When CBS All Access announced that they were producing a fresh adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand for 2020, it didn’t raise too many eyebrows. A big-budget TV miniseries based on a classic King story makes perfect sense after the wild successes of the IT movies and other recent adaptations. But now, in the wake of everything that’s happened so far this year, a story about a killer flu ravaging the world and changing society beyond recognition is suddenly disturbingly relevant.
So relevant that you have to imagine that CBS is worried that viewers may be a bit tired of hearing about ‘killer viruses’ and watching civilization fall apart by now. Whatever the case, The Stand is certain to be the show everyone is talking about later this year and now, courtesy of Vanity Fair, we have our first look at it.
The stills show us Owen Teague as Harold Lauder, Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, Nat Wolff as Lloyd Henreid, Jawan Adepa as Larry Underwood and Heather Graham as Rita Blakemoor. We also see perhaps the two most important characters in the book, Whoopi Goldberg’s Mother Abigail and Alexander Skarsgård’s Randall Flagg, who’ll be battling for the soul of humanity.
Missing from the gallery are leads James Marsden and Amber Heard, who’ll be playing Stu Redman and Nadine Cross, but given that we view much of the story from their perspective, I’m betting we’ll see them soon enough.
The series can also boast a new ending to the tale, with the final episode being written by King himself. He recently commented on the similarities between The Stand and the COVID-19 pandemic as well, saying:
“When you hear reports that 100,000 or 240,000 people are going to die, you’ve got to take notice, and it is going to be bad. It’s bad right now. It’s brought the economy to a complete stop. In a lot of ways, I mean, you see the pictures of Times Square or London, and you say, ‘It really is like The Stand.’”
So c’mon Steve, why not write us in a new happy ending to the story for this miniseries? We all need one right now!