“The Stand”–possibly being done the way it was meant to be done

TheStandmovie11

“The Stand” is the best thing Stephen King ever wrote, a towering triumph of American horror that also straddled the world of modern apocalypses.

The TV miniseries version was good… but not even it could cover everything in the book. The novel is just so… massive and all-encompassing.

It remains one of my favorite novels of all time, one I’ve read and re-read many times, despite its length. Maybe it’s so ingrained in my consciousness because the first time I read it, I was home in bed with the worst flu of my life. In fact, on the night I started reading it, my flu was just getting bad. As the story progressed and I read along, my flu progressed. As I read of the whole world dying, I felt like I was.

I’d heard of attempts to do this as a film a few years ago, but I despaired because I knew one film wouldn’t be enough to do the story justice. But now there’s word that someone wants to pony up the dough to do it right… a multi-film arc, two or possibly even three big budget films to tell the story of The Stand the way it was meant to be told. And it’s being put in the hands of the people who shepherded the recent decade of Harry Potter films from beginning to conclusion.

This is terrific news, apocalypse fans!

The “Harry Potter” film series was a juggernaut pretty much from start to finish, occupying ten years of pop culture real estate by sheer force of will. There was no guarantee up front that the films would work, or that fans would be happy, or that the studio would be able to get all the films made before the kids got too old to star in them. It seemed like a huge challenge up front, and the way they pulled it off has been sort of overwhelming to witness. It is a triumph of filmmaking as mountain climbing, an accomplishment that few would have been able to pull off, much less with the style and grace of this series.

How many other film franchises genuinely got better as they went? How many film franchises produced eight films in a decade? Especially films of this size and complexity? “Harry Potter” is one of those singular things, and especially over the back half of the series, David Yates and Steve Kloves did a lot of the heavy lifting as the director and screenwriter of the films, and they made a whoooooole lot of money for Warner Bros. in the process.

Little wonder, then, that Warner Bros. is in the process of finalizing the deals for David Yates and Steve Kloves to re-team for a multi-movie version of Stephen King’s epic “The Stand.”

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