The road to making a movie out of Stephen King’s novel The Stand has been rocky, to say the least. When Warner Bros. first began getting serious about the film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows director David Yates and writer Steve Kloves began developing an adaptation, but quickly bowed out because they couldn’t figure out how to make it work. Ben Affleck then came onboard to write and direct while he was in post-production on Argo, but he too fell off the project, being replaced by Out of the Furnace helmer Scott Cooper in 2013. Cooper completed a script, but Warner Bros. wasn’t crazy about his take, so then he departed the project.
Last February, The Fault in Our Stars helmer Josh Boone came onboard to write and direct, but few were holding their breath considering how no filmmaker seemed to be attached to this project for too long. However, it appears that Warner Bros. and Boone may have finally found a way to get King’s post-apocalyptic story of survivors living in a world ravaged by a plague to the screen: a movie and a miniseries.
Per The Wrap, Warner Bros. and CBS Films are nearing a deal with Showtime to produce an eight-part The Stand miniseries that will conclude with a big-budget feature film. The plan is to shoot this thing as one cohesive production, with an aim to start filming by early next year.
This is certainly an exciting prospect, and one that almost feels necessary to do King’s story justice. The book is an ensemble piece that leads to an epic battle between survivors and an Antichrist-like figure named Randall Flagg, and the miniseries will allow Boone and Co. to lay the character groundwork in miniseries form before the massive feature film finale.
This approach is also being utilized for another Stephen King adaptation, The Dark Tower, which is planned as a trilogy of films and two TV miniseries. That idea took years to get off the ground, but it appears that The Stand is materializing rather quickly.
Boone previously planned on making one R-rated, 3-hour movie version of The Stand, then changed course to four films with an impressive cast. The idea of producing an eight-episode miniseries followed by one movie seems like it’s capturing the best of both worlds, and I’ll be incredibly curious to see this cast come together–Boone and Co. are said to be courting A-list talent, and actors of that caliber are flocking to TV in the wake of True Detective.
While this will certainly be a big step up from Boone’s previous two films, both small-budgeted character-driven dramas, he’s already attached to tackle a couple of other big properties after he completes The Stand: the X-Men spinoff The New Mutants for Fox, and an adaptation of Anne Rice‘s Vampire Chronicles book Prince Lestat for Universal. Given that he plans to shoot The Stand all in one go, though, the shooting schedule could span nearly the entirety of 2016, so those projects will have to wait their turn.
What do you think, folks? Is this the way to go in terms of adapting The Stand? Sound off in the comments below.