Stephen King's 'The Stand' Ordered to Series at CBS All Access

Stephen King -THE STAND-Getty-Publicity-H 2019
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images; Courtesy of Anchor

Stephen King's post-apocalyptic epic best-seller The Stand is coming to CBS All Access.

Following a prolonged dealmaking process, the SVOD platform on Wednesday announced a straight-to-series, 10-episode order for a drama based on the novel of the same name. Josh Boone, who was previously attached to write a feature film based on the epic novel, is set to pen the script alongside Ben Cavell (Justified, Homeland). The Stand has long been a passion project for Boone.

"I’m excited and so very pleased that The Stand is going to have a new life on this exciting new platform," King said of the series. "The people involved are men and women who know exactly what they’re doing; the scripts are dynamite. The result bids to be something memorable and thrilling. I believe it will take viewers away to a world they hope will never happen."

Boone (who directed The Fault in Our Stars and wrote/helmed the upcoming The New Mutants) and Cavell will write and executive produce The Stand, with the former also on board to direct. Vertigo Entertainment's Roy Lee (It), Mosaic's Jimmy Miller (Land of the Lost) and Richard P. Rubinstein (who produced ABC's 1994 take on The Stand) will also exec produce the CBS TV Studios project. Will Weiske (Land of the Lost) and Miri Yoon (Jonah Hex, Lore) will serve as co-exec producers, while Stephen King's son, Owen King, will produce.

First published in 1978, the 1,100-page novel is being described as an original limited event series. The drama will bring to life King's apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.

This is the second time The Stand will be adapted for television after ABC produced it as an eight-hour miniseries in 1994 with Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald and Rob Lowe starring. King wrote the teleplay and had a minor role in that series. Warner Bros. and CBS Films attempted to bring new life to The Stand as a three-film franchise with David Yates and Steve Koves attached. Both ultimately left the project months later when they considered it would be best served as a TV miniseries. (Ben Affleck was rumored to be attached as the lead.) Boone was tapped in 2014 to write and direct the big-screen take with Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey as the lead. By late 2014, Boone's vision of one feature morphed to The Stand becoming a four-film series. A year later, it was being produced for television after the rights reverted from Warner Bros. Pictures to CBS Films and his TV miniseries was abandoned. Then, in 2017, King revealed a new take was in the works for a network within the CBS family.  

“I read The Stand under my bed when I was 12, and my Baptist parents burned it in our fireplace upon discovery," Boone said. "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."

For CBS All Access, The Stand joins a scripted roster that includes The Good Fight, No Activity, Strange Angel, Tell Me a Story, the Star Trek franchise, The Twilight Zone and Why Women Kill.

"With over 400 million books sold around the world, Stephen King is one of our greatest living authors and The Stand is widely considered the crown jewel of his work. Millions of fans have been waiting for a modern interpretation that delivers on its depth, scope and ambition,” said Julie McNamara, executive vp originals at CBS All Access. “We are thrilled to be working with Stephen, Josh, Ben and a dedicated team working passionately to bring this brilliant material to life.”

King's TV roster also includes HBO's upcoming The Outsider, Hulu's Castle Rock and Audience Network's Mr. Mercedes.