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It’s already been an epic, television miniseries but now The Stand is headed to the big screen. Warner Bros. and CBS Films are teaming up to turn Stephen King’s iconic post-apocalyptic novel into a movie. The project’s still in early stages, so we don’t know much about it other than that its being jointly developed by the two companies, but here’s hoping someone has the sense to turn it into more than one movie. That question is apparently one of the biggest currently being considered, according to THR.
There’s a reason it was turned into a multi-episode miniseries when it was adapted for television, the first time around, back in 1994. Though The Stand comprises a single novel, part of its strength is the slow and deliberate way in which it unfolds. And yet, even the miniseries seemed rushed and simply wasn’t able to fit in all of the carefully constructed dissolution of society that makes the book so great in the first place.
If you haven’t read The Stand here’s the short version of what happens: Nearly the entire population of planet Earth is wiped out within a few weeks by a super flu. A small, small percentage of the population is immune and with everyone around them dead the survivors start experiencing visions. Those visions eventually lead them to congregate in two distinct camps, one not so friendly bunch in Vegas and a much more well-intentioned group in Colorado. It mixes religion and spirituality and hardcore survivalism and questions of faith all into one, supremely character driven story. Think Lost but on a much bigger, more desperate scale.
The well regarded 1994 miniseries adaptation of King’s post-apocalyptic masterwork starred a huge cast of top notch Hollywood actors. Gary Sinese, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, Ray Walston, Shawnee Smith, Bill Fagerbake (M O O N spells Tom Cullen), and the woefully underrated Matt Frewer led the ensemble. It’d be great if, Sinese at least, could find some smaller part in the new version.
With Ron Howard already hard at work on adapting Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (which incidentally crosses over into the world of The Stand at one point... they even share the same villain... sort of), Hollywood seems to have fallen in back love with modern literature’s pre-eminent horror master. Dark Tower and The Stand are almost without question King’s biggest remaining un-adapted works. It’s about time Hollywood got back on this band wagon.