Years and years and years (yeah, I might be old) ago, Stephen King was one of my favorite writers. Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Dead Zone, Firestarter, Christine (not the Strawberry Girl), Cujo, Pet Sematary, The Talisman, Thinner, Skeleton Crew, It, The Eyes of the Dragon, Misery, The Dark Half, Needful Things, Dolores Claiborne, Lisey’s Story and Under the Dome (both read because of buzz that vintage King had returned; a lie), most of his short stories, one of the Dark Tower books and some of the stories he wrote as Richard Bachman — I read them all. I loved most of them and those I didn’t, I suffered in loyalty. But as with most King fans, I came to realize that things had become too formulaic and predictable, and what hadn’t, had gone off the deep end. I literally threw Lisey’s Story into an airport trashcan in disgust (normally I pass on or donate old books) and Under the Dome made me so mad I’ll probably never read a new King book again. But I have always wanted to read The Stand again, that and the Talisman. I enjoyed both of those to the point that his awful books almost get a pass because of them.
A favorite among most King fans, The Stand has always seemed beyond filmdom — un-doable. But then again, I’d say the same thing about The Dark Tower series and what do you know, it looks like they might actually pull that thing off (and with a big star).
On the positive front, King will be involved. Hopefully our good author will be able to influence his vision properly (this time); be involved in choosing a director he can work with and affect good casting for key characters (Timothy Olyphant = Randall Flagg). On the negative front, CBS holds the rights and essentially held a “bidding war” to determine a studio partner (Warner won). As with any book adaptation, readers will often feel no movie could ever live up to the book — with The Stand, those fears are multiplied because the story is vast, epic and there are so many important characters. A sad and inadequate television miniseries was made back in 1994; if anyone saw that version, it’s sure to have left a bad taste in his mouth. Still, if this project gets a visionary director who is willing to give it the time and attention it deserves, if there isn’t a rush and a push to spit it out as quickly as possible so the dough can be raked, there could be hope.
While I feel hopeful but uncertain, one thing I am sure of is that the Pajiba dream-casting-community will have opinions and we may as well start speculating right now. Half the country is snowed or iced in — what else do you have to do? Who should play Flagg, Mother Abigail, Larry Underwood, Nick Andros and Stu Redman (Andrew Lincoln!)? Any director choices?
(Source: Hollywood Reporter)