Josh Boone was brought on last year to help bring an adaptation of The Stand to life for Warner Bros. While on Kevin Smith’s Babble-On podcast, the writer/director did a lot of talking about the upcoming film, discussing how he got the job, the film’s budget, and the fact that now, it’s bloomed into a franchise instead of one 3 hour long film:
I really wanted to do an A-list actor, really grounded, credible version of the movie. I sold them on that and they hired me…I sold them on a single, three hour movie. I went and got [Stephen] King sold on it, everybody’s really excited…I told the story non-linear and that was the way I was able to compress that book and get everything into that script. You open with Mother Abigail dying and sending the guys off, and then you jump back in time… So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months, everybody loves it, King loves it, $87 million is what it was budgeted at, really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces.
Despite it being one of Stephen King’s most revered works, The Stand, at $87 million budget seems like something of a risk. It’s not an action-heavy movie, and will be R-rated. So the fact that WB was okay with the budget and moving foward says a lot about Boone’s script. Apparently they liked his take on it enough to offer him the chance to turn it into something MUCH more:
They came back and said “would you do it as multiple films?” and I said “fuck yes!” I loved my script, and I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version that way. So I think we are going to do like four movies. I can’t tell you anything about how we’re going to do them, or what’s going to be in which movie. I’ll just say we are going to do four movies, and we’re going to do THE STAND at the highest level you can do it at, with a cast that’s going to blow people’s minds. We’ve already been talking to lots of people, and have people on board in certain roles that people don’t know about. We’re looking to go into production next year, maybe in the spring.
So there you have it. The Stand is now going to be a four film franchise. From the studio standpoint, it makes more sense to turn something with a lot of fans behind it into a franchise, rather than a single film. Frankly, four films seems a little too much to me, however. I could easily see The Stand being a trilogy, as that’s essentially how the book is broken down. While the book itself is a massive tome, there are plenty of ways to transition them onto the big screen without needing four movies worth of time (obviously he had it down to ONE movie before).
While I’m excited that the project is moving forward and production will begin at some point next year, I worry about it being dragged out too long, like The Hobbit has been. While I’ve enjoyed The Hobbit films to an extent, most of the films so far have been pure fluff and exposition that add little to the story. That’s not something I want to see happen with The Stand. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens!
What do you guys think about The Stand being stretched out into so many movies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!