Director Josh Boone has revealed that his eagerly anticipated adaptation of Stephen King’s epic novel ‘The Stand’ is now intended to be made as four full-length movies.
This is quite a dramatic about-face, as when the ‘Fault in Our Stars’ director signed on to the long-in development movie at Warner Bros (picking up from such previously attached directors as David Yates and Ben Affleck), his initial plan was a single, three hour film.
This always seemed a slightly strange approach to King’s notoriously lengthy apocalyptic tale - just over 1,400 pages in its unabridged form - which many fans and critics speculated would be better served as a trilogy (having previously been the basis of a TV mini-series, scripted by King himself, in 1994). Still, to go from a single film to four in one fell swoop is a pretty bold move.
Stephen King himself had hinted last month that something along these lines might be happening, after telling MTV News, “I think that [Josh Boone’s] take is terrific — and don’t count on it being one film. There’s talk about doing it in an entirely different and innovative way, and I don’t want to go into it because that’s Josh’s baby.”
"I really wanted to do an A-list actor, really grounded, credible version of the movie and they hired me…I sold them on a single, three hour movie. I went and got [Stephen] King sold on it, everybody’s really excited…
"I told the story non-linear and that was the way I was able to compress the book and get everything into that movie script…So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months, everybody loves it, King loves it, it was budgeted at $87 million."
A nd yet it seems that, as discussions with Warner Bros continued, they were open to making a more direct adaptation of the novel over the course of several films - an idea which Boone eagerly embraced.
"I loved my script, but you are able to do an even truer version that way. I will just say we are going to do four movies and we are going to do ‘The Stand’ in a way that is going to blow people’s minds."
Well, if Peter Jackson can squeeze a trilogy of three hour plus epics out of as comparatively tiny a novel as ‘The Hobbit,’ it seems feasible enough that Boone can get a quadrilogy’s worth of material from ‘The Stand.’ Whether or not this means the director will still be able to deliver on his earlier promise of a ‘hard-R’ adaptation (i,e, 15 or 18 rated) remains to be seen.
'The Stand' is provisionally set to begin production in Spring 2015. In the meantime, over at Warner Bros subsidiary New Line Cinema, 'True Detective' director Cary Fukunaga is also in pre-production on a two film adaptation of 'IT,' another of Stephen King's most epic novels that was previously adapted for TV.
Picture Credit: Doubleday, WENN