7 Key Things The Stand Reveals In Its First Trailer

Alexander Skarsgard as Randall Flagg in The Stand

A little over two months. That’s how much time now separates us from the small screen event that is the launch of The Stand – the new miniseries based on the beloved Stephen King novel that is debuting on CBS All Access. Excitement is already through the roof for the show thanks to both the popularity of the book and its extreme relevance in our current world, and only further stoking that anticipating is the show’s first full trailer.

Being the first extended look at The Stand, there is a lot to take in from the footage, so we thought we might help you process all of the information with this handy feature. Watching the footage and reflecting on the source material, here are seven key things that the CBS All Access miniseries reveals in its first trailer!

Larry Underwood (Jovan Adepo) and Rita Blakemoor (Heather Graham) in The Stand

Larry And Rita Will Get Romantic

Larry Underwood’s arc in Stephen King’s The Stand is one of the strongest and most important, and absolutely vital to his transformation is his relationship with Rita Blakemoor. He has a history of being one who uses people until he doesn’t need them anymore, and in post-Captain Trips Manhattan Rita ostensibly becomes dependent on him. Previous stills from the upcoming miniseries have shown the two characters (played by Jovan Adepo and Heather Graham) together before, but the trailer shows them in a much more intimate moment half-clothed and looking out over New York City.

Mother Abigail (Whoopi Goldberg) and wolf in The Stand

Sounds Like Randall Will Be Spending A Fair Amount Of Time In Wolf Mode

Randall Flagg, who is played by Alexander Skarsgard in the new adaptation, has more than a few tricks up his sleeve, and we get to see a good number of them in the new trailer – including levitation and dream invasion. One thing also highlighted by the footage, however, seems to be that Randall is going to be spending a good amount of time taking the shape of animals. In the 1994 miniseries, the villain was most often represented as a raven, but it would appear that this time around he is going to be appearing in wolf form a lot.

In conversation with Whoopi Goldberg’s Mother Abigail, James Marsden’s Stu Redman reveals that most of his encounters with The Dark Man have been with him in lupine mode, and the trailer even features a moment with him changing. Speaking of which…

Harold Lauder (Owen Teague) in The Stand

Harold Lauder Meets Randall Flagg

Harold Lauder is arguably the most tragic character in The Stand, as over the course of the story unrequited love transforms into a poison in his veins, and the resulting weakness makes him an easy target for manipulation by Randall Flagg. This evolution unfolds slowly over the course of the book, but this first main trailer for the CBS All-Access adaptation highlights a key moment in his arc: meeting face-to-face with The Dark Man. As alluded to, we see Flagg go from wolf to “human” mode in a desert get-together with Harold, and based on the reaction spread across Owen Teague’s face, it definitely looks like a novel experience for him.

Lloyd Henreid (Nat Wolff) in The Stand

Lloyd Henreid Gets Rescued

In The Stand, Randall Flagg winds up using Harold Lauder as a proxy to commit horrible acts, but the young man from Maine is hardly the only tool in the villain’s toolshed. He also has the loyalty of Lloyd Henreid, who becomes his second in command and is played by Nat Wolff in the adaptation, and in the debut trailer we get a glimpse of how it is that Flagg earns Lauder’s fealty. Following the deadly outbreak of Captain Trips, Lloyd is left trapped in a prison cell starving to death, and it’s only because of the great antagonist’s intervention that he manages to survive.

Shining Carpet in The Stand

Prepare For References To Other Stephen King Stories

The Stand co-creator Josh Boone has not been shy about either his specific love for the pandemic-centric horror novel or his love of Stephen King in general – and that’s very clearly expressed in the miniseries’ first full trailer. As recognized throughout this feature, it would appear that the adaptation isn’t taking a ton of liberties with the source material, but there is also a little Easter egg included for those paying attention. If you pause at the 1:27 mark in the reel, you’ll probably recognize that the carpet the character is kneeling on has the iconic design from the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining/Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep. If that kind of thing is spilling into the marketing materials, one can expect that it is one of many references to be found in the full show.

Tom Cullen (Brad William Henke) in The Stand

First Look At Tom Cullen

We’ve seen a very slow rollout of marketing materials from The Stand released since the show wrapped up production back in March, with the primary focus being first looks at key members of the cast. That resulted in us getting early looks at Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abigail, Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, and Henry Zaga as Nick Andros, but for whatever reason the primary protagonist who was not provided any of the spotlight was fan favorite Tom Cullen. Fortunately, The Stand’s first main trailer has ended that dumb streak with our first look at Brad William Henke in the role. M-O-O-N – that spells “we’re highly anticipating his performance on the show.”

Trashcan Man in The Stand

Trashcan Man Lifts A Warhead

Oh, Trashcan Man. We’ve been writing for months about the secrecy surrounding one of the most important characters in The Stand, and we still don’t actually know who is playing the part – but at the very least the full trailer has confirmed that he will definitely be on the show. Digging into the precise details of what he’s doing in the brief glimpse captured above is probably too spoiler-y to get into now for those who haven’t read the book, but it hints at explosive, great things for the adaptation.

Is there anything in The Stand trailer that particularly caught your eye but that we didn’t highlight here? Hit the comments section with all of your observations, and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend as we continue counting down the days until December 17 – the day the Stephen King adaptation launches on CBS All-Access.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.