This has been a hell of a week when it comes to Stephen King news. First, news of The Dark Tower finally nabbing a director hit, then some new, terrifying concept art showing It’s Pennywise as pitched by Vincenzo Natali hit the interwebs, and now, to cap the week off right, The Wrap is reporting that the execs over at Warner Bros. have finally cracked that post-apocalyptic mother of all nuts, The Stand. According to the report, WB and CBS (the studios behind the big screen adaptation of the massive novel) are in talks with Showtime to bring audiences an eight-part miniseries that will lead into the theatrical release of The Stand. That’s right: Hollywood is finally learning how to get Stephen King movies made right.
The report indicates that Showtime was the fair choice for the small screen project, as WB (who holds a deal with HBO) is already handling the big screen adaptation, so it would be only right to let CBS (who holds a deal with Showtime) share the limelight.
The he’s-so-hot-right-now writer/director Josh Boone (who will soon take on Fox’s The New Mutants and Universal’s Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles) has been attached to the big screen project since February of 2014 but rumors coming from those in the know ever since Boone’s involvement was announced have left fans of the source material a bit worried about what they will get with the final product. The project was first announced as a single movie, then a series of several movies, then two movies, then back to a single movie before the movie house execs finally realized that there is no way to do justice to the story when confining the director to a shoestring budget. If this is truly the route that the adaptation will take, fans can rest assured knowing that The Stand, which is arguably King’s most beloved work, is in safe hands.
The novel, which was originally released back in 1978,takes readers to a world that could easily be right next door to our own; a world that is ravaged by a superflu after a military facility containing the germ is compromised. When the population has been all but destroyed, the survivors begin sharing dreams that eventually lead them to either Nebraska (or, later, Colorado) or Las Vegas, depending on the person. The survivors that would be considered the “good guys” are drawn to Nebraska by an old, spiritual women named Mother Abigail, who seems to have a direct line to God while those that could easily be referred to as “the bad guys” are drawn by a dark figure who calls himself Randall Flagg. Eventually, the tale leads to a showdown between good and evil, light and darkness, and the world hangs in the balance.
The uncut and unabridged version of the book (which clocks in at over 1,100 pages – approximately 300 pages longer than the original) was released back in 1990 and shortly thereafter, in 1994, the novel was adapted into a 4 part miniseries for network television. While the adaptation did tell the story, and almost faithfully, the restraints of network television with respect to time, content, and budget left many of King’s Constant Readers disappointed with the final product. Shifting the focus from telling the whole story on the big screen to breaking it up a bit is a master stroke on WB/CBS’s part and adapting the material for a network like Showtime means that fans of the story will get all of the blood and violence that they were hoping to see in the new iteration.
No stars are attached at this point but Matthew McConaughey has long been rumored to be taking the part of the big baddie of the tale, Randall Flagg, and his recent work on the small screen with True Detective likely has the award winning actor open to doing more television. The interesting thing about Flagg, however, is that he pops up in multiple King stories, most notably in The Dark Tower series, which Sony is bringing to both television and the big screen (see a pattern here?). It will be interesting to see whether the studios will play nice and share a Flagg or if they will go in separate directions. Considering even It plays a part in The Dark Tower series, be it a small one, and the big screen adaptation of It is also rumored to be going back to WB, if Sony and WB/CBS can play nice, fans of King’s works may soon have a shared cinematic universe to play in, just as King set it up in his novels.
Are you excited for the new miniseries? Which project has more potential: The Stand or The Dark Tower?
Source: The Wrap