A feature film adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Stand has been in the works for a very, very, very long time now. It has gone through numerous directors, from Ben Affleck to David Yates to Scott Cooper, and while it looked as though the adaptation may finally be moving forward with The Fault in Our Stars helmer Josh Boone writing and directing, it hit another snag early this month. Warner Bros.’ option on the rights to The Stand ran out, with the property reverting to CBS Films, who now must decide whether to finance the project themselves or team up with another studio. Meanwhile, Boone wrote an adaptation of a different King book, Revival, which is rearing and ready to go, so he’s turning his attention to that film while this business with The Stand gets sorted.
So given the complicated history of this adaptation, when Steve recently sat down for an exclusive interview with producer Roy Lee at DICE 2016, he asked him for an update on the project. For now, Lee says they’re simply trying to figure out the best way to move forward:
“Right now it’s just in a holding pattern trying to figure out how to best make the movie because we’ve toyed with breaking it up into multiple movies, making it into one, making it into two. The latest draft, Josh Boone had written it and he was very anxious to make it but since then has written another script, Revival, which he’s gonna do beforehand, so we’re just waiting for that.”
So while Boone is busy with Revival, it gives them time to sort things out with The Stand once and for all. Last year, word surfaced that they were thinking of taking the adaptation first to TV, producing an 8-episode limited series that would serve as a prelude to the feature film finale. Now, however, Lee says that idea has been jettisoned:
“There was definitely talk about doing that but the logistics made it very difficult to try to do a worldwide launch of a movie when the TV component would not necessarily be released at the same time worldwide. So it became a logistic nightmare to try to figure that out, so that plan was abandoned.”
Lee isn’t altogether opposed to the idea of television, but when Steve asked if they considered doing the whole thing on the small screen, he brought up the previous miniseries adaptation of King’s novel:
“That’s why there was this discussion about going to HBO or Netflix to try to do a series that launched before a movie, but we’ve been opened to everything just to make it work. I think TV would be great but Stephen King believes that his version—the miniseries that was done before is a very good interpretation of the novel.”
The major issue with this adaptation is the length, and trying to service King’s novel in the best way possible. Boone previously said his adaptation would span four movies, but Lee says they’ve also seriously considered the idea of trying to do it in one:
“That’s why we’ve been experimenting with trying to see what the one movie would look like. If you do the one movie, you obviously have to take out a big portion of the book, so trying to balance what to keep and what to cut out was a long process because there’s so much to go through. So that’s why it’s been a long process. Right now it’s written as two movies.”
Whether this two-movie plan will, uh, stand remains to be seen, but Boone has been attached to the project longer than any director previously and has a strong relationship with King, so here’s hoping he’s the guy to finally bring this thing home. For now, fans will just have to wait a bit longer while Boone makes Revival, meaning the earliest The Stand would go before cameras would be sometime in 2017.