wtf: ‘The Stand’ as a feature film?

The Hollywood Reporter blog Heat Vision informs us that:

Stephen King’s grand opus The Stand is finally getting the big-screen treatment.

Warner Bros. and CBS Films are teaming to adapt the novel, which in many ways set the bar for a generation of post-apocalyptic stories and influenced works ranging from TV’s Lost to music group Anthrax.

What? No no no! The six-hour miniseries ABC did on TV in the 1990s wasn’t long enough. Unless Warner Bros. and CBS Films are proposing to do three three-hour films à la The Lord of the Rings, I don’t want to hear about this.

The studios and producers will sit down with writers and directors in the coming weeks in an attempt to find the right take on the material. One thing to be determined is whether to attempt the adaptation in one or multiple movies.

What?! They haven’t even determined at this point that it definitely must be more than one film? Argh! That tells me they have no clue what the novel is about. There’s no way any single film can do justice to its story… unless that single film is nine hours long.

CBS, meanwhile, gets a chance to be involved in an ambitious big-budget tentpole with little downside.

If they’re thinking tentpole, they’re thinking mass mainstream global audiences. Which would seem to contradict this:

George Romero and Warners separately tried in vain to launch a movie adaptation in the 1980s, and a tone-downed version was produced as a six-hour miniseries by ABC in 1994.

I love the miniseries, but I can see that it was indeed toned down from the book. But if this new movie is perceived to be a tentpole — that is, the one big summer flick around which the entire rest of that year’s film schedule from those studios will be planned — there’s no way in hell they’re gonna go for an R rating. It’ll be PG-13 at best, which means it’ll still be toned down from the book.


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