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CBS All Access reveals The Stand cast and new coda by King, plus The Man Who Fell to Earth series

By Tara Bennett
The Stand Stephen King front cover

In January of this year, CBS All Access announced that the streaming service would adapt Stephen King’s seminal post-apocalyptic novel The Stand for a new generation. The 10-episode limited series is now deep into pre-production, and at today's TCA 2019 session, four members of the ensemble cast were announced: James Marsden, Amber Heard, Odessa Young, and Henry Zaga.

CBS revealed that production on The Stand is set to begin shooting this fall in Vancouver, ahead of the series' slated launch near the end of 2020. King himself also was revealed to be writing the last episode, along with news that the series will even contain a coda that takes the story beyond the events at the end of the book.

Heading back to television after the successes of Westworld and Dead to Me, Marsden will play Stu Redman, the everyman hero of the narrative. Actor Gary Sinise played the part to great praise in the 1994 ABC mini-series adaptation.

His ally in the fight against the sinister Randall Flagg (casting still not announced) will be played by Odessa Young (Assassination Nation), as young, pregnant, Frannie Goldsmith.

Actor Henry Zaga (The New Mutants) will play the compassionate, young deaf/mute, Nick Andros, who travels with the mentally impaired Tom Cullen (casting still not announced).

On the flip side, Amber Heard, post-Aquaman, is heading for dry, albeit plague-filled land, as she takes on the role of Nadine Cross, a morally compromised woman who is compelled to do bad because of her allegiance to Flagg. With a cast of more than a dozen principle characters who travel from their homes throughout the U.S. to Colorado or Las Vegas (depending on their good or evil-o-meters), there are certain to be plenty more casting announcements to come.

Meanwhile, the other big series acquisition news is that Walter Tevis’s novel, The Man Who Fell to Earth, is getting adapted to television for CBS All Access by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, who will write, executive produce, and serve as co-showrunners alongside executive producer John Hlavin. Kurtzman, the mind behind all things Star Trek at CBS, will also direct an unspecified number of episodes of the new series.

Previously adapted for film in 1976 by director Nicolas Roeg, David Bowie played the role of the alien, Thomas Jerome Newton, to great acclaim. The series will follow the same story as that film, and the book, which follows an alien who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution.

Rola Bauer, Tim Halkin, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, and Heather Kadin will also serve as executive producers, and Aaron Baiers will serve as co-executive producer. No word yet on casting details or when the series will begin shooting.