CBS and Warner Bros Team to Adapt Stephen King’s THE STAND; Might Be Multiple Movies

     January 31, 2011


Stephen King first published the sprawling post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel The Stand in 1978.  Since then it’s been turned into a television miniseries and a Marvel comic book, but not a feature film despite various attempts in the 80s.  (The sheer length of the novel apparently conquered George A. Romero.)  CBS has owned the film rights for many years without a workable idea of how to approach an adaptation.  Universal threw down the gauntlet with the announcement they would turn King’s seven-book series The Dark Tower into a trilogy of films and a TV show.

CBS Films has risen to the challenge and partnered with Warner Bros. to tackle a feature adaptation.  As the studios begin to meet with writers and directors, they will decide whether to write as one film or a series.  More, including the book synopsis, after the break:

the-stand-stephen-king-coverAccording to Heat Vision, CBS and Warner Bros. will co-develop and co-produce the feature film.  CBS has the option to participate in co-financing; Warner will handle worldwide marketing and distribution after outlasting Fox and Sony in a bidding war for the property.  Mosaic and Roy Lee are producing, and King will be involved in some capacity.

I can’t say I’ve read any of the 1000+ pages of the book, but I gained some familiarity when Lost creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse cited The Stand frequently as they explained various storytelling choices.  In fact, I bet Lindelof and/or Cuse are among the writers who have a meeting scheduled in the coming weeks.

Sight unseen, I admire King for what — out of context — sounds like one of the silliest, most audacious endings I’ve ever heard.  I often wonder how that looks after a thousand pages of plot.  If the book is condensed into a single film, the ending must top the list of things that will be changed for the movie.  I mean, how could that possibly play on film?

Here’s the book synopsis:

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form 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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  • DC

    Great book and miniseries…but the story is too long to do as a single movie. Maybe a three part movie at 3 hours a movie to get it all in. Similar to how they were able to bring Lord of the Rings to life. It can be done as long as they dont commit to cramming it all into a single movie.

    M-O-O-N……that spells dont mess it up!!

  • dogg

    Brace for fail. People are only going to associate this with the meandering miniseries replayed constantly on basic cable.

  • chuck

    The miniseries is classic and I doubt it could be done better. Ruby Dee was awesome as Mother Abagail. Great cast and quite a powerful version.

  • Razor

    You might want to do a little research before you write such articles. Your snippet is not the ending of the book, it’s the plot of the entire story. And that “chain letter” of death is a cataclysmic plague-like disease that kills all but a few who are immune, leaving some good folks and some bad ones. Considering our prolific use of anti-bacterial remedies and misuse of antibiotics this “end of day” scenario is much more feasible than sudden global weather changes or rogue meteors. Read the damn book. It’s a classic.

    •!/colliderbrendan Brendan Bettinger

      Sorry – I didn’t mean to imply that was the ending of the book. Edited for clarity.

  • sloan

    But will randall flagg be played by the same actor that they cast in the dark tower? that would be badass. oh and it would make a better tv show on like amc or hbo. poor cbs.

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