This past July it looked like director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves, the team responsible for several films in the Harry Potter franchise, would be adapting Stephen King’s novel The Stand into at least two films for Warner Bros. But then things got quiet, and Ben Affleck’s name came up as a replacement. Now Yates is explaining what happened.
In a chat with Collider Yates had the following to say:
“I was offered The Stand. I love The Stand, I read it when I was a kid, it was one of my favorite books when I was growing up, I love Stephen King, I think he’s a remarkable writer. And coming out of Potter, you wanna work with an author who has the same reach as a Jo Rowling, and frankly Stephen King does. My issues though were about the adaptation. I wanted to work with Steve Kloves, Steve Kloves wanted to work with me, we were both committed to doing it, but in that time it took to let go of Potter and to think about how we would tackle the adaptation, we both decided that it wasn’t for us, so we left it. We sort of withdrew basically.”
He continues with an explanation that the scope of the film(s) doesn’t quite lend itself to making the type of “tentpole event” Warner Bros. wanted:
“What I love about King’s work and what I love about The Stand is the fact that Stephen King really puts you into these people’s lives, and you see the world from a very intimate human level, which normally is something I love. But we felt this pressure to make these super tentpole movies with this material, and the things that you get in Potter — which are these extraordinary episodes of action — they didn’t exist in the material, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to deliver the kind of movie that ultimately the studio was hoping to get from this material. I could see making a miniseries from it, a really interesting, intricate, layered, enjoyable long-burn of a miniseries, I could see that, but what was missing for me were the big movie moments in the material, the big set pieces.”
He concludes with some nice words for Affleck, whom Yates calls a “smashing director”, and believes he will do a “fantastic job.”
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