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:
According 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.