First published in 1978 with an uncut edition released in 1990, The Stand is one of Stephen King’s best-loved books—which is really saying something, considering his output. CBS All Access is currently turning the sprawling novel into a 10-hour limited series, and while nothing has been confirmed just yet, several big stars are rumoured to be in talks to star.
The Stand details the aftermath of an apocalyptic pandemic that wipes out 99% of the population. While one group of survivors attempts to rebuild a democratic society, another—led by an evil supernatural being known as Randall Flagg—focuses its efforts on more destructive pursuits.
James Marsden (X-Men, Westworld) is said to be in advanced negotiations to play Stu Redman, the first man discovered to be immune to the deadly virus. And none other than Whoopi Goldberg is reportedly in talks to play Mother Abagail, a 108-year-old self-proclaimed prophet of God who appears to some of the survivors in their dreams.
Amber Heard (Machete Kills) may play Nadine Cross, a school teacher who believes she is destined to be with Flagg. Odessa Young (Assassination Nation) is supposedly in advanced negotiations to play Frannie Goldsmith, a pregnant woman who falls in love with Redman, while Greg Kinnear may play Glen Bateman, a professor who, along with Redman and some of the other survivors, helps build the community known as the Free Zone. Henry Zaga (The New Mutants) is said to be all but set to play the deaf-mute drifter Nick Andros.
There’s no word yet on who will play Flagg, portrayed by Jamey Sheridan in ABC’s 1994 miniseries adaptation. Matthew McConaughey, meanwhile, played The Man in Black (one of Flagg’s many, many aliases) in 2017’s The Dark Tower. The character makes an appearance in several of King’s novels and is the charismatic embodiment of pure evil, so whoever plays him has some mighty big shoes to fill.
CBS’s The Stand will be written by Josh Boone and Ben Cavell, with Boone also tapped to direct. A release date has yet to be announced.
Words: Samantha McLaren (@themeatispeople)