Back in January, CBS All Access announced it would be moving forward with a 10-episode limited series based on Stephen King‘s magnum opus The Stand, which hails from writers Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) and Ben Cavell (SEAL Team), as well as CBS Television Studios. Boone is directing the series, which is gearing up to start pre-production, and that means casting is underway. CBS All Access could not confirm any casting at this time, but here’s what we’ve heard about the ensemble so far from multiple agency sources.
James Marsden (Westworld) is in advanced negotiations to play Stu Redman, a Texan who is the first man discovered to be immune to the Captain Trips virus that has ravaged the planet. He eventually becomes a leader in a community known as the Free Zone, and is tasked with confronting the evil Randall Flagg. Gary Sinise played Stu in the 1994 ABC miniseries.
Amber Heard (Aquaman) is in negotiations to play Nadine Cross, a private school teacher and virgin who believes she has a unique destiny to be by Flagg’s side. Laura San Giacomo played Nadine in the original miniseries.
Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg is in negotiations to play Mother Abagail, who is immune to the superflu and leads the ‘good’ survivors of the plague toward Boulder, Colorado. She also claims to be a prophet of God. Ruby Dee originated the character in the miniseries.
Oscar winner Greg Kinnear is in negotiations to play Glen Bateman, an arthritis-afflicted professor who joins Stu on his journey to meet Mother Abagail. Glen was played by Ray Walston in the original ABC miniseries.
Rising star Odessa Young (Assassination Nation) is in advanced negotiations to play Frannie Goldsmith, a pregnant woman who leaves her devastated community with a man named Harold Lauder, but ends up falling in love with Stu, much to Harold’s chagrin. The character was first played by Molly Ringwald in the 1994 miniseries.
Up-and-coming actor Henry Zaga (The New Mutants) is all but set to play Nick Andros, a young, deaf-mute grifter who wears an eye patch for most of King’s book. Rob Lowe played the character in the miniseries.
Boone will direct and executive produce the limited series along with Roy Lee, Jimmy Miller, Richard P. Rubinstein and Cavell. Will Weiske and Miri Yoon will serve as co-executive producers, and Owen King will produce.
The Stand has, of course, been in development at CBS All Access for a while now, and it’s an ambitious project for the streaming service, which recently introduced Jordan Peele‘s reboot of The Twilight Zone to audiences. The Stand is another genre project with a massive fanbase, as it explores the eternal struggle between good and evil.
“I’m excited and so very pleased that The Stand is going to have a new life on this exciting new platform,” King said earlier this year. “The people involved are men and women who know exactly what they’re doing; the scripts are dynamite. The result bids to be something memorable and thrilling. I believe it will take viewers away to a world they hope will never happen.”
Boone has been developing The Stand for years, having fallen in love with King’s book upon reading it under his bed when he was just 12 years old. His Baptist parents found the book and promptly burned it in the family fireplace, though it only prompted the young Boone to reach out to King by mail. Several weeks later, King sent the boy a box of books, each inscribed with a note. King encouraged Boone’s writing, and because the author was so nice, Boone’s parents allowed him to read the bestselling books. As we now know, Boone grew up to be a filmmaker and convinced King to cameo in his first film, Stuck in Love, which was originally titled Writers. He went on to direct the blockbuster YA drama The Fault in Our Stars and the X-Men movie The New Mutants, which is slated to finally hit theaters next April after being caught up in the Fox-Disney merger.
A representative for CBS All Access had no comment regarding any potential casting for The Stand.