While we’re still making paper boats out of book pages in sadness over Stephen King’s IT losing its director, it looks like one of the horror icon’s other magnum opuses is moving forward in a brand new way. In addition to the big screen version of The Stand that’s currently in development, director Josh Boone is apparently going to first bring part of The Stand’s epic apocalypse to TV with a miniseries that’s already got a cable network home in its sights.
Warner Bros. and CBS Films are currently in talks with Showtime to initially bring The Stand to audiences through an eight-part miniseries, according to TheWrap. Boone, who is already writing and directing the presumably hours-long feature film (or films, depending on how it goes), will also handle the scripting and helming duties for the small screen take on the massive novel. And rather than head up one before the other, Boone is putting both projects together in the same production schedule. Color me extremely interested but not jealous of the monumental task.
At this point, a lot of the details are still up in the air. It’s not clear exactly what part of the story the miniseries will be tackling, although one can assume it will focus on the first chunk of the novel, called “Captain Trips,” in which the weaponized pandemic first starts to take over the population. It could easily lay the groundwork for the Good vs. Evil showdown that the film will want to pack in as much as possible. The potential of having the legendary villain Randall Flagg on both TV and a movie is almost too much to consider, especially if they end up roping Matthew McConaughey in for the role.
Speaking of the cast – which will presumably be gigantic, given the amount of characters the book puts together – it sounds like elite Hollywood agencies are on the hunt for top-tier actors to fill this project, as Boone reportedly wants some major stars heading it. Limited TV series have been giving us better-than-normal actors who don’t always want to devote huge chunks of time to multi-season shows, and the prospect of having a movie also attached to the series should make it sound even better to prospective cast members. Let’s just pencil in Cate Blanchett for Mother Abagail, shall we?
Fans of The Stand will probably remember the previous miniseries version that ABC put together in 1994, with Gary Sinese and Rob Lowe (among dozens of others). It was a pretty good version of the material, though it never quite stood up to expectations. Here’s hoping this new miniseries will top it in every way, and if it happens to get Hollywood interested in going the same TV-and-movie collaboration that was originally conceived for The Dark Tower series, we’re all in on that, too.
Showtime is really reaching out to horror and thriller fans, with Penny Dreadful currently wowing audiences and a new season of Twin Peaks coming next year. As well, Stephen King adaptations are as popular as ever, with Mr. Mercedes and 11/22/63 coming to the small screen in the future. We can’t wait to see how The Stand stacks up.