Ben Affleck directing The Stand?
I saw this news last week but it's still standing out for me as a big story and well worth looking at, for the news is that Ben Affleck is being looked to as a director of The Stand, the adaptation of the Stephen King novel which so far we've seen in a rather strong mini-series format.
Before a couple of directors had been mentioned for the project including David Yates but they've all since disappeared by the wayside and now Affleck's name is being mentioned.
In fact the story is that Ben Affleck has been chosen for the task by Warner Bros., but there's nothing there about the state of the deal, if Affleck has signed a contract and where the project is, so heavy pinch of salt time.
That said the story is coming from Deadline through Latino Review, and it is written as though it's a done deal. No word yet if he has signed a contract, but if he has this could be his most challenging task to date.
I say that because The Stand is a huge book and that's one of the reasons that it was made as a mini-series, there's just too much in the book to compress into one film. Yet a film could be made of the story, people have to accept that. It could be trimmed down and made into a two hour plus film, but it wouldn't be everything that has been written on the page, and this is where the adaptation process often annoys people.
The Stand (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) is the story of the end of the world and about groups of survivors from an apocalypse brought about by a virus that has escaped from a government facility, a virus that wipes out nearly everything on the planet. The survivors are rounded up by two very different forces and brought together for one big, final battle and it features that favourite villain, Randall Flagg. It's a great book from King and brings together a lot of his themes and styles into one epic book.
I think it could be done, although it wouldn't be the extensive tale in the book. Mind you, last we heard was that David Yates was directing the film we heard that the studio was considering a "multi-picture adaptation" of the story, and that could mean that the studio would still consider making a trilogy of the book.
What is interesting is that if Affleck does take the job we are looking at a very different tale than the one we would have seen from Yates, from fantasy to a much more gritty reality, something I am most definitely up for.
Yet I can't help but feel some doubt, would Ben Affleck, director of Gone Baby Gone and The Town (Filmstalker review) really head off and make a film version of The Stand? To me it just doesn't feel right and he has plenty of offers on the table for other directing roles.
Could he make a good version of The Stand?