Why Filming Stephen King's The Stand Has Been 'Crazy' During Coronavirus Scare

The Stand book design

Stephen King isn't quite as prescient as The Simpsons, but he's written so many stories that it's inevitable real life will start to imitate art. Thankfully, that's not quite the case (yet) with the coronavirus and The Stand, but since The Stand TV series for CBS All Access is coming soon, Stu Redman actor James Marsden acknowledged the comparisons.

There are scenes in the beginning of The Stand where as soon as you see someone who looks normal sneeze or cough into their arm, everyone’s eyes in the room darts towards them. I see that in public now, and everyone kind of takes a few steps away from the person. It’s crazy. We’re in full panic mode right now.

That's what James Marsden told Variety about The Stand series, which started filming back in September 2019 in Vancouver. More recently, the coronavirus has started to spread around the globe. The Stand novel -- published in 1978 and still Stephen King's finest novel to date, in my opinion -- follows a global virus outbreak that kills more than 99% of the population. It's not quite the coronavirus, although a fear of something like the virus in The Stand or Contagion has many people on edge.

James Marsden said he doesn't really focus on it while filming his scenes as Stu Redman:

Obviously, no one would ever want to capitalize on something as horrible as this, but it certainly makes it relevant. I just don’t think about it and just keep chugging away.

One person who does not like to hear comparisons between The Stand and the coronavirus is Stephen King himself:

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Yeah, in Stephen King's book, a weaponized flu strain called Project Blue is accidentally released and it's resistant to vaccines, wiping out almost all of humanity. That's not quite the case here. Far from it.

The Stand was already adapted into a miniseries in 1994, but one thing that's really exciting about CBS All Access' new series is that Stephen King is writing "a new coda that won't be found in the book." Yes, a new ending is coming with an episode that takes viewers beyond the book to find out what happened next to the survivors of The Stand novel.

In addition to James Marsden as Stu Redman, The Stand has a gigantic cast, including Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg, Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abagail, Marilyn Manson as Trashcan Man, Amber Heard as Nadine Cross, Greg Kinnear as Glen Bateman, Heather Graham as Rita Blakemoor, Nat Wolff as Lloyd Henreid, Katherine McNamara as Julie Lawry, Hamish Linklater as Dr. Ellis, Owen Teague as Harold Lauder, and more.

In January 2019, CBS All Access announced The Stand as "a 10-episode event in 2020." In September, it was revealed that the first episode is titled "The End," directed by Josh Boone from a script he co-wrote with Ben Cavell.

When he's not filming or talking about filming The Stand, James Marsden is co-starring in the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie. We're currently on standby for an official premiere date for The Stand, and I hope a trailer for the series is coming soon. Are you excited to see this latest Stephen King adaptation?

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.