It’s finally official: Stephen King’s apocalyptic novel The Stand is becoming a new limited series.
The 1978 fan favorite has been greenlit as a 10-episode event series for the streaming service CBS All Access.
“I’m excited and so very pleased that The Stand is going to have a new life on this exciting new platform,” King said in a statement. “The people involved are men and women who know exactly what they’re doing; the scripts are dynamite. The result bids to be something memorable and thrilling. I believe it will take viewers away to a world they hope will never happen.”
The Stand is arguably the godfather of the modern post-apocalyptic drama — before there was The Walking Dead or The Road or Mad Max, there was The Stand. The story follows a group of survivors after a plague kills off most of the world’s population. A synopsis accompanying the release explains: “The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.”
This new adaptation has been in development for years by writers Josh Boone and Ben Cavell. Boone will also direct the project.
“I read The Stand under my bed when I was 12, and my Baptist parents burned it in our fireplace upon discovery,” Boone said. “Incensed, I stole my dad’s FedEx account number and mailed King a letter professing my love for his work. Several weeks later, I came home to find a box had arrived from Maine, and inside were several books, each inscribed with a beautiful note from god himself, who encouraged me in my writing and thanked me for being a fan. My parents, genuinely moved by King’s kindness and generosity, lifted the ban on his books that very day. I wrote King a cameo as himself in my first film and have been working to bring The Stand to the screen for five years. I’ve found incredible partners in CBS All Access and Ben Cavell. Together with Stephen King, Owen King, my longtime producing partners Knate Lee and Jill Killington, we plan to bring you the ultimate version of King’s masterwork.”
The Stand was previously adapted into a generally well-received 1994 ABC four-episode miniseries, with a cast that included Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, and Laura San Giacomo.
“With over 400 million books sold around the world, Stephen King is one of our greatest living authors and The Stand is widely considered the crown jewel of his work,” said Julie McNamara, executive vice president of original content at CBS All Access. “Millions of fans have been waiting for a modern interpretation that delivers on its depth, scope and ambition. We are thrilled to be working with Stephen, Josh, Ben and a dedicated team working passionately to bring this brilliant material to life.”
There’s no casting on the new project as of yet. What’s particularly smart and restrained in this era of networks trying to maximize popular brands is that the project will be a limited series — it’s easy to imagine outlets wanting to turn The Stand into something that would run for years, like how CBS tried to stretch out King’s Under the Dome. There’s no premiere date yet, but given the announcement timing and the fact that the scripts are done, a 2020 date would seem likely.
The news comes as King’s classics are enjoying a cinematic resurgence, with a new big-screen version of Pet Sematary coming April 5 and a sequel to 2017’s blockbuster IT coming Sept. 6.