In the wake of Cary Fukunaga’s saddening IT exit (over squabbles between the director and New Line about the two-part adaptation), all eyes have naturally turned to Josh Boone’s epic take on The Stand for Warner Bros. An even more ambitious Stephen King adaptation than Fukunaga’s IT, The Stand was previously announced by Boone as a four-film blockbuster event, featuring an A-list cast and considerable budget. Unfortunately, a new report from TheWrap states that a tetralogy is no longer the plan – though WB is still standing by Boone and giving him the massive scale such a property demands.
In addition to a single R-rated movie (still a blockbuster), Boone will be piloting an eight-part miniseries for Showtime, designed so that he can take his time in sketching the early days of the viral apocalypse that devastates America, and the journeys of a few human survivors as they’re drawn together in a stand against evil. The miniseries will apparently come first, featuring the same cast that will topline the film. In the wake of True Detective, many A-listers are interested in doing limited television, so Boone could very easily still assemble a top-tier cast.
The Stand is a project that has been near and dear to Boone’s heart for years – the Fault in Our Stars helmer is a longtime King fan, and he personally reached out to the author to form a friendship, which would later lead the Maine author to sign off on Boone adapting many of his books. He said last fall, back when the plan was to do four films, that:
“I think we are going to do like four movies. I can’t tell you anything about how we’re going to do them, or what’s going to be in which movie. I’ll just say we are going to do four movies, and we’re going to do ‘The Stand’ at the highest level you can do it at, with a cast that’s going to blow people’s minds… I sold them on a single, three hour movie. I went and got [Stephen] King sold on it, everybody’s really excited… So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months, everybody loves it, King loves it, $87 million is what it was budgeted at, really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces. They came back and said, ‘would you do it as multiple films?’ and I said, ‘Fuck yes!’ I loved my script, and I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version that way.”
Boone has got to be thrilled now that he has probably between 10 and 11 hours of screen time to properly tell the epic, sprawling story of The Stand. Hopefully, now that this approach has been set by the studio, which is reportedly still gung-ho about the project, Boone can begin casting in earnest.
Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey has already been rumored for the villainous role of Randall Flagg (basically the ultimate incarnation of evil), and frequent Boone collaborator Nat Wolff has reportedly secured an unspecified part, but more A-listers are expected to circle The Stand shortly.