To balance some of the real-world horrors that have plagued 2020, there are a variety of horror TV shows for audiences to get invested in during the coming months. From HBO's Lovecraft Country to Hulu's Monsterland anthology to Clive Barker's Books of Blood adaptation, things are getting freaky both before, during and after Halloween. But perhaps the most anticipated horror project of all is CBS All Access' take on Stephen King's epic novel The Stand, which should look quite different from the original 1994 miniseries, though it will feature a clever cameo callback.
While fans of The Stand's first TV project would no doubt love to see stars like Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald and/or Rob Lowe making an appearance in the new version, no such announcements have been made just yet. However, viewers can expect to see someone just as vital to the making of the 1994 miniseries: its director Mick Garris. The longtime Stephen King adapter revealed to ComicBook.com that he will indeed be making an appearance in the new show, and that viewers can expect lots of changes from the original live-action project. In Garris' words:
I'm excited about it and I'm tangentially involved, in that I have a non-speaking cameo in it, unless I'm on the virtual editing room floor. But Josh is a great guy. We've known each other for a while. He's very respectful of what we've done, and I'm excited because they're not limiting themselves to the book. They're making a lot of changes. So that could be potential death, or it could be really thrilling to, all these years later, make it something that's compelling and pertinent to a 2020 audience.
Within The Stand, a non-speaking cameo could be anything from a random person riding a bus to one of the many victims of Randall Flagg's deadly crew to [fill in the blank]. Considering The Stand is Stephen King's longest novel, and that Josh Boone and the new series' creative team will be making some adjustments to the material, there are literally too many options to make proper guesswork feasible. But we're hoping all the same that Mick Garris' cameo doesn't get chopped out of the episode when it makes it onto CBS All Access.
Perhaps more interesting overall is Mick Garris' take on how Josh Boone & Co. approached this latest take on The Stand. He obviously knows the source material in a way that few people do, and he's also familiar with the mental and physical process of bringing the plague-driven story of good and evil to life. Granted, it was in a mostly different context for the 1994 miniseries, which was told in four installments from teleplays all written by Stephen King himself.
The updated version of The Stand could last for more than one season, and it's not yet known how many episodes there will be. Stephen King did pen the season finale, which is pretty awesome, and his son Owen – who co-wrote 2017's Sleeping Beauties – was part of The Stand's writers room. In any case, one would still expect a 2020 adaptation to feature some major changes from both a 26-year-old miniseries and a 1978 novel, even if the King of Horror is still involved.
No matter what changes are made, Mick Garris is still going to be excited to check the show out along with the rest of the massive Stephen King fanbase. Here's what else he had to say about The Stand and its streaming home.
I can't wait to see it. I love the idea that it's happening anew and it will be really interesting to see how it is perceived, because it's on CBS All Access, which does not have the most gigantic audience at this point because it's another one of these pay streaming devices. But I'm excited to see what happens.
The Stand currently doesn't have a specific premiere date planned, but we know it's coming to CBS All Access in 2020, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates. In the meantime, head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are confirmed for the near future.