David Yates left his stamp on Warner Bros.’ lucrative adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter literary series, helming four of the eight films in the franchise including the critically praised (and sure to be profitable) final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. One might assume, after back-to-back adaptations, that Yates was finished with multi-part, massive-budget, page-to-screen endeavors, though if Warner has its way, he’s just getting warmed up.
The studio reportedly wants Yates to turn Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic horror tome The Stand into a three-film franchise, Vulture reports. And Yates appears keen to tackle the story, reportedly flying out to meet with Warner executives and streaming through a copy of King’s story about survivors of a planet-cleansing virus who unite in a fight against the ultimate evil. No word on whether Warner wants Yates to map out King’s original 1978 novel or if they’d update his Complete and Uncut Edition that was released in 1990, though either sets the stage for a multi-character, high-production-value shoot that could be extremely profitable or could get stuck in production hell like Universal’s planned Dark Tower adaptation.
There’s no question Yates has the discipline and creative drive to handle a project the size and scope of King’s Stand. But would he want to cover ground that’s already been picked over by a novel, a television mini-series, and a Marvel Comics graphic novel? If the director wanted to try something completely different, Vulture says he could shift to two other projects. The first would be Cicero, an Al Capone story that once was planned for a TV pilot in the 1970s but now is a feature film idea with Tom Hardy attached. Talk on that project also adds that Hardy, who is locked into Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, could shoot Cicero with Yates before diving into the Mad Max prequel Fury Road.
The second potential project is either Fables, an adaptation of a Vertigo Comics graphic novel that involves classic fairy tale characters in a murder mystery, or an adaptation of This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. Neither sounds nearly as exciting as a Stand series or a Capone thriller with Hardy in the lead, but Yates has as much power as he’s bound to have at any given point, so the choice will be all his.
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