A film adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal fantasy novel The Stand is finally happening, thanks to the diligent efforts of The Fault in Our Stars helmer Josh Boone, who won King’s approval to direct The Stand after meeting the famed author in person and striking up a friendship with him. Warner Bros. eventually handed Boone the gig, and now we’re hearing a little about the director’s ambitious plans for the film.
In an interview with Vulture, Boone talked about what he has planned for The Stand, and it’s pretty amazing.
“We’re gonna do one three-hour, R-rated version with an amazing A-list cast across the board. Every single one of those characters will be somebody you recognize and somebody you relate to. And it’s gonna be awesome. I’m really excited. It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever got to do in my entire life. If 12-year-old me had ever known that one day I’d be doing this, to even just go back and look at that kid, I’d be like, Keep doing what you’re doing! It’s just crazy. I’ve met so many actors over the years, and like, when I met Stephen King, I hugged him with tears in my eyes. He meant that much to me when I was young. I still say everything I learned about writing I learned from Stephen King. I don’t read screenplays. I don’t read screenplay how-to books. It’s always just, establish the character. Establish the character.”
I’m extremely excited to see Boone’s take on The Stand. The sprawling work was once thought to be “unfilmable,” but Boone’s clear passion for the material and determination to see the adaptation through should help him succeed where previous directors like David Yates, Ben Affleck and Scott Cooper failed.
Despite that, it’s interesting that Boone is taking such a potentially risky path with his adaptation, attempting to condense the book into one fluid film and pushing for an R-rating. Warner Bros. is definitely planning The Stand as a tentpole, so the “A-list cast” doesn’t come as much of a surprise (though frequent Boone collaborator Nat Wolff is the only actor currently on board), but an R rating doesn’t really fit with the studio’s recent approach to The Stand as a blockbuster. Luckily, Warner Bros. has done big R-rated films before (see: Best Picture winner Argo), so there shouldn’t be any reason that Boone will be unable to see his vision through.