Paul Greengrass Could Take The Stand

If Warner Bros. has its way

Warner Bros.’ plans to turn Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic tale The Stand into a film – and potentially a franchise – has not enjoyed the smoothest trip through development. More than one director has come and gone, and Out Of The Furnace man Scott Cooper is the latest to jump ship, turned off by creative differences. Warners is not giving up, however, and has its eyes on Paul Greengrass.

King’s story, first published in 1978 and re-issued in 1990 in a longer form, is set after an American super-flu has wiped out most of the world's population. A band of mismatched survivors try to establish a peacenik new society under the aegis of earth-mother Abigail Freemantle, but is threatened by recurring King antichrist Randall Flagg.

Mick Garris turned the story into a six-hour TV miniseries in the mid 1990s, but Warners has big screen plans. Ben Affleck had been developing the project for a couple of years before dropping off, and Cooper was set in his place. The studio is now hoping Greengrass might be the man to take it on and make it work.

Greengrass, who has been winning acclaim for his latest, Captain Phillips, seems like a great choice for the film, which would represent a big genre jump for him. But we must all remember that he’s merely on a wish list as of yet; no formal negotiations have started, and as DreamWorks and the producers behind The Trial Of The Chicago 7 could tell you, even if he becomes interested in a project, there’s no guarantee he’ll actually end up making it.