CBS Films and Warner Brothers have formed a partnership to produce a theater version of Stephen King’s epic story of good versus evil in modern America, The Stand. Now they just have to figure out how, and in what form it will take, to get The Stand to the big screen.
The Stand is almost impossible to easily summarize. At its core, it’s about a plague nicknamed Captain Trips that basically wipes out everyone in the world. The few survivors remaining all share dreams of an evil being and they slowly end up gathering together and forming a community to try and defeat this evil.
Even that took a 6 hour mini-series on television to tell a toned down story starring Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald and Rob Lowe. George Romero of Night of the Living Dead fame was originally attached to direct a theater version of the film years earlier, but things fell apart as they do in Hollywood, mainly because no one could agree on a suitable way to adapt the huge amount of material.
Marvel Comics has been adapting the story successfully since 2008 in comic book form. There are collected graphic novels available that are well worth a look.
While this co-financing and co-producing news is all well and good, The Stand is a 3-hour movie, minimum, and that’s just the core story. If they chose to make it into more than one movie the problem becomes, how do you get people to come back to see such a grim version of the future? Where do you break it up? Will breaking it up change the story impact and story telling style?
Do you even think The Stand is adaptable? Should it be handled in a similar way that Universal is doing with The Dark Tower, combining movie and television?