James Marsden Circling 'The Stand' at CBS All Access

The 'Westworld' actor is in talks to take a lead role in the adaptation of Stephen King's epic novel.
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James Marsden

James Marsden is in talks for lead roles in The Stand, an adaptation of Stephen King's novel at CBS All Access.

The 10-episode series from Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) and Ben Cavell (Justified, Homeland) is the second based on King's 1978 novel. ABC aired a well-reviewed and highly watched six-hour miniseries based on the book in 1994.

CBS All Access declined to comment.

The Stand tells the story of a world decimated by a plague and locked in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The novel also features the first appearance of long-running King character Randall Flagg, an embodiment of evil; in the book, he's pitted against 108-year-old Mother Abigail and the survivors of the plague.

Marsden (Westworld) is set to play Stu Redman, who is immune to the virus that wiped out much of the population and becomes a leader of the survivors. Gary Sinise played the role in the ABC miniseries.

The Stand has been a passion project for Boone, who first read the book when he was 12. He was tapped to write a feature-film adaptation in 2014, which morphed into a four-film series and then, eventually, the version that CBS All Access is making.

"My Baptist parents burned [the book] in our fireplace upon discovery," Boone said when the series was announced. "Incensed, I stole my dad’s FedEx account number and mailed King a letter professing my love for his work. Several weeks later, I came home to find a box had arrived from Maine, and inside were several books, each inscribed with a beautiful note from god himself, who encouraged me in my writing and thanked me for being a fan. My parents, genuinely moved by King’s kindness and generosity, lifted the ban on his books that very day. I wrote King a cameo as himself in my first film and have been working to bring The Stand to the screen for five years. I've found incredible partners in CBS All Access and Ben Cavell. Together with Stephen King, Owen King, my longtime producing partners Knate Lee and Jill Killington, we plan to bring you the ultimate version of King’s masterwork."

Boone and Cavell are executive producing The Stand with Roy Lee, Jimmy Miller and Richard P. Rubinstein. Will Weiske and Miri Yoon are co-exec producers, and King's son, Owen King, will produce.

Marsden is repped by CAA and Authentic.