Film adaptations of Stephen King’s work have run the gamut. They have been critical masterpieces like Misery and The Shawshank Redemption. They have been crowd pleasers like Carrie and The Shining. They have also been epically bad like The Langoliers. It seems like a no-brainer to adapt a King novel, especially if it’s been successful in other media. However, The Stand has already lost three directors: David Yates, Ben Affleck, and Scott Cooper. But this book needs to be adapted!
King’s The Stand is a novel about the end of the world. A superflu takes out the majority of the population and the survivors must rally on the light and dark sides. The people of the light side, including a rock star, a deaf-mute, and a pregnant teen, rally around an elderly black woman in Boulder, Colorado. A prisoner, a pyromaniac, and a spinster virgin rally around a faceless specter of evil in a jean jacket in (naturally) Las Vegas. As they try to rebuild society, a holy war hangs in the balance and everyone must make a “stand.”
The book has everything: sex, intrigue, suspense and even a teen mom. The novel has already been turned into a successful graphic novel for Marvel that turned the 800-plus page epic into a 31-issue comic book series. The book was also made into a memorable television mini-series starring Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe, and Laura San Giacomo a few years ago.
Our obsession with the zombie apocalypse is still in full force with the success of The Walking Dead and movies like 28 Days Later, World War Z, and the comedy Zombieland. The Stand offers a shocking alternative. What if the world is completely full of dead bodies and the survivors must survive a world with no laws? How would people survive? Rather than a throng of bodies chasing you, what if it was just silence and death. This vision of a post-apocalyptic world hasn’t really been handled by mainstream cinema. It has the makings of a Harry Potter/Hunger Games -style epic.
We aren’t just obsessed with zombies. This is the End proved that the Book of Revelations is still ripe for artistic interpretation. It also brought up some interesting quandaries. What if we lived in a world without electricity? Running water? The Stand features people living in such a world. What would we do in a world without the Internet where the bulk of our technology is utterly useless?
The Stand takes a very unique view of a post-apocalyptic society. 99% of the population dies and the survivors must navigate a world with no power, dead bodies everywhere, and no laws. Added to all that is a Holy War. Hopefully, someone can jump on this film quick and make it happen. After all, The Hunger Games only has two films left.