Stephen King stories still rank high on the list of popular source material for TV show and film adaptations. One such project that has picked up forward momentum over the past year is The Stand, a movie based on King’s novel (the “author’s cut” of which runs over 1,000 pages long). The book, previously brought to life as an award-winning TV mini-series some twenty years ago, details a pandemic outbreak that wipes out most of the world’s population; thereafter, the survivors wind up forming two different factions, and eventually face off in a Lord of the Rings-style war for dominion over the planet.
The filmmaker who is currently onboard to write and direct the Stand movie adaptation is one Josh Boone, who broke out earlier this year by directing The Fault in Our Stars – a critically-acclaimed YA book-turned film that was also a box office success. Boone has said that his plan is to turn King’s novel into an R-Rated tentpole that runs three hours long. However, when interviewed by MTV – to promote the upcoming A Good Marriage (a film based on his novella) – King hinted that Boone may have something far bigger in mind for The Stand.
Here’s the quote from King, with respect to Boone’s adaptation of The Stand (note: Boone previously confirmed that King has read his Stand movie script and gave it his blessing, so the author does, in fact, have an informed perspective on the project):
“I think his take is terrific – and don’t count on it being one film, because there’s talk about doing it in an entirely different and innovative way, and I don’t want to go into that because that’s Josh’s baby. Let me just say that – I work with Josh on a film called ‘The Writer’ and it became [his feature directorial debut] ‘Stuck in Love’… Then he made ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, which is Class A filmmaking as far as I’m concerned. He’s hugely ambitious and hugely energetic, so we’ll see what happens.”
If we’re to believe King, then it sounds as though The Stand could be yet another developing adaptation of the author’s work that might not take the typical route to the big screen. For example, True Detective season one helmsman Cary Fukunaga is still onboard to adapt King’s novel It as a two-part movie. Not to mention, last we heard, Ron Howard hadn’t given up hope on turning King’s Dark Tower series into a multi-platform adaptation composed of both multiple TV shows and movies. Which is to say, it might well be that Boone’s Stand film is likewise just the tip of a larger iceberg.
The original Stand novel is composed of three different segments, each of which could (in theory) sustain a film on its own. Indeed, before Boone came onboard as director, there was talk that Warner Bros. was interested in adapting King’s source material as multiple films – perhaps even as a movie trilogy, which would be fitting enough given the structure of the original book. However, King’s comment seems to indicate that Boone has something more unorthodox in mind than just a multi-film version of the story.
It could be that Boone, like Howard with Dark Tower, has an idea in mind to include a TV component for his Stand adaptation, in order to expand upon the narrative that is depicted in his film (or, perhaps, films). Paramount Pictures’ upcoming Terminator movie trilogy is going to include a connected TV show element, as will Legendary and Guillermo del Toro’s developing Pacific Rim 2 – could it be that Boone has a similar big picture in mind that goes beyond just a single movie based on The Stand?
We’ll keep you up to speed on development of The Stand. In the meantime, feel free to weigh in and let us know what you think would be the best way to bring King’s hefty source material to life. (One long, single film? Three movies? Two films and a TV show?…)