Stephen King‘s The Stand is widely considered to be one of the best post-apocalyptic works of fiction, even if printing-press limitations forced him to whittle it down to 800 pages during the book’s initial publication. King birthed a 1,200 page or so second version of the masterpiece in 1991, and a serviceable four-part miniseries starring Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald surfaced in 1994. However, King’s book stands the test of time, and the Captain Trips virus that obliterated 99% of Earth’s population remains as frightening in concept as does the battle between good and evil among the surviving characters.
King’s book was ambitious, as is the idea of a rebooted TV take, which is why word of CBS greenlighting a new ten-episode event series for All Access (its streaming service) generated excitement. Well, that and the sheer fact that everything’s coming up King these days, from the successful It franchise reboot to Hulu’s Castle Rock series. Collider is now exclusively reporting word that the casting process is heating up accordingly, and it looks like James Marsden might not want to abandon that cowboy hat and stubble anytime soon, even if his Westworld character might have said his final goodbye. Here’s Collider’s summary from their sources:
James Marsden (Westworld) is in advanced negotiations to play Stu Redman, a Texan who is the first man discovered to be immune to the Captain Trips virus that has ravaged the planet. He eventually becomes a leader in a community known as the Free Zone, and is tasked with confronting the evil Randall Flagg … Amber Heard (Aquaman) is in negotiations to play Nadine Cross, a private school teacher and virgin who believes she has a unique destiny to be by Flagg’s side …. Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg is in negotiations to play Mother Abagail, who is immune to the superflu and leads the ‘good’ survivors of the plague toward Boulder, Colorado. She also claims to be a prophet of God.
Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abagail? Seems like a fit. Other reported names in circulation include Odessa Young as the pregnant Frannie Goldsmith and Greg Kinnear as Professor Glen Bateman, but unfortunately — huge sigh — there’s no word yet of who might play Randall Flagg, also known as the Walkin’ Dude and the Dark Man. Might I suggest Walton Goggins? Make it happen, CBS. Also, I am floating a fan theory that Payday bars are the most evil part of The Stand, so they fit with Harold’s character as a fixation. There’s also no word on Harold casting, but hopefully we’ll hear more soon. The Paydays must stay, though. They’re nefarious candy bars. Come at me.