WB Will do for Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ What HBO Should’ve Done with ‘Game of Thrones’

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stand-movie-televisionThe Wrap is reporting Warner Bros. and CBS Films are in talks with Showtime to mount one hell of an interesting deal with regards to the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King‘s massive, post-apocalyptic tome “The Stand“.

Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) was brought on board to write and direct an adaptation of King’s novel back in February 2014. He was the latest in a long line of filmmakers that had taken a crack at “The Stand” including David Yates, Ben Affleck and Scott Cooper and it appears he’s going to be sticking around and in a big way.

When we last heard from Boone on the project he said, “We’re 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…”

At that point casting rumors included Matthew McConaughy as the lead antagonist Randal Flagg and Boone’s Fault in Our Stars co-star Nat Wolff for an unspecified role. While no additional casting details have been revealed it does look like they’ll be doing “The Stand” at the highest level possible, though not as four movies, but instead as one movie with eight television episodes preceding it on Showtime.

Yup, before the film hits theaters Boone will direct an eight-episode miniseries for Showtime, which is expected to start shooting early next year as one cohesive production.

Boone previously discussed the project’s progress on Kevin Smith’s podcast after previously stating the plan was for one three-hour, R-rated movie. Word was the studio and King liked his script so much the film was greenlit for $87 million, but plans quickly changed when the studio asked if he’d like to do multiple films. “They came back and said, ‘would you do it as multiple films?’ and I said, ‘Fuck yes!'” Boone said. “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.”

[amz asin=”0307947300″ size=”small”]The reason for the length is we’re talking about a book that was originally printed at about 823 pages in 1978 and then re-released as a “Complete & Uncut Edition” version in 1990, which went for about 1,152 pages in hardcover. So, now, with the world as his oyster, Boone can really explore the world King created and, for those unfamiliar with the story, it’s set in a post-apocalyptic world wherein a deadly virus known as Captain Tripps wipes out most of the world’s population. In the aftermath, survivors choose between following an elderly black woman to Boulder or the dark man, Randall Flagg, who has set up his command post in Las Vegas. The two factions prepare for a confrontation between the forces of good and evil.

As for my headline, I’m of the opinion “Game of Thrones” should have done this very thing. Of course, that series hit around a time when people still weren’t necessarily thinking outside the box with television, but just look at the $1.8 million “Game of Thrones” made when it screened the final four episodes of season four in IMAX earlier this year. Just imagine if “Game of Thrones” released ten episodes per season on HBO and capped the season off with a theatrical release each year, not only would it bank big at the box office, but I have to assume it would also encourage more HBO subscribers and DVD and Blu-ray sales.

I think this is just the start of what studios are going to be doing when it comes to television and feature films as King’s The Dark Tower is about to get a similar treatment at Sony.

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