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AUG
23
8 MOS

'Crazy Heart' Director in Talks for Stephen King's 'The Stand'

Scott Cooper is in talks to replace Ben Affleck on the Warner Bros. and CBS Films movie, which will be produced by Jimmy Miller and Roy Lee.

Scott Cooper Headshot - P 2013
Getty Images
Scott Cooper

Scott Cooper is in talks to direct and rewrite The Stand, the adaptation of Stephen King’s epic novel being made by Warner Bros. and CBS Films.

Jimmy Miller and Roy Lee are producing the project, which previously had Ben Affleck attached to direct. Affleck is now prepping to star in Gone Girl and will play Batman in Warners' Man of Steel sequel and became unavailable. Warners and CBS Films, meanwhile, have a limited window in order to move on Stand or stand to lose the rights and needed to move fast.

Cooper is best known, so far, for writing and directing Jeff Bridges to an Oscar win for 2009’s drama Crazy Heart. December will see the release of his follow-up, the revenge thriller Out of the Furnace, which stars Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana.

PHOTOS: 11 Biggest Book-to-Big Screen Adaptations

Cooper clearly can attract actors, and The Stand will have plenty of them.

The book is a story of good vs. evil after a virus wipes out most of the American population. It features dozens of characters (including such memorable one as the Trashcan Man and Mother Abigail) and overlapping story lines running over many years as it tells a group of survivors fighting the Antichrist-like Randall Flagg.

The novel did post-apocalypse before it became a trope for YA novels and has influenced artists and media, be it the Lost TV show or music groups such as Anthrax.

The novel was originally published in 1978, but by the time it was re-released in 1990 with King adding and revising portions of the story, it had achieved cult-like status.

David Kajganich wrote the original script for Warners and CBS Films' adaptation.

If a deal makes, the project would mark a big jump up in terms of budget and scope for Cooper, who is repped by CAA and attorney Darren Trattner. And it is a big bet on a rising talent by the new regime at Warners.

E-mail: Borys.Kit@thr.com
Twitter: @borys_kit