At one point in its recent development history, The Stand was planning on sending the Harry Potter team of Steve Kloves and David Yates to a cornfield in Colorado to write and direct the incredibly difficult source material. With that team passing on Stephen King‘s novel, Ben Affleck picked it up for a directorial project, and Vulture is reporting that Affleck has hired screenwriter David Kajganich to provide the blueprint.
The only problem here is Kajganich’s track record. It’s always difficult to assign blame/credit to writers for a finished film because of the labyrinthine group effort the art demands, but so far his two biggest features have been the flat Invasion (starring Nicole Kidman) and the nasty horror flick Blood Creek. Neither inspires much in the way of optimism for an adaptation that even the most talented writer would struggle to make sense of.
According to the report, Warners was impressed with Kajganich’s draft for a feature film version of It and decided that he was fit for crowing King again. What’s more, he’s also the writer of the Pet Sematary remake at Paramount, which means the studio system only knows of one guy who’s interested in writing these things for some reason. The question here is why Affleck would pass off writing duties (although the answer may be that he just doesn’t have the time to deal with a tome of that size). The silver lining, of course, is that Affleck so far has proven himself to be a shrewd judge of material and a director that can churn out interesting work. As long as it’s in Boston. Maybe Mother Abagail can move there.
The other question is how many movies this project should and will spawn. A humble suggestion that won’t be taken: splitting the movies up just as the book is and titling the films Captain Trips, On the Border, and The Stand.