With Ben Affleck busy donning cape and cowl to protect the streets of Gotham, it looks like someone else will have to step in to write and direct the adaptation of Stephen King‘s “The Stand” (that Affleck was previously tied to). And, thank to Deadline Hollywood, we now know the secret identity of Affleck’s replacement – Scott Cooper. Cooper’s first feature was 2009′s Crazy Heart and his Christian Bale-starring revenge flick Out of the Furnace will be in theaters this fall.
Based on those two, Cooper looks to be a strong choice, but he’s got his work cut out for him. The Stand could dwarf a phone book – the original version totals a whopping 823 pages, and King’s later “Complete & Uncut Edition” ups it to 1152 pages. There’s no word yet on whether The Stand will be divvied up Hobbit-style, or if Cooper has the unfortunate task of cramming so much story into a single flick.
“The Stand” was first published in 1978, and tells of a post-apocalyptic world where a nasty strain of the flu killed off the majority of Earth’s population. A ragtag band of survivors bands together to forge a new future, but a supernatural being named Randall Flagg threatens to destroy what little is left of the civilized world.
ABC filmed their own version of “The Stand” as a TV miniseries back in 1994, which took four ninety-minute episodes to get through the entire story. Maybe Warner Bros. will take a gamble and release The Stand as the world’s first big budget, six-hour modern Hollywood blockbuster.