This is about as far out of left field as you can get. Deadline is reporting Ben Affleck is set to write and direct the filmed adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Stand for Warner Bros. This comes on the heels of reports just over a month ago placing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 director David Yates and Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves in charge of the project.
Affleck is currently working on Argo for the studio, a film based on the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis — the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. That film is set to hit theaters on September 14, 2012 and there’s no telling how long it will be before The Stand actually gets into production.
Deadline‘s report doesn’t carry many details. No information on when the studio hopes to get into production or if Affleck will merely be the latest to take a stab at figuring out how to bring the massive apocalyptic tome to the big screen.
King’s novel was last adapted into a six-hour ABC mini-series in 1994, which is currently available on Netflix Instant Play and stars Rob Lowe, Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald. The story tells of a plague that ravages the world, leaving behind only a few survivors, and the battle of good and evil that plays out in the aftermath.
When Yates’ name first popped up he was supposedly decided between The Stand and an Al Capone origin story called Cicero, which he’d been developing with Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) attached to play the lead role. Perhaps that film will now become first priority for the helmer’s first post-Potter pic.
Personally, I still am not sure I believe this project will see the light of day. Affleck is an accomplished writer and director as we all know, but this is a film that would take a massive risk on the studio’s part to get it right. Granted, Warner has teamed with CBS Films for the rights, which means the costs can be split, but I am still in “I’ll believe it when I see it” mode.