The plans for the new movie adaptation of Stephen King‘s “The Stand” were once quite ambitious with talk of the author’s massive novel being split between four movies, along with an eight-episode companion miniseries. However, the project was recently put on hold, and director Josh Boone moved on to another King adaptation, “The Revival” starring Samuel L. Jackson. According to producer Roy Lee, “The Stand” is still being retooled, with the possibility of bringing the massive book down to one, big movie.
“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,” Lee told Collider.
“…we’ve been experimenting with trying to see what the one movie would look like,” he added. “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.”
Reading between lines, one senses that Warner Bros. aren’t quite ready to gamble on a big Stephen King franchise, and perhaps given the studio’s current, heavy investment in their DC Films, that’s understandable. But it does seem a bit foolish to try and whittle down an 800-page plus novel into a single movie, even if it is three hours long. As for the the proposed TV series, Lee says the ABC series from the ’90s is quite good as it is, but the bigger issue was trying to figure out how to weave the movies and shows together.
“…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,” he said.
It’s a bit interesting in that context to consider that Sony and MRC are still pushing ahead with their planned multiple movie and TV series adaptation of King’s “The Dark Tower,” and don’t seem to be troubled by the ambition required.
All told, it sounds like “The Stand” might be a long way off, so we’ll have to wait and see if Boone and Lee can crack the code to make it a satisfying take on the book, but one that won’t require too much risk from the studio.