Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic 1978 novel, The Stand, is generally thought to be one of the author’s most accomplished works. It is sprawling, epic and, according to many people — including the author — pretty much unfilmable as a standard feature-length picture. As King told The Hollywood Reporter, when plans to make The Stand as a feature were first released early in 2011,
The author said it would be impossible to make it as a two-hour movie and suggested it would likely be better as a trilogy.
“Historically speaking, movie studios blow the budget on things like this, so maybe it’ll be fun to look at,” King said. “The dough certainly isn’t going to me, although if it is a trilogy, and if it makes a lot of money, I might be able to buy a chicken dinner at Popeye’s. Great slaw!”
Fast-forward almost two years and we find that Ben Affleck — “Filmmaker of the Year” — has been tapped as the director for this project. He talked about it in a recent GQ interview.
Affleck is also working on an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, struggling to condense its epic nature into a manageable form. “Right now we’re having a very hard time,” he says. “But I like the idea — it’s like The Lord of the Rings in America. And it’s about how we would reinvent ourselves as a society. If we started all over again, what would we do?”
According to The Huffington Post, The Stand isn’t Affleck’s only book-to-film project right now:
While he waits for “The Stand” to get into shape, Affleck is certainly keeping himself busy. He signed up to direct an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel “Live By Night” in October; that film will probably be his next feature. He’s also still working on a script with Matt Damon about mobster Whitey Bulger.
Meanwhile, it seems likely that King isn’t holding his breath on seeing the movie version of his book.
King referenced a quote that Stand readers will recognize: “M-O-O-N, that spells ‘you probably won’t see this anytime soon.’ And when you do, Woody Allen won’t be directing it. Or Molly Ringwald.”