It was only a day ago that the future of mankind’s decimation at the hands of catastrophic plague looked especially rosy, with director Scott Cooper telling MTV News that he hoped to bring his Out Of The Furnace star Christian Bale on board his adaptation of The Stand, thus spurring Bale to begin injecting himself with deadly viruses in method preparation. But as the saying goes, you can plan a pretty apocalypse, but you can’t predict whether Warner Bros. will agree to let you do whatever you want with its massive Stephen King franchise.
Cooper has now parted ways with the project he inherited from Ben Affleck, with The Wrap citing unspecified “creative differences” that may or may not have something to do with Cooper’s determination to make King’s sprawling epic “searingly realistic” and shoot only on location—which Cooper himself acknowledged, in that same MTV interview, “maybe doesn't marry with how a movie like that should be shot, just because of the sheer expense.”
The Hollywood Reporter also suggests it was because Cooper saw the total collapse of civilization as being rated R, while Warners would prefer to keep Armageddon nice and PG, for the whole family. Whatever the reasons, Cooper joins the lineage of departed Stand directors that includes Affleck and David Yates, and now maybe Cary Fukunaga, Paul Greengrass, Daniel Espinosa, and Dennis Villeneuve—all currently on the short list to be attached to, then possibly abandon The Stand.