
Boone has become a hot commodity in the industry lately, recently signing on to write and direct the X-Men spinoff New Mutants for Fox. But even as his dance card becomes a little more full, The Stand remains his top priority. The Wrap indicates that Boone will shoot the miniseries and film before diving into the Marvel sandbox or any of the other projects he has become attached to (The Vampire Lestat). There's no indication when anything from this would be released, but given the scale and scope of the project (8 TV episodes and a full-length movie), it would most likely be sometime in 2017 considering this plan comes through.
Regardless, this news should excite fans who have been yearning for a modern Stand adaptation for a while. This nut has been a tricky one to crack, as even Ben Affleck couldn't find the proper way to do it. This route may be a little riskier than doing a straightforward film franchise, but the potential reward is well worth it and could do the compelling story justice.
We'll keep you updated on The Stand as more information becomes available.
Source: The Wrap