Scott Cooper Steps In For Ben Affleck On The Stand

By Kristy Puchko 2013-08-23 14:16:06discussion comments
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Weíre all still feeling shockwaves on the news that Ben Affleck will play Batman in the Man of Steel follow-up Batman Vs. Superman. But still itís business as usual in Hollywood, and as Affleckís committed to one film, another is falling to the wayside. Deadline reports the newly minted Dark Knight is dropping out of adapting Stephen Kingís The Stand, and Crazy Heart helmer Scott Cooper is stepping in to take his place. This could prove a career-defining moment for the emerging director, as Warner Bros and CBS Films are grooming the pic to be a tent pole release that could be the start of a trilogy franchise. This plan makes considerable sense since the last adaptation of The Stand was a 1994 mini-series that clocked in at 366 minutes.

The 1978 novel is set in a world that has been ravaged by a virus that killed most of the population of the planet. Those that survive this apocalyptic plague begin having visions that drive them to communities established in Nevada and Colorado. But as these groups attempt to rebuild a functioning society, a battle of good versus evil builds.

Warner Bros and CBS Films first announced plans to adapt the lengthy novel into a film back in early 2011. By the following summer, the studios were searching for the right helmer for this property, and initially eyed Harry Potterís David Yates, who seemed an especially inspired pick as heís shown a definite skill with building arcs over multiple pictures. Shortly thereafter, Harry Potter scribe Steve Kloves was in talks to draft the screenplay. But by the fall both Yates and Kloves were out of the picture, and Affleck was being handed the gigs of both writer and director. (Yates later said he left the project because he felt the source material lacked the level of spectacle needed to make a successful blockbuster.)

For his part, Affleck seemed a solid choice for The Standís writer-director, having previously adapted two crime novels, Dennis Lehaneís Gone Baby Gone and Chuck Hoganís Prince of Thieves, into two heralded dramas, Gone Baby Gone, and The Town. But it soon appeared Affleck was encountering obstacles in the screenwriting process, as Warner Brothers hired David Kajganich (Blood Creek, The Invasion) to come on board as a writer. Just last fall, Affleck confirmed heíd hit a wall on the projectís development, then no updates followed until todayís, where Cooperís involvement was revealed.

Cooper will reportedly be re-writing the script, presumably the one Affleck and Kajganich got going. For now itís unknown when The Stand might roll into production, but in the meantime, you can look out for Cooperís Crazy Heart follow-up Out of The Furnace. The drama, which stars Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana, is set to hit theaters on December 6th.
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