There's good news and bad news today for Stephen King fans.
First, the good news: According to Deadline, director and screenwriter Josh Boone, who has been working diligently on an adaptation of King's post-apocalyptic classic The Stand, has written an adaptation of another King book. This one is Revival, a 2014 novel by the horror master that is actually one of his creepier recent works.
The story follows a preacher who loses his faith after his wife and son are killed in a grisly car accident. Obsessed with learning what lies beyond death and whether it can be cheated, he begins experimenting with the power of electricity and achieving increasingly terrifying results. The tale -- which combines elements of Frankenstein, The Great God Pan and H.P. Lovecraft -- is told through the eyes of a man who knew the preacher as a boy and who connects with him again in middle age.
Boone has finished his script, and now he and producer Michael De Luca have offered it to Universal, where De Luca has a "first look" deal, although if Universal passes they can shop it around to other studios. Boone has also reached out to actors already about the two lead roles -- Reverend Charles Jacobs and Jamie Morton -- but has not mentioned any specific names yet.
Now the bad news: Boone's adaptation of The Stand is being pushed back while he develops Revival, although he still continues to work on getting that massive book into shape as a feature film (or several). The Stand has become a rocky shore where many filmmakers have crashed in their attempts to bring it to the screen -- including Ben Affleck and Scott Cooper -- but the determined Boone has asked King for more time to work on it even though the option on the book owned by Warner Bros. Pictures has lapsed. The rights now go back to CBS Films, which has not indicated its plans for the project yet.
Boone had this to say about his King double feature:
“When I read Revival, I was like, man, did you write this for me? I’d been on both sides of that pendulum. I call myself a non-believer, now...But it was what I’d been taught and what I believed in since childhood. I believed in the devil, in Jesus, and even now as a non-believer, I’m still fascinated by that world and Revival is the scariest thing he’s written since Pet Sematary. He tricks you, drawing you in gently, with that narrator’s voice and a long time span that reminds you of The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile, and then he pulls that rug from under you in that last act and you’re like, oh my god, what have I gotten myself into? ... I still intend to make The Stand, but I need more time, and when I asked Steve about Revival, he put me together with Mike De Luca."
While I'm still not sure whether The Stand can be successfully compressed into a movie or even a trilogy, Boone seems to be the person to do it: There's more at Deadline about what a huge role King's writing has played in his life (and, later, King himself). Even if The Stand doesn't get off the ground, I'd like to see what Boone does with Revival; it's a shorter book and perhaps easier to make into a movie.
Will you be disappointed if The Stand is delayed again? Have you read Revival, and what do you think about its prospects as a film?