Stephen King's apocalyptic classic The Stand has so far had a bumpy journey to the big screen. David Yates was the first attached director on the tentpole Warner Bros. project, but moved on and was replaced by Scott Cooper, who then also jumped ship citing creative differences with the studio. Warners has also reportedly had flirtations with Ben Affleck and Paul Greengrass, but may now finally have found their man. Rising star Josh Boone is nearing a deal to adapt King's novel and direct the movie.
Boone made his directorial debut with the indie comedy drama Stuck In Love in 2012, starring Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, Kristen Bell and Logan Lerman. He's since been working on The Fault In Our Stars, based on the hugely popular teen cancer romance novel (it's better than that sounds) by John Green. Currently in post-production, the latter is creating a deal of industry buzz, which has obviously led to Boone attending some meetings for Bigger Projects.
The Stand won't be his first brush with King, however, since he's also currently attached to direct a movie version of King's smaller-scale Lisey's Story. Will he stay with that and do The Stand, or end up passing on one for the other? The discussions are ongoing and Warners has not commented so far.
The novel of The Stand sees an American super-flu virus wipe out most of the world's population. In the aftermath, a King-typical band of mismatched survivors try to establish a peacenik new society under the aegis of earth-mother Abigail Freemantle. Another group is drawn together, however, under King's recurring antichrist Randal Flagg, means conflict - the stand of the title - is brewing.
First published in 1978, The Stand was already gigantic 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. The Wrap's studio insiders believe we're only talking about a single movie here, so if that's true, the plan, perhaps surprisingly, isn't to epic* the book out into a film trilogy.
David Kajganich and Steve Kloves have both taken cracks at the new screenplay, but whether Boone would build on their work or start again from scratch (or make the film at all) remains to be seen.
The Fault In Our Stars is released in the UK on June 20.
*Yes, we're using that as a verb.