The long-developing film version of Stephen King's The Stand seems to be going out not with a bang, but a whimper.
Producer Roy Lee told Collider that the movie, which was most recently in the hands of screenwriter/director Josh Boone, is stuck in what he described as a "holding pattern." For one thing, the rights recently reverted back to CBS Films after Warner Bros. spent some time on the project, and CBS now has to figure out how to finance the project. That also means there is continued uncertainty over the project's scope. Here's Lee:
“Right now it’s just in a holding pattern trying to figure out how to best make the movie because we’ve toyed with breaking it up into multiple movies, making it into one, making it into two. The latest draft, Josh Boone had written it and he was very anxious to make it but since then has written another script, Revival, which he’s gonna do beforehand, so we’re just waiting for that.”
Boone, a huge King fan (and friend of the man), has decided that Revival -- one of King's better recent novels -- is easier to adapt as a movie at this time, so for now he joins Ben Affleck, David Yates and Scott Cooper as filmmakers who spent some time kicking The Stand's tires and ultimately unable to get the thing moving.
One alternate idea for The Stand was making it into a TV miniseries (again), while withholding the big finale for a feature film. Lee said that idea is now a no-go:
"There was definitely talk about doing that but the logistics made it very difficult to try to do a worldwide launch of a movie when the TV component would not necessarily be released at the same time worldwide. So it became a logistic nightmare to try to figure that out, so that plan was abandoned."
And while the idea of doing the whole thing as a miniseries has also been bandied around for outlets like HBO and Netflix, it seems as if the author himself has nixed that idea, according to Lee:
"I think TV would be great but Stephen King believes that his version -- the (1994) miniseries that was done before -- is a very good interpretation of the novel."
Lee added that the current version of The Stand is written as "two movies" but that they've experimented with making it as one just to get the tale in front of the cameras. Whatever form The Stand ultimately takes -- and I think a cable miniseries would still be the best way to go -- it doesn't look like we're going to see it anytime soon. Between this and the very weird news about The Dark Tower casting, this has not been a good day for Stephen King fans, has it?