Roughly a month after it was more or less confirmed that age-defying hunk James Marsden would lead the CBS Access adaptation of Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic The Stand as square-jawed Texan Stu Redman, the network has announced a few more survivors of Captain Trips. None of them, however, will come as much of a surprise for the King faithful, as their names have been bandied about as long as Marsden’s has.
Amber Heard (Aquaman), Odessa Young (Assassination Nation), and Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why) have been confirmed for the 10-episode limited series, each in a pivotal role. Heard will play one of the book’s more complex characters in Nadine Cross, an orphan-turned-schoolteacher with a cosmic draw to the story’s denim-clad antagonist, Randall Flagg. Zaga, meanwhile, will play one of the book’s decidedly more wholesome characters in Nick Andros, a deaf and mute wanderer who serves as a galvanizing force of sorts for those drawn to the saintly Mother Abigail. As for Young, she’ll play Frannie Goldsmith, a pregnant, 22-year student with romantic ties to Stu—yeah, Marsden is 45; it’s weird—and childhood ones to Harold Lauder, who we’d politely dub the book’s best character.
Alas, there have been no whispers as to who will play Harold—don’t fuck it up like you did last time!—but the same people who forecasted the above casting also reported that Whoopi Goldberg and Greg Kinnear were circling the roles of Mother Abigail and retiree Glen Bateman, respectively. Marilyn Manson, who contributed to the soundtrack, is also reportedly cast—we have some thoughts on who he’ll end up playing.
We remain on pins and needles, then, waiting for CBS All Access to announce who will be playing some of the book’s quirkier, more iconic characters, like Flagg or the unhinged Trashcan Man or coked-out musician-turned-virtuous leader Larry Underwood. Seriously, though, we’re rioting if Walton Goggins doesn’t play Lloyd Henreid. He’s already at CBS!
New Mutants director Josh Boone, who’s been trying to launch a King project for ages, will help helm the miniseries, which counts King’s son, Owen, among its writing staff. It’s his pops, though, who will be writing the finale of the miniseries, the network revealed during CBS and CBS All Access day at the 2019 Television Critics Association summer press tour. Depending on how you feel about King-scripted fare, that could be either a good or a bad thing.