Last time we checked in on Josh Boone’s adaptation of Stephen King’s sprawling apocalypse epic The Stand, the plan was for the 1,500-page word brick to be cut into four films, as is the profit-friendly custom of the day. But, just as a life-destroying superflu virus must mutate and change to better leave the world a fit place for surprisingly blunt religious allegory, so too must planned versions of The Stand adapt and survive. According to The Wrap, discussions are currently happening to transition the project into an eight-episode miniseries on Showtime, culminating in a single, three-hour theatrical film. M-O-O-N, that spells “multi-platform cross promotion.”
The Stand last got the miniseries treatment back in 1994, when a massive cast of actors, including Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, and Rob Lowe, teamed up to bring King’s vision of a dying world to life. Casting on this latest version is still in the dark, but is expected to target high-profile performers—Boone has said in the past that he’d love to lure Matthew McConaughey into the role of drawl-inflected Satan figure Randall Flagg. That’d be fitting—not only because McConaughey is already a single denim vest away from the character’s blend of menace and persuasive Texan charm, but because his role on True Detective helped kick off the most recent flare-up of A-list Hollywood stars taking roles on limited-duration TV.
The Stand is being developed as a joint production between Warner Bros. and CBS Films, the latter of whom has a partnership with Showtime. Filming is expected to start some time next year.