I would never call myself one of the “Eloquents,” but before I began writing here, I was a fairly regular Pajiba commenter, and I’m positive that in some trade news post about the (inevitably failed) The Dark Tower adaptation I mentioned how I thought, instead of that they ought to do a trilogy of The Stand. Okay, not “they” as in Tower adapters Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Akiva Goldsman, but “they” as in Hollywood’s best and brightest creative geniuses. I’m not going to say they took my advice, again not “they” as in Ron Howard, et al, but I am going to say that I always thought it was a good idea. Especially when, according to Drew McWeeny at HitFix, the “creative geniuses” in question happen to be David Yates and Steve Kloves, the director and writer team of the last four Harry Potter adaptations (and all of them but the fifth for Kloves).
As McWeeny notes, “How many other film franchises genuinely got better as they went?” While my favorite HP movie (and book, as it happens) is The Prisoner of Azkaban, it’s impossible to ignore that the last three movies are much better than most of those that came before. The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows parts I & II also happen to be good showcases for how a proper adaptation of Stephen King’s book might be brought to cinematic life, at least stylistically. I do enjoy the 90s ABC miniseries, especially its version of Tom Cullen…
…but it could definitely be improved upon, and definitely from a cinematographic perspective. A film, and especially a trilogy, would be able to capitalize on the bigger budgets compared to television, the new level of special effects available, and be able to accumulate a (ahem) better cast. No offense to Molly Ringwald or Corin Nemac, or anyone else from the miniseries, but if Nolan’s Warner Bros. comic book franchises can lure in those top-line performers — I was going to list all the amazing actors, and decided against it as we would be here all day — then surely this Warner Bros. project also deserves an equally compelling cast. And, hey, some fantastic actors have already worked with both Yates and Kloves on huge adaptations, so why not keep that gravy train rollin’ on them biscuit wheels?
Of course, it could fall through just like The Dark Tower , which collapsed for a few reasons, including budgetary reasons and attempting such a stellar cast. The Economy is still in shambles, after all. But Yates and Kloves have proven they can make these kinds of movies on time, on budget, and not half bad. Doesn’t that seem much more plausible than Ron Howard’s ridiculously convoluted film-TV-film-TV-film plan? Naturally, I’m going to try to keep my potential excitement subdued until I at least see a trailer for a finished, or in-production, film. But, honestly, for fans of King’s work, may Randall Flagg strike me down if I’m wrong, we could be much worse off.
I did mention Akiva Goldsman, right?
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force (updates Monday/Thursday), co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys (every 2nd/4th Sunday), and enjoys spelling various things “m-o-o-n” on the Twitter @RobOfWar. He really meant no offense to Corin Nemac, as he (still) loves “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.”