Arguably Stephen Kings best work, and most popular amongst his fans, his novel 'The Stand' has finally been adapted into a three hour long film script by Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars).
Being a fan of the book itself, Boone took on the mammoth task of cutting the 1000 page book down into a 3 hour long film. Like so many fans, the problem about adapting a beloved novel is the decisions of what to include and to exclude. There is also the small matter of wether or not the author will be happy with your script, which thankfully for Boone, King loved.
I mean it’s amazing. I finished writing the script maybe a month ago. Stephen [King] absolutely loved it. It’s, I think, the first script ever approved by him. [It'll be] a single version movie of The Stand. Three hours. It hews very closely to the novel. It was such an amazing process. I’m so familiar with [King's] work and I’ve read so many of his books so many times over the years that it was just a really comfortable thing to be able to work with his material. He gives you so much great material to work with. There’s an abundance of it. So it’s not a book where you have to generate new material and make it work for a movie. He writes so cinematically and his characters are so sharply drawn. You don’t have to change much. [You use] a lot of structural things to condense a thousand pages into a three-hour movie but it’s still at heart his material. I just made it work within the confines of what a single film can be.
Boone also explained the process of deciding what to cut and what not;
When you’re adapting something so gargantuan, how do you decide what to excise?
BOONE: I just focused on the things that I felt strongly about, that I have strong memories about, that are evocative to me even when I read it now. You just have an internal interest meter. The Stand is about so many things — you could make ten to fifteen different movies and focus on a different aspect of it. I just focussed on the things that were more important to me and felt essential to me and were based in the characters
If you are not familiar with Stephen Kings 'The Stand', allow us to provide a small synopsis of the gripping novel;
After a deadly virus kills off 99,4 % of the world’s population, the survivors of what was once the United States of America are assembling mainly in to different places: In Boulder, Colorado, under the leadership of a woman called Mother Abigail, the beginnings of a Democratic Republic are becoming visible. Meanwhile in Las Vegas, a man with superhuman abilities called Randal Flagg has become a powerful tyrant, punishing dissidents and dragging the city back to its former state of sinful glory. He is also searching for weapons of mass destruction. When both parties become aware of each other, a last stand seems inevitable…
The Stand will take 6 to 8 months of pre-production, and following that Boone tells Collider they might start shooting it "next Spring at the earliest." Casting choices are unknown as of yet, but Matthew McConaghuey has been rumoured to be interested in the project.