Lately we’ve been hearing quite a bit about the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, and none of it has to do with the most recent director leaving, which has to feel good for them, because the only reports we heard for a long time were that someone else had bailed. In recent days it seems like current director Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars) is settling nicely into the production, turning in another new draft of the script, and generally being stoked to get this particular job. But as things progress it’s looking more like the project will come out drastically different than what we’ve been told.
The most recent reports have all said that Warner Bros. plans to do The Stand as a single, three-hour-long, R-rated movie. King’s novel is a massive, sprawling post-apocalyptic narrative that features multiple settings, dozens of characters, and even three hours of screen time seems like there’s going to, necessarily, need to be some substantial trimming. The one movie thing, however, may be a thing of the past.
King spoke to MTV recently, and when The Stand came up he let it slip that there may be more than one feature-length movie to come out of this. He also said that Boone, who has often stated his love of King, and this book specifically, has some “entirely different” ideas about bringing this story to life on screen.
I think that his take is terrific. And don’t count on it being one film. Because there’s talk about doing it in an entirely different and innovative way. And I don’t want to go into it because it’s Josh’s baby.
The idea of this being multiple movies isn’t much of a surprise. This is one of King’s most beloved books, so people are interested, and as we said, there’s a ton of stuff going on—when it was adapted in the 1990s it was a full on miniseries. It’s the “entirely different and innovative” part of this statement that is the most interesting. What exactly does that mean?
Breaking a book up into multiple films isn’t particularly unusual. Hell, every franchise of YA adaptations cuts the final book into two movies, warranted or not (and Peter Jackson somehow made The Hobbit into three unnecessarily long movies). Maybe this means they’re going to do something else. Could another miniseries be in the works? CBS’ adaptation of King’s Under the Dome was supposed to be a “limited series,” and this is an idea that has been bandied about in regards to his Dark Tower series. Granted, there is a lot more material to cull from in the latter case—multiple novels, stories, comics, and more—but there is definitely enough in The Stand for an “event series” kind of thing.
Then again, maybe Boone just has his own vision of how to tell this particular story. That could very easily be what King means. We’ll have to wait and see how any of this plays out, but if nothing else, for the first time in a long time, there is definitely forward momentum on The Stand.