Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ spread across Four Films

If you were a fan of the novel and 1994 television series of Stephen King’s truly epic post-apocalyptic story, The Stand, then you’re in for a real surprise – not that the long-awaited film adaption is finally getting up and running, but that the film’s director stated last week that it will take four films to tell this gigantic tale.

Josh Boone, the Fault in our Stars’ director, is going to helm all four films, which he explained (in an interview with Kevin Smith’s Hollywood Babble-On podcast on Friday, November 21st) how Warner Bros. offered him a bit of a surprise deal after he showed them his first draft of the script.

“I sold them on a single, three hour movie. I went and got (Stephen) King sold on it, everybody’s really excited … I told the story non-linear and that was the way I was able to compress that book and get everything into that script.

So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months, everybody loves it, King loves it, $87 million is what it was budgeted at, really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces …”

“They came back and said ‘would you do it as multiple films?’ and I said, ‘F*ck, yes’ I loved my script, and I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version that way. So I think we are going to do like four movies.”

“I can’t tell you anything about how we’re going to do them, or what’s going to be in which movie. I’ll just say we are going to do four movies, and we’re going to do The Stand at the highest level you can do it at, with a cast that’s going to blow people’s minds.”

Josh Boone reckons that many actors are in the final stages of negotiations to star in The Stand.

A story like The Stand certainly does need four movies, when you consider the fact that the novel is 1344 pages long, and puts readers in a world where a deadly virus called “Captain Trips” has been engineered as an advanced biological weapon by the government, and is accidentally spread across America, causing 99.4% of the entire world’s population to die. The 0.6% who survive struggle to find their bearings in the aftermath of the plague. They all dream about two opposing figures: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man, and Mother Abagail, who is receiving visions from God. The survivors split into two factions, one led by Flagg, and one led by Mother Abigail, and prepare for the final stand between good and evil.

There are a lot of plotline and characters to get through in this harsh and plagued world. So, that means Boone better has had to start discussions over potential actors already.

“We’ve already been talking to lots of people,” says Boone “and have people on board in certain roles that people don’t know about. We’re looking to go into production next year, maybe in the spring.”

It looks like Boone is putting his money where his mouth is, because there are rumours already that last year’s Oscar winner, Matthew McConaughey, is going to be playing the main villain, Randall Flagg.

So, if Boone can keep coming up with A-listers like McConaughey, then Boone’s statement in the same interview where he said The Stand would be “The Godfather of apocalyptic thrillers” may actually come true for all those hardened fans of King’s novel.

Let hope the rest of production can go smoothly as this film adaption has had plenty of trouble in this stage of proceedings before, because even Ben Affleck, whose directing has come into its own in recent years, struggled to get The Stand up and running.

Josh Boone though, does seem like he has his head in the right place to tackle a big project like this. So get ready King fans, The Stand could be one hell of a quartet.

Let me know below whether you think Josh Boone can make The Stand a godfather-like film quartet.