James Marsden & Amber Heard to Star in ‘The Stand’ Series, Stephen King to Write New Ending

A movie adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand was circling a start at Warner Bros. Pictures and CBS Films for years, with a number of creatives and iterations coming and going, until a 10-hour limited series adaptation was finally ordered by CBS Television Studios early this year. The pieces have finally come together.

CBS All Access is to deliver a limited event series adaptation of King’s 1978 post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel, with James Marsden and Amber Heard set to star. The cast will also include Odessa Young (Assassination Nation) and Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why).

The Stand is set in a world that’s been ravaged by a plague, which has killed around 99% of the population, and is now caught in a war between good and evil. The aftermath has seen new communities form; there’s a safe haven with 108-year-old Mother Abagail and a handful of survivors, and there’s a lawless city ruled by the demonic Randall Flagg, aka the Dark Man.

According to THR: Marsden “will play Stu Redman, an ordinary, working-class factory man in an extraordinary situation who becomes a leader of the survivors.” Heard is on board as “Nadine Cross, a deeply conflicted woman who feels the consequences of her actions but is compelled by her allegiance to Randall.” Young is to play “Frannie Goldsmith, a pregnant young woman who recognizes there’s evil lurking beyond the Dark Man.” And Zaga is attached as “Nick Andros, a deaf and mute young man who finds himself in a position of authority when the unthinkable happens.”

Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) and Ben Cavell (SEAL Team) are co-writing the mini-series and are also among the executive producers. Boone will be directing all ten episodes.

Interestingly, King is to write the last chapter of the mini-series – and it’s going to be a new coda that isn’t in the original book. “The script for that final episode is written,” King posted on Twitter. “I was glad Josh Boone gave me the chance, because that final story has been in my mind for 30 years.”

“Well, I can die now,” Boone wrote on Instagram, along with a screenshot of King’s tweet. “Wait. I have to shoot the last hour first.”

The Stand is expected to hit CBS All Access in 2020. Stay tuned.

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