UPDATE: Well, this is extremely odd. Despite Cooper's comments below, The Wrap is now reporting that the Out of The Furnace director will no longer helm the big screen adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand. The site says Cooper and Warner Bros. ran into "creative differences" that couldn't be resolved, and that the studio hasn't yet found a replacement.

The original story follows:

With trailers for the crime thriller Out of the Furnace gearing audiences up to see another side of Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper’s talent, it’s time to start the pre-anticipation festivities for Cooper’s next project, the ever-daunting big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s epic The Stand. While former attached filmmakers David Yates and Ben Affleck both had to pass on the film, Cooper sounds as if he’s in it for the long haul, and wants to tell the story his way, from a down-to-Earth point of view and as much on location as possible. Oh, and he wants to bring Christian Bale onto the project. No big deal, since they’ve become fast friends and all.

Talking with MTV, Cooper talks about the relationship that grew between him and Bale during the filming of Out of the Furnace. "Well, Christian’s a part of everything I’m writing, and I tend to share things with Christian in the infancy stage that I don’t share with other people," he said. "He’s become one of my, not just closest friends, but a great collaborator." He goes on to say he wouldn’t be surprised if the pair worked on many future films.

As evil incarnate Randall Flagg, the biggest King baddie of them all, Bale would be a convincingly menacing force that I could definitely get behind. He’d be fine as any of the other more prevalent characters, but Flagg needs Bale’s gravitas. Just get a director of photography to get in his way.

Cooper accepts the novel’s scope and themes have kept it out of the feature world before (though it was made into a 1994 ABC miniseries), and will adhere to the same grounded aesthetic that he brought to his earlier films. "That can be a very expensive endeavor," he said, "one that maybe doesn’t marry well with how a movie like that should be shot, just because of sheer expense."

Money be damned, however. For the multitude of locations where the novel is set, Cooper would rather film on location, rather than setting it all up on a soundstage. "It imbues the entire production with a sense of place and authenticity that I strive for," he explains. "I’m certain that whether consciously or subconsciously, it affects the actor’s performances, and the crew, quite frankly." I like that kind of dedication, especially for a project of this size. Let’s hope he sticks with it, so that Captain Trips can infect us all in the near future.

Take a listen to the entire interview below.

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