It's a job that's passed through the hands of George Romero and Steve Kloves, but now another writer has undertaken the mammoth task of adapting The Stand for the screen. David Kajganich is wrestling Stephen King's blockbuster novel into movie shape as we speak, under the watchful eye of director Ben Affleck.
Set after an American super-flu virus has wiped out most of the world's population, The Stand sees a King-typical band of mismatched survivors trying to establish a peacenik new society under the aegis of earth-mother Abigail Freemantle. The existence of another group however, led by King's recurring antichrist Randal Flagg, means conflict - the stand of the title - is brewing.
First published in 1978, The Stand was always epic in size and scope, but was re-issued in 1990 in an "author's cut" that was even longer. Mick Garris directed a six-hour TV miniseries in 1994, starring Gary Sinise and Rob Lowe.
Kajganich has previous experience writing pandemics, since he was responsible for the beleaguered Bodysnatchers remake The Invasion in 2007. Unsurprisingly, it's not that gig that's scored him The Stand, but an as-yet unproduced screenplay for Stephen King's similarly whopping It, which impressed Affleck so much that he had to sleep with the lights on so Pennywise couldn't get him.*
The Stand and It are both being developed by producers Roy Lee and Doug Davison.
*Okay, we made that last detail up.