It looks like Stephen King fans are going to get their very own Lord Of The Rings.
The new film adaptation of the epic novel The Stand has been in the works for a while and, after it originally looked like it would be one, single three-hour movie, it's now been revealed that it's going to be made in four parts.
Director Josh Boone appeared on Kevin Smith's Hollywood Babble-On podcast and went into some detail about the evolution of the project. When Boone was first approached, he was given early script drafts to read - he thought they, "were not so much where I thought they should be going with it. [They were] much more like a big summer blockbuster. When I thought about The Stand it’s so much about the vast network of characters, and all their problems. It’s kind of a morality play set in post-apocalyptic America. The battle between good and evil is the battle for these peoples’ souls. They make choices which dictate the fate of humanity."
He went on, "I really wanted to do an A-list actor, really grounded, credible version of the movie. I sold them on that and they hired me…I sold them on a single, three hour movie. I went and got [Stephen] King sold on it, everybody’s really excited…I told the story non-linear and that was the way I was able to compress that book and get everything into that script...so what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months, everybody loves it, King loves it, $87 million is what it was budgeted at, really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces."
However, Warner Bros then, "came back and said “would you do it as multiple films?” and I said “fuck 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. 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."
You can listen to the whole podcast here. The book runs to 823 pages and is hugely complex, so the four film run would be entirely justified: it could be a fun few years for King fans.