Stephen King never disappeared, but his full-blown resurgence is real. Not only is It Chapter 2 gearing up to never make you want to see a balloon again and Castle Rock season 2 in the works at Hulu, but 2020 will bring a CBS All Access remake of the The Stand as a limited series. Confirmed recent casting reports have promised James Marsden as the heroic Stu Redman and Amber Heard as the duplicitous Nadine Cross. Whoopi Goldberg will play Mother Abagail, and Marilyn Manson announced his own casting for an undisclosed role that should be Randall Flagg, but we probably won’t get that lucky. No one expected this to be a straight-up remake of the 1991 miniseries, but on Thursday, CBS added even more intrigue by promising that the reboot’s ending (via io9) would be “providing a new coda that won’t be found in the book.”
King, whose novel is widely considered to be one of the best post-apocalyptic works of fiction, followed up that news by revealing that he penned the final episode of the limited series. He announced that the script was finished and thanked showrunner Josh Boone for allowing him the chance to do so. King added, “[B]ecause that final story has been in my mind for 30 years.”
The script for that final episode is written. I was glad Josh Boone gave me the chance, because that final story has been in my mind for 30 years.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 2, 2019
(Spoilers from the book/1994 miniseries will be found below.)
Clear as mud, right? Neither King nor CBS have revealed whether the limited series will favor the 1,200 page or so second version of the book that King birthed in 1991, but that must be the case, rather than messing with the 800-ish page initial version. The happy ending to the whole story was that Frannie’s baby was immune to the superflu, and it seems doubtful that King’s “final ending” would modify that in any way. (Messing with a baby would be just cruel.) Will King tweak the aftermath of the big showdown in Las Vagas, though? Flagg, of course, appeared to be dead after that violent confrontation in the miniseries. In King’s Complete & Uncut Edition, an epilogue revealed that Flagg survived, but King’s tweet more than suggests that the new ending is something that we haven’t seen before now. In other words, we know nothing, but this reboot sure does look promising regardless.