The Stand

The Stand

Great cultural contributions are not fluid. A classic book does not need to automatically be turned into a feature film. A stirring song does not need to be adapted for a TV theme song. A beloved miniseries does not need to be turned into a comic book. Some things are just good as is, on their own, and in their original form. Such is the case with Stephen King’s “The Stand,” which continues to be forcibly pushed through the Hollywood studio system in an attempt to make the 1100 page-plus tome into an easily digestible feature film – sort of like movie breakfast sausage. The “film” (and, yes, we’re putting this one in quotes, because it sure as hell isn’t a real film just yet) has been through nearly every incarnation imaginable over the course of three years, cycling through writers and directors and even possible runtimes with a startling regularity that appears to lower the possible quality of the film at every turn. Think about it this way – back in 2011, we were going to have a multi-film event from the very best Harry Potter team, now this project will be directed by a guy who has just two films under his belt and, oh, yeah, it will just be one single film. How did we get here?

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Though it’s starting to look to anyone with any sense like Warner Bros. should let their dream of putting together a film adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand” go, they seem to still be soldiering on under not just the hope that they’ll soon get a The Stand movie into production, but that they’ll get one into production under the watch of an A-list director. So far they’ve had David Yates on board to helm the film, they’ve had Ben Affleck named as the man in charge, and most recently they’ve had Scott Cooper working to bring the project to life, but one by one they’ve all dropped off of the film and left Warners twisting in the wind, searching for yet another filmmaker who has what it takes to tackle such a huge undertaking. So what are the problems that keep scaring all of the directors that Warners recruits away? If you listen to Cooper, it could be the sheer size and scope of King’s lengthy story—which is packed full of characters and subplots—and the fact that it would be next to impossible to bring everything in the source material together in a singular film that actually did it any justice. The budget on a The Stand movie would necessarily be huge, and there are reports going around that Warners is so confused about how to handle the financials that they don’t even know how many movies they plan on splitting the book into. Given all of the confusion, […]

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The Stand

Not everything is adaptable, and that’s okay. Such is the case with Stephen King’s sprawling, 800+ page epic “The Stand,” which has recently sloughed off its third high-profile director on its way to the big screen. The Wrap reports that Warner Bros. and director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) have parted ways when it comes to the project, as one source reports that the split came care of good old-fashioned “creative differences.” Cooper was brought on back to the project earlier this year, and he was set to both helm the production and re-write its script. The adaptation has already hit some big bumps on the road – the film has already cycled through experienced filmmakers like David Yates and Ben Affleck – and when Cooper was brought on to rewrite and direct the film back in August, it seemed like a bold, if not exactly advisable choice. Cooper is a fine filmmaker, but he’s only got two features under his belt, and neither of them even remotely touch upon the scale and scope of “The Stand.” Let’s put it this way – if the guy who directed the final four Harry Potter films wasn’t the right guy for the job, Cooper certainly wasn’t either. But the news still feels a bit striking, given that Cooper recently sat down (like, this week) with MTV to chat about his upcoming Out of the Furnace, and when the conversation turned to The Stand, he talked about his vision for the project and some […]

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The Stand

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.

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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 […]

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The Holiday Gift Guide: Books for Movie Lovers

It may shock you to realize that you, dear reader, are a reader. You are reading this right now! Bizarre, right? And, if you can read things on the Internet, you can certainly read things that come in the traditionally accepted reading format, better known as a “book.” And if you can do it, surely the people in your life that you love enough to buy holiday presents for can do it, too! Enter The Holiday Gift Guide, and more specifically, enter this particular contribution: 18 Books for Movie Lovers. So shiny and wrap-able! So easily order-able and ship-able! So key to preventing widespread illiteracy! After the break, check out seventeen (but really eighteen) books for the movie lover in your life for holiday season gift-giving. Unlike some of those other guides, not all of these books hit shelves in the past eleven months, as I stretched beyond just this calendar year to come up with some unexpected literary picks to make your gift-giving that much more original. Did I make an egregious omission? Of course I did. Put your obvious suggestions in the comments. And, hey, if you gift one of these books and it’s a big hit, let us know which one it was. It’s always nice to hear praise. Happy Chrismakwanzakuh, you guys.

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Well, huh. Warner Bros. has reportedly “chosen” (appropriate wording)Ben Affleck to adapt from the source material and direct The Stand, their crack at making a feature (or two…or three…) out of Stephen King‘s massive novel about a post-apocalyptic America, decimated by a government-designed super-flu. The book was previously turned into a somewhat lackluster television miniseries back in 1994 (and I do say “somewhat,” because there are things I liked about it, namely the casting of Jamey Sheridan as King’s constant character, the wicked Randall Flagg). I’m not generally a huge fan of King’s work, but I love The Stand because, it’s late on a Friday so I can work a little blue here, I fucking love post-apocalyptic fiction, and The Stand is a big, sweeping, totally awesome specimen of the genre. The studio reportedly picked Affleck for the job because they “love” him and because he’s “become a cornerstone director” for them. Of course, this film is a huge undertaking for any director, as the book is sprawling and layered and deep and really wonderful, but it’s also, again sprawling and layered and deep. Even King himself has doubted that the book could be made into a feature film. Affleck is turning into a great director, and he’s proven himself able to adapt material (all three of his features, including the currently-shooting Argo come from previously written material, including books and articles), but this is something else. The Stand is, again, a massive undertaking, and I cannot wait to see how this pans out, […]

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Let the hyperventilation begin. As if manna from Heaven being tossed down upon a weary people who didn’t want to see Akiva Goldsman and Ron Howard build The Dark Tower, Hitfix is reporting that screenwriter Steve Kloves and director David Yates are close to making a multi-film deal happen for The Stand over at Warners. As that sinks in, think of the success Kloves had writing the Harry Potter series, and the level of craftsmanship that David Yates brought to the table. It’s no doubt that Potter was a unique sort of lightning – given most of its energy from an unthinkable popularity around the world – but the movies had to deliver, and they most certainly did. Now, this pair has a chance to take (perhaps) Stephen King‘s most iconic work and deliver it the way it deserves – on the big screen. Mick Garris did as fine a job possible with a television mini-series format (and the smoldering tones of Gary Sinise), but it’s time to shift this story about a spiritually-prophesied viral outbreak that kills just about everyone into R-rated territory and make Randall Flagg a truly devastating villain.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column and link collector that is tired of explaining itself to you, quite frankly. Drew McWeeney at HitFix got the scoop this evening on a big story, in which Harry Potter director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves will be re-teaming to do a multi-film version of Stephen King’s epic The Stand. The hope here is that Yates can give it that Deathly Hallows scope, something the work of Stephen King has long deserved, but never really received. With The Dark Tower on the ropes, this could become a new fixation for King fans.

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Fresh off ending his run as the defacto director of the once hot potato Harry Potter series, David Yates has suddenly gone from being a little known TV director to becoming a giant name in the industry. What he does next will probably be the subject of a lot of attention, and Vulture is reporting that he already has three potential franchises on his plate. Feeling a little bit jealous of Universal’s prospective Stephen King mega-franchise The Dark Tower, Warner Bros. is looking to get into the King business themselves. To that end they are looking to do a new version of one of King’s most famous novels, The Stand, which is likely to be stretched out into three films. Being the guy who made them a bajillion dollars with these last four Harry Potter movies, Yates would get first dibs on the new trilogy if he wants it. It’s a big commitment to make, and reportedly he has the next two weeks to decide.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Back during the early days of Hollywood the studios existed as movie making factories. In charge of the operation were the studio heads who oversaw everything from production, to distribution, to running the theaters. In modern times the big studios are small aspects of corporate conglomerates and the decisions made for them are probably coming from an ancient computer spitting out ticker tape in a dark room somewhere, or an ape who knows sign language, or who knows what. With all of the acquisitions and mergers and whatnot going on every day nobody has had a chance to look into it. Under these conditions, it’s not that surprising that the best mainstream Hollywood can do when it comes to developing new projects is to take something that already exists in the world and tack “The Movie” on to the end of its name. And so we find ourselves looking towards an adaptation of a wildly popular Stephen King novel that has already been adapted into both a comic book series and multiple TV miniseries over the past few decades. This project got started when one huge corporation acquired the rights to the material and then it auctioned off the rights to distribute the material to some other huge corporation, who was probably doing it under the name of some smaller sub corporation, etc… until it was finally decided that enough faceless Incs and LLCs had put their names on legal papers and “The Stand” was officially going to become a […]

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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