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Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ Film Adaption News
For the last year rumors have been circulating that Stephen King’s 1978 post apocalyptic novel, The Stand, was getting the Hollywood blockbuster treatment. We heard plenty about what Stephen King thought of the decision to make a film version at the time, and also many rumors as to who might direct the movie. However, now concrete news of a director and big name stars are slowly creeping through: that they have agreed a deal to tackle this sprawling adaptation which, thankfully, might get the ball finally rolling on the project after some time in the wilderness.
The rumors for some time were that Ben Affleck (Argo, The Town) was set to direct the project as Warner Bros. thought he was perfect for the role, but after some difficulties with the screenplay, he dropped out – he chose to direct another much shorter novel called Live by Night, which meant another director had to fill Affleck’s space. Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) was up next, but he quickly fell due to “creative differences” which didn’t sound too promising to future directors wanting to stamp their own vision on the project. It led a lot of fans to giving up on the adaption ever being made, and realise that only a TV series could make this novel work, but even that has been done in the form of 1994’s ABC mini – series of the same name.
So what were Warner Bros. going to do?
Well, they’ve just gone and hired another director: this one is looking to stay. The Fault in our Stars and Stuck in Love helm, Josh Boone, is confirmed to be taking on the adaptation, and he’s commented recently on what he thought of getting the chance to front the project:
“It’s gonna be awesome. I’m really excited. It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever got to do in my entire life. If 12-year-old me had ever known that one day I’d be doing this, to even just go back and look at that kid, I’d be like, Keep doing what you’re doing! It’s just crazy. I’ve met so many actors over the years, and like, when I met Stephen King, I hugged him with tears in my eyes. He meant that much to me when I was young. I still say everything I learned about writing I learned from Stephen King. I don’t read screenplays. I don’t read screenplay how-to books. It’s always just, establish the character. Establish the character.”
Boone also went on to say that he is tackling the screenplay problem Affleck had, and is going to make the film a 3 hour epic that will be R – rated and will contain “an amazing A-list cast across the board. Every single one of those characters will be somebody you recognize and somebody you relate to.”
So, who will these “A – list” actors be?
There aren’t many confirmed names as yet, but Fault in our Stars’ Natt Wolff is said to be reteaming with Boone on the film, who might be one of the heroines of the story, but that is mere speculation – he could play a villain but that seems to be someone else’s seat.
More news broke last week that the actual villain of the piece will be played by none other than Matthew McConaughey. Deadline says that he might play Randall Flagg, a demon-like figure who causes mayhem after a plague kills most the population on Earth.
McConaughey is a perfect fit for the role, as his performance in HBO’s True Detective as sociopath detective Rust Cohle will no doubt help him play another sociopath like Flagg. If this McConaughey news means anything, it means that The Stand probably won’t start shooting for quite a few months unfortunately, as McConaughey has still got to finish films like Sea of Trees, Magic Mike XXL, and The Company Man first.
That’s it from the casting front, so now it’s time to fill you in on the plot of the novel, so you know what to expect when the film releases.
After an error on a computer in a Defense Department laboratory, and a million casual contacts form a letter of death, these products all contribute to our planet’s downfall. It is a bleak new world of the day after. A world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people, and a world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides – or are chosen. Good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail, and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.
Post apocalyptic worlds always seem to be popular, be it in film, TV, or book form. So why not choose to make this one a film as well, that is arguably one of the best examples of fiction of a world torn to shreds by a plague? The author Stephen King has a few words to say on why he disagrees with this adaptation idea.
“I didn’t know anything about the remake until I read about it on the Internet. You absolutely can’t make it as a two-hour movie. If it was a trilogy of films… maybe. People who’ve seen Kubrick’s The Shining dislike the miniseries I wrote (and my amigo Mick Garris directed) even if they haven’t seen it. That’s always annoyed me. But the wheel of karma turns! This time people will probably say, ‘The miniseries was lots better.’
Stephen King has been known in the past to criticize other film adaptions, especially 1980’s The Shining which he felt boosted too much of a cold tone that his novels never have. He wanted to feel more warmth towards the characters that wasn’t portrayed in the film remake. Therefore, if The Stand will please the public, it may not please King, so don’t always take his word that it might not work.
We will be sure to let you know of any more announcements on this project in the future, so tell me below in the comments section what you make of the casting news and King’s comments.