Warner Bros. Pictures’ plans to adapt Stephen King’s massive 1978 novel The Stand into a single film are no more. Instead, attached writer/director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) reveals to Kevin Smith’s Hollywood Babble-On Podcast (via /Film) that he’s now looking at adapting the book into four features.
“I really wanted to do an A-list actor, really grounded, credible version of the movie,” says Boone. “…I sold [Warner Bros.] on a single, three hour movie… So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months. Everybody loves it. [Stephen] King loves it. $87 million is what it was budgeted at. Really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces… They came back and said ‘Would you do it as multiple films?’ and I said ‘F–k yes!’…So I think we are going to do like four movies.”
Previously adapted as a television miniseries in 1994, The Stand tells the story of a full-scale apocalypse, driven by the accidental release of a biological weapon and the ensuing struggle of good versus evil carried out by the world’s final survivors.
“I loved my script,” Boone continues, “but I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version this way… 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.”
Previous reports suggested that Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey was being sought to play the story’s villain, the demonic figure Randall Flagg. Apropos of nothing, King’s book itself makes a brief-but-memorable cameo in the star’s latest, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.