Ben Affleck Is Going To Make A Stand. Er, The Stand. Supposedly. For Now. We'll See.
Deadline is now reporting that Warner Bros., owner of the property's film rights, has chosen Ben Affleck to finally bring Stephen King's apocalyptic novel to the big screen. No reason was given as to why Yates was not actually picked, but Affleck is purportedly "adapting" and "directing" the book, which likely means that Kloves' script is also out. Though, that isn't confirmed. Vulture is also reporting that WB is putting The Stand on its fast track, probably so it doesn't get bogged down in the same scheduling conflicts that have plagued another of King's adaptations, the elaborate film-TV-film-TV plan of The Dark Tower.
Ultimately, this might not mean very much, as Affleck is still working on Argo and anything can happen between now and the beginning of shooting. However, like Yates, Affleck does have a knack and a history for adapting successful novels into successful movies -- in fact, if the The Stand comes to pass, all four of his directed films will be adapted from books (with only Argo being the non-fictionalized, though no less bizarre, tale). Still, as with every update, this is the closest we've yet been to seeing Randall Flagg wreck his particular brand of havoc in a movie theater. And, hey, if Affleck does direct this story, he's already got a pretty decent actor in his rolodex who do justice to protagonist Stu Redman.
Of course, I mean, Matt Damon. Personally, as well as he fits in the director's chair, if Affleck chooses to work both in front of and behind the camera, I think his skill-set would make for an ever better Tom Cullen. M-O-O-N that spells Ben.
Feel to free to do your own dream casting below. Bonus points for those who hew close to Ben Affleck's oeuvre.