The continuing saga of Hollywood’s attempt to make Stephen King’s sprawling The Stand into a movie has taken another turn. While writer/director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) has written the script and has verbal commitments from much of the cast, the length of time it took to come together ran out the clock on Warner Bros.’ option, meaning the rights for the movie have reverted back to CBS Films. So what does that mean? Well the studio has some decisions to make—it might set the film up at a different studio or produce on its own via its agreement with Lionsgate—but it’s going to take some time, so while that all gets sorted out, Boone is tackling a different King story altogether.
Per Deadline, Boone has written an adaptation of the Stephen King thriller Revival on spec for producer Michael De Luca. The novel follows a charismatic preacher who loses his faith after a tragic accident, then becomes obsessed with electrical current experimentation, which results in him becoming his own God-like faith healer. Boone intends to direct, and he and De Luca just submitted the script to Universal via De Luca’s first-look deal at the studio. If they pass, the project is expected to find a home at a rival studio quickly.
With CBS Films working on the issues surrounding The Stand, Boone hopes to direct Revival this year so he can finally get back behind the camera. He became quite in-demand following the success of The Fault in Our Stars, and he’s also attached to write and direct New Mutants for Fox—although that was intended as his follow-up project to The Stand.
It remains to be seen if CBS Films can get The Stand’s ducks in a row before losing Boone altogether, but he wouldn’t be the first director to depart the project. Warner Bros. initially set it up with Harry Potter director David Yates as his first post-HP project, but he and Steve Kloves couldn’t crack the adaptation. Ben Affleck then came in but had the same problem. He was followed by Black Mass helmer Scott Cooper, who didn’t see eye-to-eye with the studio’s vision for the adaptation, after which Boone signed on.
Before the project left Warner Bros., Boone set The Stand up with Matthew McConaughey in talks to play the villain and an ambitious 8-episode Showtime miniseries was poised to act as a prelude to the feature film, which would be the finale to the story. It’s unclear if that’s still the plan, but whichever studio CBS Films partners with will no doubt have their own ideas about budget, so I’m not exactly holding my breath for this seemingly cursed project to happen soon. In the meantime, it appears as though Boone will get to direct a Stephen King adaptation this year after all.