Fans of Stephen King’s massive novel, ‘The Stand‘, have been crying for a big screen adaptation ever since the 1994 miniseries adaptation aired on television. The miniseries was able to capture the spirit of the book but the four-part, eight hour attempt was still only able to encompass a portion of the story, leaving plenty of material on the cutting room floor. A couple of years back, fans were elated to hear that an R-rated film adaptation was finally heading to theaters, likely being directed by Ben Affleck, and many assumed that the film would serve as a launching point for a trilogy of films, at the very least. Those fans waited patiently for more news and were finally rewarded with a huge blow to their vision of the adaptation – instead of trying to break the book up into several movies, Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars), who was officially hired to helm and write the script, whittled the 1000+ page story into a three hour movie. Well, it looks like fans may have a reason to be excited again as King himself has hinted at a much bigger project than previously reported.
Constant Readers everywhere know that The Stand is one of those properties that has to be taken very seriously and whoever is working on the project, from screenwriter to director to actors and everyone in between, has to have a passion for the story in order to bring it to life. By trimming down so much, fans began losing hope in Boone’s choices and the project in general. After all, while the miniseries sated the thirst for a live action adaptation briefly, the thirst for a movie that was even truer to the story is overwhelming and the general line of thought is that if Boone can’t get it right, he should walk (run) far away from the project. MTV caught up with Stephen King while he was on the rounds to promote his most recently adapted work, A Good Marriage, and asked him about his feelings on The Stand. More to the point, he was asked how he felt about Boone’s intentions.
“I think that his take is terrific. And don’t count on it being one film. Because there’s talk about doing it in an entirely different and innovative way. And I don’t want to go into it because it’s Josh’s baby.”
Now, that is a loaded statement if ever there was one. First, King has famously sold his work and approved screen adaptations that are less than wonderful. Most recently, he couldn’t stop talking up the television series, ‘Under the Dome’, which is based on his novel of the same name. Unfortunately, that series turned out to be pretty terrible for anyone who is a fan of the source material, or, really, those who are fans of good writing and/or acting in television. As a matter of fact, if you were to make a list of King adaptations that he wholly supported and compared it to a list of King adaptations that audiences were satisfied with, you would quickly see that his promise of greatness doesn’t quite live up to the reality of the work. So, forgive me if I take his excitement for The Stand with a grain of salt.
The other take-away from his response is that King seems to believe that there is some sort of innovative way that the story may be told. If you are a fan of King’s and have followed the progress of getting his magnum opus, ‘The Dark Tower’, to the screen, you are well aware that Ron Howard has been trying to convince various studios to take a risk on an experiment. Howard’s vision for The Dark Tower is to film three movies, while also airing a television series that fills in the holes left by the movies. The big difference here is that Dark Tower spans across eight novels while The Stand is a single book. Does that mean that the same plan that Howard has in place for DT wouldn’t work for The Stand? Not at all. As a matter of fact, if this is the way that the studio is leaning, it is the best possible news for King fans.
If Boone was able to introduce the story and the characters within a miniseries, or even a full scale television series, that would leave less to tell on the big screen. A weekly series could completely live up to the story if it was done right, leaving much of the big budget action to take place in theaters across the globe. Hell, if the studio is feeling super ambitious, they could even spin the Stand television series into the Dark Tower television series, leading to what studios are considering gold at this point: a shared universe.
King fans understand that ‘The Dark Tower’ is part of almost every King story and the villain at the center of ‘The Stand’ plays a huge role in ‘The Dark Tower’. It wouldn’t be a stretch to test the DT waters by introducing a Stand television series. Pardon me while I geek out on the possibilities for a moment…Okay, I’m back. Seriously, though, the possibilities are endless.
At this point, there is no release date set for The Stand and all of this may turn out to be a pipe dream but if Boone can somehow give us The Stand in a way that we can get behind, there is no doubt that it could be King’s most successful adaptation to date. If you want to hear the words straight from the writer’s mouth, you can check out the video below.
Are you excited for The Stand? What do you think would be the best way to tell the story?