‘The Stand’ Adaptation Has Now Been Expanded to Four Films
Stephen King‘s ‘The Stand’ is a project that has struggled to find its way to the big screen for many years now, but in the hands of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ director Josh Boone, it’s finally picking up serious steam and the adaptation has felt more promising than ever. Whether or not Boone could take King’s epic novel and translate it into one film has been a lingering question, and one that Boone has finally answered: No, ‘The Stand’ will not be just one film. Instead, it will be a shocking four-film adaptation, which seems excessive even for fans of the novel.
Boone is a lifelong fan of King’s work, and even has script approval from King himself, which has been a good sign for the project. But ‘The Stand’ is a huge, sweeping novel with a large cast of characters and interweaving narratives, and the idea that it could be contained in one film seemed more than tricky—it seemed almost impossible. Two films would be a more plausible choice, but according to this interview with Boone on Kevin Smith’s Hollywood Babble-On podcast, Warner Bros. and Boone have decided to go the same route as ‘The Stand’ TV miniseries and make four films instead of one.
After discussing the initial drafts of the script that existed when he came on board, which were much more in the vein of a summer blockbuster, Boone talks about writing his version of the script:
I really wanted to do an A-list actor, really grounded, credible version of the movie. I sold them on that and they hired me… I sold them on a single, three hour movie. I went and got [Stephen] King sold on it, everybody’s really excited… I told the story non-linear and that was the way I was able to compress that book and get everything into that script. You open with Mother Abigail dying and sending the guys off, and then you jump back in time… So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months, everybody loves it, King loves it, $87 million is what it was budgeted at, really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces.
But then WB wanted to do something more expensive so this happened:
They came back and said ‘Would you do it as multiple films?’ and I said ‘F--k yes!’ I loved my script, and I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version that way. So I think we are going to do like four movies. 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.
Boone definitely knows his stuff—from King to horror to serious cinema and filmmaking—and he’s also set to eventually adapt King’s ‘Lisey’s Story,’ so I want to believe that ‘The Stand’ is in good hands. He may have made ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ but if you read interviews with him, he almost seems like he was the least likely guy for that job and the most likely guy to direct something like ‘The Stand.’
On the other hand. as a fan of the novel, I cannot possibly imagine what could necessitate a four-film version. I’m intrigued but also baffled, and I wonder how much of our current franchise culture had to do with WB’s decision to split up the narrative into four films instead of a reasonable two.