New Stephen King’s The Stand Adaptation Headed to Big Screen

Fan’s of Stephen King’s The Stand rejoice! A new theatrical feature film is on the way that will hopefully capture all of the dark and sinister stuff that the TV mini-series didn’t. Hey, a guy can hope, right?

According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog Warner Bros. and CBS Films are teaming to adapt the novel, which in many ways set the bar for a generation of post-apocalyptic stories and influenced works ranging from TV’s Lost to music group Anthrax.

The studios and producers will sit down with writers and directors in the coming weeks in an attempt to find the right take on the material. One thing to be determined is whether to attempt the adaptation in one or multiple movies. King will be involved in some capacity.

The Stand is a story of good vs. evil after a virus wipes out most of the American population. While it features dozens of characters (such as the Trashcan Man and Mother Abigail) and overlapping story lines running over many years, the struggle boils down to a group of survivors fighting the Antichrist-like Randall Flagg.

Look for more soon!

New Stephen King's The Stand Adaptation Headed to Big Screen

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Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

  • DavidFullam

    Wish George Romero had a chance to make his version.

  • NYC-Hearts

    I really hope execs are considering doing The Stand as a standalone film. Genius. I then look foward to IT, the live action short film.

    A multi-film series could work, but I can’t see a studio greenlighting a post-apocalypse trilogy. It just doesnt seem bankable on that scale without significant beefing up of the script to make it an “event” film.

  • Sirand

    Anyone who tries to do this in one film is certifiable.

    • Messiahman

      Rospo Pallenberg, who wrote EXCALIBUR, wrote a single film script draft for it back in 1990 when Romero was going to direct.

      It was 129 pages.

      And it was brilliant, genuinely brilliant.

      Yes, it cut things down considerably, but even still it nailed the story and characters, and it was about ten thousand times better than the lifeless Mick Garris miniseries.

      • Vanvance1

        Cool bit of trivia.

        I wonder when Exaclibur will wind up on blu ray.

        • Messiahman

          A gorgeous restored print of EXCALIBUR will be hitting Blu-Ray on March 8th!

      • Cinemascribe

        I’ll counter your comment Messiahman by stating that I actually hope they do as well as they did with the miniseries. I loved it and still consider it an epic turning point in the history of television horror.

        I’m not denying that a trilogy of R rated theatrical films wouldn’t be a superb, orgasm inducing cinematic event in the correct hands, but the miniseries was well crafted and -at the time- broke new ground in terms of pushing the envelope on what could be depicted on network television. Even by today’s standards, there are some gruesome images in that film. I’ll concede that Flagg’s transformations into the demon were cheesy, but the cast was resolutely terrific, the screenplay was surprisingly faithful to the novel and the tone of the series overall really captured the feel of a Stephen King tale. I still own the two VHS tape set of The Stand and -once a year- I pop it in over a two day stretch and enjoy .

        @NYC-Hearts – It occurs to me that the Mad Max films were an apocalyptic trilogy and those films managed to turn a tidy profit while becoming cult classics.

        By the same token, with The Dark Tower adaptation under way this may turn into a case of overkill, as both tales depict a journey through a world with a decidedly nihilistic atmosphere.
        “I’m saying that I’m an insect who dreamt he was a man…and loved it. But now the dream is over..and the insect is awake.” – Seth Brundle

        • David

          Something I couldn’t get past is that I never pictured Randall Flagg having a mullet…Harold Lauder Can’t Lose was another major misstep. I liked it okay at the time but I really think the mini-series would have been better as a two part show.

          I’m not one of those King fans that feels every long novel needs to be made into an 8 hour long ass numbing event. Cut the fat, make it a two and a half hour movie and keep Stephen King far away from the screen writing process and I’ll be first in line to watch the new The Stand movie.

        • Messiahman

          While some of the casting was inspired, I’ll again counter by saying that Jamey Sheridan was utterly miscast as Randall Flagg. Not only were the demon transformations unbelievably awful, but his delivery was so absurd and off-the-mark that I winced every time he appeared onscreen – not something I should be doing with one of King’s most interesting characters. Sheridan was never once intimidating; he consistently overplayed every scene. A few years later when STORM OF THE CENTURY hit TV, it featured a standout performance by Colm Feore as a similar character – I remember thinking how much better-suited for Flagg Feore was.

          Additionally, although Mick Garris may be the most prolific of King adapters, he’s also one of the worst. Garris is a director who knows no concept of subtlety – all his films come with people, creatures and pop-up effects constantly jumping into the camera like a schlocky carnival haunted house ride, and THE STAND is no exception (the ending in Vegas is abysmally handled). Having King onboard for the script actually didn’t help matters either, due to the fact that he’s consistently proven himself to be way too precious with his own work to realize how turgidly some things can translate from the page to the screen. Much of the dialogue is forced and clunky, and yes, there are plenty of scenes that do nothing to move the story forward. Plenty of things CAN be cut, as the Pallenberg draft I mentioned did so effectively.

          There are certainly some decent actors aboard – Gary Sinise, Bill Faggerbakke (playing yet another of King’s magical mental deficients) and Rob Lowe are fine. But Molly Ringwald, Corin Nemec, Laura San Giacomo and Jamey Sheridan weigh it down with their leaden performances – they’re all awful.

          Thing is, I liked it when it initially aired primarily because I was just happy to finally see it adapted, and that allowed me to overlook its many, many deficiencies. But time hasn’t been kind to it, and I still think it could be done a hell of lot better.

          And I know it won’t happen, but it would be insanely cool if whoever is cast as Flagg this time around is also onboard to play the character with the DARK TOWER adaptations.

          • Morgan Elektra

            I didn’t think Ringwald was awful… she wasn’t great as Franny, but I didn’t hate her. But I totally agree about Sheridan, San Giacomo and Nemec. Terrible, terrible casting for those characters.

            And I definitely agree about Garris’ adaptations of King’s work… though I think The Stand is probably the best done of the lot.

            I do think the story could be better done – in the right hands, of course – but I think I’ll always see Rob Lowe as Nick and Gary Sinise as Stu. There was something perfect in them as those two roles.

            I do think someone really talented could adapt this into one film, but given what too often happens with all the cooks the kitchen in the studio system I don’t have much hope… and it’s too big an undertaking for the indie route. The Garris adaptation is definitely flawed but I kind of wish they’d leave well enough alone.

          • Messiahman

            When I first read the book in the long-ago year of 1985 (trivia: I read it almost exactly on the dates in which it was originally set!) I pictured a young KNIGHTRIDERS-era Ed Harris in the role of Stu, but yeah, I think Sinise did a commendable job. Lowe was a weird bit of casting that completely worked as well.

            I am still, however, waiting for someone to explain what the hell Kareem Abdul Jabaar was doing in there. Possibly the strangest choice ever, and not in a good way.

            As for Garris, I think he probably did his best work with the redux of THE SHINING. It certainly has its share of problems; namely way too many ghostly shots of doors opening and lights turning on, not to mention a saccharine-sweet coda that causes one to wince with its on-the-nose sentimentality. But Garris actually got terrific performances out of his leads. It lacks the simmering menace (and the technical wizardry) of Kubrick’s film, but it’s not bad.

            If they’re really intent on redoing THE STAND, they ought to just go ahead and give it to Danny Boyle and Alex Garland. They’ve already proven with 28 DAYS LATER that they could nail the tone, and Boyle has enough clout to get the film done without too much interference. I’d love to see their take on it. And they could also cast James Franco as Larry Underwood, which would be perfect.

            Also, how about Michael Shannon as Randall Flagg?

          • Morgan Elektra

            The Shining series wasn’t bad either, although for me it was really lacking. The Shining is one of few books that ever actually scared me when I first read it, and Garris’ version had none of that for me. It was too bright… the look, the feel… it was just very plasticy, like the Fisher-Price version of King. And while the leads did a great job, Courtland Mead (I think that’s the actors name, not sure without checking) who played Danny didn’t work for me in that role at all. And yes, the ending was teeth grittingly bad.

            I think Boyle would be great for a Stand redo. Michael Shannon as Flagg I could see too… He can be unassuming and creepy all at once, which would totally work. Franco for Underwood? Not bad. You know who I sort of picture in that role? The actor who played Leslie on Angel – I think he’s on that show with Timothy Hutton now. He has that sort of sexy but something steely underneath that Larry had. Plus, he plays the guitar and sings already. Maybe he’s too old now though. I can’t remember how old Larry was… twenties, I think? So maybe not. But that’s how I always pictured Larry.

        • papatg

          I agree with you completely regarding the mini-series, I actually paid over 25$ from ebay to purchase the standard format movie.

          I am interested to see what a new production could bring however.

        • GJW

          “Epic turning point in the history of television horror”?
          HUH? What?
          In short: The mini-series sucked dirty, hairy balls.

          “I have all the characteristics of a human being.Blood, flesh,skin,hair;but not a single,clear,identifiable emotion,except for greed and disgust.”

        • NYC-Hearts

          @ your comment to mine. I could be wrong, but i don’t think mad max was devised as a trilogy by the studio at the outset. Miller may have had it mind, but was it part of the marketing plan? Here, like a failed proposed trilogy such as the Golden Compass, there would need to be a certain, limited capital layout for the proposed sequels before the intial film is released. I just don’t see The Stand “as is” being sexy enough in novel form to justify that capital allocation by a studio without significant alterations.