With an Academy Award under his belt for last year’s Dallas Buyers Club, as well as tons of critical acclaim for HBO’s True Detective, and Christopher Nolan’s space adventure Interstellar on the way, Matthew McConaughey is going through an epic career renaissance (and we didn’t even bring up Magic Mike or Wolf of Wall Street). At this point he can do just about whatever the hell he wants, and he’s also at the top of every casting agency’s wish list, and one of those lists is for the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand.
Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has a covetous eye on McConaughey, targeting him for the villainous character of Randal Flagg in their long-gestating adaptation of King’s massive post-apocalyptic tome. Played by Jamie Sheridan in the made-for-TV miniseries in the mid-1990s, Flagg is an evil figure who may or may not be a demonic presence. After a plague sweeps across the planet, decimating the human race, he and his followers wreak havoc in the aftermath. King has also used Flagg in works outside of The Stand. He became the primary antagonist in The Dark Tower, and has appeared in a series of Marvel comics based on King’s work.
There is nothing confirmed, right now this might just a pipe dream for the studio. McConaughey is linked to a number of other high-profile films, including Gold, which formerly had Paul Haggis attached to direct, and a true-life story about a mineral company scandal. Warner Bros., however, thinks the actor would be a “compelling and persuasive force of evil in the film,” and they’re not wrong. He would be great in the role, if that’s something he’s into, or if it fits into his busy schedule.
Last we heard about The Stand, director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) had taken over a role that once belonged to Ben Affleck and Scott Cooper, bringing along Nat Wolff for a key role. We also heard that the adaptation will be a single, three-hour-long movie, one that is rated-R and “full of celebrities.” Boone dropped that detail back in June, and McConaughey would definitely fit into this category.
This may have been Boone getting over excited, but if nothing else, he’s totally stoked on his latest gig. He said:
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.
You have to love the passion.
There’s no word on when this could happen. After all, talk of adapting The Stand has been going on for years, and every time it seems like there is some forward movement, some people attached, things crap out and we go back to the drawing board. So who know when we’ll actually see this on the big screen.