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Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ Headed to CBS All-Access

Copyright Stephen King

It seems that we are in the midst of a Stephen King renaissance.  The prolific author’s fan-favorite novel It was adapted–half of it, anyway–into a mega-popular horror film by Andy Muschietti, there has been a mystery-shrouded Hulu series based on his favorite fictional town in Castle Rock.  The Dark Tower, Under the Dome, and 1922 were also adapted in recent years.  This February, King’s Pet Sematary will be remade (it was originally put to film by Mary Lambert in 1989).  And now the post-apocalyptic fable of good vs evil The Stand is getting the long-form treatment it so desperately needed, courtesy CBS-All Access.

I’m excited and so very pleased that The Stand is going to have a new life on this exciting new platform.  The people involved are men and women who know exactly what they’re doing; the scripts are dynamite. The result bids to be something memorable and thrilling. I believe it will take viewers away to a world they hope will never happen.

-Stephen King

When it was originally published in 1979, Stephen King’s seminal novel centers around the survivors of a government-created virus, known as the superflu, or “Captain Tripps,” which wipes out 99.4% of the population in the entire world.  The survivors band together into two groups:  those who follow kindly and noble “Mother Abigail” Freemantle in quiet Hemmingford Home, Nebraska, and those who follow the dark and mysterious Randall Flagg, the Dark Man, in Las Vegas.  The two sides move steadily towards a final showdown, reaching a frantic climax on Flagg’s turf in Las Vegas.

In 1990, King published The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition, which re-inserts scenes removed by the original publisher in 1978 due to marketing concerns.  The uncut edition remains King’s longest work, a whopping 1152 pages in hardcover format.

The novel was first adapted in 1994 as an ABC mini-series which starred Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, and Rob Lowe.  A four episode, multi-night epic, The Stand was well received by audiences and critics alike, and was nominated for six Emmy’s, winning three.  It was then adapted into a series of comicbook mini-series, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and drawn by Mike Perkins, in the early 2000’s.

This new series will be penned and executive produced by Josh Boone and Ben Cavell.  Boone is known for The Fault in our Stars and the forthcoming X-Men horror-action flick The New Mutants, but his relationship with King’s works dates back to his youth:

I read The Stand under my bed when I was 12, and my Baptist parents burned it in our fireplace upon discovery. Incensed, I stole my Dad’s FedEx account number and mailed King a letter professing my love for his work. Several weeks later, I came home to find a box had arrived from Maine, and inside were several books, each inscribed with a beautiful note from god himself, who encouraged me in my writing and thanked me for being a fan.  My parents, genuinely moved by King’s kindness and generosity, lifted the ban on his books that very day.

Back in 2014, Warner Brothers planned an adaptation of The Stand with Boone set to helm what was supposed to be a 4-film series.

[I] have been working to bring The Stand to the screen for five years. I’ve found incredible partners in CBS All Access and Ben Cavell. Together with Stephen King, Owen King…we plan to bring you the ultimate version of King’s masterwork.

While no series premiere date has been set, we do know that it will be a 10 episode, limited series, much like Hulu’s adaptation of King’s novel 11/22/63.  In addition to writing and executive producing, Boone will also direct.