Good news for fans of Stephen King's longest novel: It apparently won't be crammed down into a single film.
Ever since director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) signed on to write and direct a new adaptation of Stephen King's beloved post-apocalyptic epic The Stand earlier this year, fans of the book have been wondering just how Boone and Warner Bros. Pictures are going to make the adaptation work. The last time the book was adapted, 20 years ago, it was a four-part miniseries event on NBC that was a little more than six hours long without commercials, and while we'd certainly love to see an R-rated, no-punches-pulled take on King's flu-devastated America, almost everyone seems skeptical about the idea of trying to make it into one movie, even if that movie is three hours long.
Last month, King offered hope that Boone had a new take on The Stand that could stretch it beyond one film, and now Boone himself has come forward with news that, indeed, he and Warner Bros. are expanding the adaptation. Speaking on a recent episode of Kevin Smith's Hollywood Babble-On podcast, Boone discussed how he'd initially written the screenplay in a "nonlinear" style, starting with major events that happen late in the book and then flashing back, in a bid to get all the key moments in by changing the structure. The budget for that version was apparently $87 million, but Warner Bros. and Boone disagreed on one key point: Warner Bros. wanted the movie to be big, packed with high action and major set pieces and, you know, blockbuster stuff. Readers of The Stand know that, apart from a few key moments, that's really not the novel at all, so Boone was reluctant. Then he and Warner Bros. came to a new conclusion: Instead of making one movie bigger, why not just make more than one movie?
"They came back and said 'would you do it as multiple films?' and I said 'f**k yes!' I loved my script, and I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version that way," Boone said. "So I think we are going to do like four movies. I can’t tell you anything about how we’re going to do them, or what’s going to be in which movie. I’ll just say we are going to do four movies, and we’re going to do THE STAND at the highest level you can do it at, with a cast that’s going to blow people’s minds. We’ve already been talking to lots of people, and have people on board in certain roles that people don’t know about. We’re looking to go into production next year, maybe in the spring."
Now, notice that Boone said "I think" and "like four movies," so the number could drop to three or even two (hell, it could expand to five) before this development process ends. Four films might seem like a little too much for some fans of the book, but speaking as a fan myself, I'd rather see a bloated version of The Stand than a heavily compressed one, especially if the cast is as impressive as Boone suggests. In the wake of The Hobbit ending, Warner Bros. is on the hunt for franchises once more, and it looks like one big honkin' Stephen King novel could give them what they want, while Boone gets to make the "truer" adaptation he so craves.
Will it work? Well, we'll just have to wait and watch.
(Via Badass Digest)