The filmmaker currently attached to the long-in-development movie of The Stand has spoken out about his plans to adapt it.
Director Josh Boone, whose new teen cancer drama The Fault in Our Stars is out in theaters tomorrow (June 6), is now slated to get behind the camera for a big-screen version of Stephen King's classic post-apocalyptic novel. Boone is the third director to take on the project in recent times, following Ben Affleck (Argo) and Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace).
"We’re gonna do one three-hour, R-rated version with an amazing A-list cast across the board. Every single one of those characters will be somebody you recognize and somebody you relate to. And it’s gonna be awesome. I’m really excited. It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever got to do in my entire life. If 12-year-old me had ever known that one day I’d be doing this, to even just go back and look at that kid, I’d be like, Keep doing what you’re doing! It’s just crazy. I’ve met so many actors over the years, and like, when I met Stephen King, I hugged him with tears in my eyes. He meant that much to me when I was young. I still say everything I learned about writing I learned from Stephen King."
OK, there's a couple of things to unpack here. First of all, can Boone -- or anyone -- really do justice to The Stand in three hours? The original novel is over 800 pages long and required six hours of TV time (without commercials) to tell an even semi-adequate version of the story back in 1994. How can that massive story and all those characters fit into half that time (especially when Boone is adding characters not found in the book)?
Second, Boone says he wants to make the movie R-rated -- and right now, Hollywood is notoriously averse to blockbusters that carry that rating because it limits the size of their audience and the potential box office. After all, that's what sunk Guillermo del Toro's adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, although, to be fair, The Stand is far better known. But it still remains to be seen whether Warner Bros. Pictures -- or any studio -- will put up a couple of hundred million dollars for an apocalyptic horror saga that is geared mainly toward adult audiences.
Look, we hope Boone gets to make the movie. The rating issue can actually be solved -- the TV version of The Stand was actually pretty grisly for its time -- but I'm more concerned about making this as one film. Should the new director fight to make The Stand as a two-parter or even a trilogy? Or should we wait and see if he's figured out a way to make a single, faithful film?