Just when we were starting to think that things surrounding the adaptation of Stephen King’s epic post-apocalyptic joint The Stand were settling down a bit, this happens. No, the director hasn’t jumped ship again, as has already happened twice, but we might be getting a little more than we initially expected, like four movies worth of The Stand.
After Ben Affleck bailed on the project, The Fault in our Stars director Josh Boone stepped into the role and appears incredibly psyched to be there. The book is a massive, sprawling tome, but the scope was also scaled back some, and the project was envisioned as a single, three-hour, R-rated movie. Back in October, King indicated that might expand again into multiple installments, which makes sense, as The Stand is a huge intersecting network of characters and stories and to try to trim it down is a Herculean task indeed.
Boone recently appeared on Kevin Smith’s Hollywood Babble-On podcast, and talked about this new approach and how they got there. He said:
I really wanted to do an A-list actor, really grounded, credible version of the movie…I sold [Warner Bros.] on a single, three hour movie…I went and got [Stephen] King sold on it, everybody’s really excited…I told the story non-linear and that was the way I was able to compress that book and get everything into that script… So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months. Everybody loves it. [Stephen] King loves it. $87 million is what it was budgeted at. Really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces…
That’s a substantial investment, but considering that movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Interstellar cost double that number, it doesn’t seem so outlandish in the grand scheme of things. Still, you have to give credit to Warner because it sounds like want to do this right, and when they approached Boone about beefing the project up, he jumped. He continued, “They came back and said ‘Would you do it as multiple films?’ and I said ‘F–k yes!’…So I think we are going to do like four movies.”
From the beginning, Boone has always come across as a huge fan of The Stand and been dedicated to making as good and faithful adaptation as he can, and he appears to be rather pleased with this new development. He said:
I loved my script, but I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version this way… 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. We’ve already been talking to lots of people, and have people on board in certain roles that people don’t know about. We’re looking to go into production next year, maybe in the spring.
And as far as casting goes, they’re still looking to go big, though it may be more difficult to convince a top-tier actor to sign on for four movies instead of just one, but you have to think there are enough fans of The Stand out there that they’ll be able to find people. They did have Matthew McConaughey at the top of their wish list to play villain Randall Flagg, but given his career arc as of late, he’s probably on the top of damn near every list in Hollywood right now.