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

     January 31, 2011

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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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