Scott Cooper will be replacing Ben Affleck to direct Warner Bros.’ upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, presumably because Affleck will be a bit too busy playing Batman in the sequel to Man of Steel. The novel, which was made into an Emmy-award-winning mini-series in 1994, depicts a future where a virus has nearly wiped out all of mankind, leaving the survivors divided into groups of good and evil.
Cooper is most known for directing 2009’s Crazy Heart, which won two Oscars and was nominated for a third. The only other directing project Cooper officially has to his name is Out of the Furnace, which will be released in theaters this December, starring the likes of Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, and Casey Affleck.
While Crazy Heart certainly supports Cooper’s ability to direct effectively, it’s difficult to imagine a Cooper-directed post-apocalyptic thriller. Out of the Furnace, while marketed as a thriller, also doesn’t seem like it will indicate much about Cooper’s take on The Stand. The film tells the stories of two brothers from a mill town who become wrapped up in crime.
This recent change from Affleck to Cooper means we are unlikely to learn much news about the casting decisions, or any decisions for that matter, regarding The Stand for quite sometime. Cooper will be writing his own adaptation of the book, meaning whatever progress has thus far occurred is pretty much being erased. While it’s tough to speculate the potential cast of The Stand, Cooper does have an excellent track record with A-list talent.
Since the story of The Stand hasn’t been told since 1994, I’m more than happy with a modern remake. While I would’ve loved to see Affleck’s take on the Stephen King classic given his success with films like Gone Baby Gone and The Town, I’m sure that Cooper’s spin on The Stand will be just as thought-provoking and thorough.