When it was announced that Peter Jackson was turning the 300 page The Hobbit into 9-hour long film trilogy, the collective rolling of eyes around the world must surely have jiggled Earth in its orbit. Some simple stories are just that, and really don’t need crazy amounts of embellishment. However, the converse is also true, in that some stories really need that extra room to breath, to be properly explored. Stephen King’s The Stand is one such story, as it shows a full-on apocalypse fueled by the accidental release of a weaponized flu virus as well as some supernatural machinations that result in the near-extinction of humanity.
As such, I’m sure there was much Earth-jiggling again – this time powered by sighs of exasperation – when it was announced that a feature film adaptation was being developed by Warner Bros. Note: I said “feature film”. Singular. King’s story had been adapted once before as a miniseries and that barely covered everything, so how can a single movie get the job done this time? Well, it won’t, according to writer/director Josh Boone (The Fault of Stars), who explained during Kevin Smith’s Hollywood Babble-On Podcast (via /Film) that he has luckily now been given leave to adapt King’s epic tome into four films:
“I really wanted to do an A-list actor, really grounded, credible version of the movie… I sold [Warner Bros.] on a single, three-hour movie… So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months. Everybody loves it. [Stephen] King loves it. $87 million is what it was budgeted at. Really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces… They came back and said ‘Would you do it as multiple films?’ and I said ‘F–k yes!’…So I think we are going to do like four movies.”
Boone went on to explain that while specific story beats having been worked out yet seeing as he now has to scrap his existing script – something that he’s all too happy to do – there has already been some development on casting, even though they’re keeping it all under wraps for now.
“I loved my script, but I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version this way… I can’t tell you anything about how we’re going to do them or what’s going to be in which movie. I’ll just say we are going to do four movies, and we’re going to do ‘The Stand’ at the highest level you can do it at with a cast that’s going to blow people’s minds. We’ve already been talking to lots of people, and have people on board in certain roles that people don’t know about. We’re looking to go into production next year, maybe in the spring.”
When a story popped up earlier in the year that Matthew McConaughey was being courted to play the evil Randal Flagg, Boone took to Twitter to dismiss this, saying that he rather wanted Christian Bale for the role, while he preferred McConaughey for the part of Stu Redman, the first person to be discovered with an immunity for the deadly plague and who is instrumental in the fight against Flagg’s forces. So who knows, maybe Boone got both his men? The pairing of Bale and McConaughey would certainly fall under the “blow people’s minds” category, if you ask me.
Who would you like to see in the roles and what do you think of WB’s new four-movie plans?
Last Updated: November 24, 2014