Ben Affleck Comments on THE STAND Adaptation and His Whitey Bulger Picture with Matt Damon

     November 16, 2012


While his most recent directorial effort, Argo, is beginning to generate well-deserved Oscar buzz, Ben Affleck spoke briefly about some of his upcoming projects that are sure to attract a lot of interest. When last we reported on Affleck collaborating with Matt Damon, it was to shed some light on the details of their Whitey Bulger picture. The rise-and-fall biopic of the Boston-area crime boss is apparently still in development, but Affleck did give a quick comment on it.

A bigger picture is Affleck’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, a long-gestating picture that has fans hoping for some good news. Unfortunately, it’s proving to be an unwieldy bit of source material as Affleck admits to struggling with it. Struggling, not giving up. Hit the jump for more quotes from Affleck. 

Ben AffleckIn a recent interview with GQ, Affleck talked about his career and all aspects of his past, present and future. Check out the full article at the link provided for some insight into this director on the rise. We’ve included his quotes on the progress of the Whitey Bulger biopic and The Stand below. On the topic of Whitey Bulger, Affleck said:

“It’s not ready; it’s not good enough yet.”

Put that one in the “still in development” column for now. It’s expected to star Damon as the titular gangster from “Bulger’s youth to his incarceration on Alcatraz, through his rise to become a mob boss while secretly serving as an FBI informant for decades.”

Things were looking much better for The Stand. Per Affleck:

“Right now we’re having a very hard time,” he says. “But I like the idea—it’s like The Lord of the Rings in America. And it’s about how we would reinvent ourselves as a society. If we started all over again, what would we do?”

While Affleck was handling the writing and directing duties, he tapped screenwriter David Kajganich (The Invasion) an an additional pen earlier this year. I’m not familiar with the King novels, so our readers will have to let us know if they think Affleck’s comparison to The Lord of the Rings is close to accurate.

Here’s the synopsis for Stephen King’s The Stand:

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that f
orm the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.


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  • King Fan

    There is a connection with Lord of the Rings, in a way. “The Stand” is one single novel, but it’s a whopper at just under 1200 pages. Breaking the movies into three parts would best suit it. The first 1/3 of the book is the release of the plague and the die-off of over 99% of the people on Earth, bringing multiple story lines of the surviving immune people to a start. The next 1/3 of the book deals with spirituality and life as the survivors find themselves drawn to the prairies to an 108 year-old woman who serves as the center of the good people. The bad people of the world are drawn to the ‘man in black’ who is mentioned in many of King’s novels. The last 1/3 is the meeting of these two groups, and how either side wants the other side gone. There is a lot of novel to work with, and if there are some tweaks along the way to the story and plot points, I’m sure the fans will forgive them as this is a movie series that has been a long time coming. The old mini-series is fine, but dated and in need of a format change that can give the filmmakers the money needed to make a large-scale epic disaster trilogy.
    I’ve read the book twice and I still consider it to be my favourite novel. I’m looking forward to this very much, and I’m hoping more of his novels get made/re-made soon. A “Carrie” remake is coming next year, and an “It” remake is in talks to be made… but “The Dark Tower” series needs to be made into movies. The previous attempt by Ron Howard to film the series as 3 movies and 2 mini-series doesn’t make sense – just make each book into a movie…it makes so much more sense, and a lot more profitable. Let’s hope Carrie and The Stand are successful and get the ball rolling on more King-inspired films.

    • will

      Yes, definitely. A three-part film is basically the only way to do it on film. If we got 3 2 1/2 hour film versions, that would do it. One film would have to cut out way too much.

  • Bowlofships

    Go to The Tower!!!

  • cedartreeradar

    This halloween season i tried to watch as many good stephen king movies as i could but theres only a handful of his supernatural stories made into good movies. Most of the best ones are tv movies. maybe king should make a deal with disney and start cranking out like three a year instead of us getting all these found footage films.

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