Ben Affleck Off Directing Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’

Ben Affleck The Stand
Kris Connor/Getty Images

'Crazy Heart' director Cooper on board

Ben Affleck is no longer directing a feature version of Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic novel “The Stand” for Warner Bros. and CBS Films with “Crazy Heart” director Scott Cooper on board to helm and rewrite the script.

Affleck, who came on board Thursday to take on the Batman role in Warner Bros.’ Batmann-Superman tentpole, has been attached to “The Stand” since 2011. He remains on board to direct Warner’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s “Live by Night,” which centers on the gangsters who ran rum from Cuba to Tampa to Boston during Prohibition.

Cooper directed Christian Bale in Relativity’s “Out of the Furnace,” which opens Dec. 6.  Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana also star in a story that follows Bale’s character dealing with his missing brother.

Warner Bros. and CBS Films set up “The Stand” in 2011 with Mosaic and Roy Lee attached to develop and produce. Cooper agreed to come on to the project in part due to what he saw as the strength of David Kajganich’s adaptation.

CBS has the option to participate on the financing and Warners will handle worldwide marketing and distribution.

SEE ALSO: Warners, CBS Films take a ‘Stand’

“The Stand,” originally published in 1978, is divided into three parts and launches with a pandemic that leads to the death of an estimated 99.4% of the world’s human population. Tome chronicles the cross-country odysseys undertaken by a small number of survivors who are drawn to Boulder, Colo., and Las Vegas, where a final confrontation between two camps takes place.

“The Stand” was adapted into television miniseries for ABC in 1994, directed by Mick Garris and starring Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, Miguel Ferrer and Laura San Giacomo. Studios haven’t yet decided how many “Stand” films to make to encompass the scope of the book.

The Deadline.com site first reported Cooper’s attachment.

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  1. Steve Bailey says:

    Why are they doing The Stand twice, and ignoring the awesome Dark Tower series ?

  2. S. Cronin says:

    What the ???? Yet another age old story of not being broke but trying to fix it.

  3. freedomforall says:

    A mini series was already done. Why in the hell would anyone want to do a movie version? The ending was boring and basically an afterthought. While the book was good it progressively got worse, like a marathon runner petering out in the end…energy lost. I have no desire to see this retread.

  4. McAlvie says:

    The book was amazing, the mini series was amazing. But if they try to turn this into a feature film, they’ll ruin it. Hollywood needs to stop remaking classics that were perfect to begin with (that’s why they are classics!) and try remaking the duds for a change. Then, at least, there’s a chance they can improve upon instead of falling flat.

  5. Melodie says:

    Don’t need another Stand made the first was the best that will be. Need The Talisman, or The Tower series, done by the same people who made the Stand. do it right. Not like The Dome. Love the book, Hate the series!

  6. bb629 says:

    I like to see Eyes of the dragon made after the stand and use the same actor for flagg

  7. Cindy Savard says:

    “rewriting” the script sounds kind of ominous to me.

  8. Hootenanny Swartzkauph says:

    Starting to remind me of the film version of the Gunslinger series that was supposed to be made a year or so ago , A Might Huzza and then …. Nothing .

  9. Wayne C. Rogers says:

    I said it two years ago, and I’ll say it again. Frank Darabont is possibly the only director who could do the theatrical version of The Stand justice. He did it for The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist. Warner Brothers could’ve gotten Frank as a director once he was off The Walking Dead and before he started his new crime noir series for TNT. Now, it’s too late.

  10. breezybealle says:

    To me, Gary Sinise’s roll as Stu Redman was his breakthrough performance. Of course, Forrest Gump came out right after and then it was all uphill from there, And although the miniseries was okay and definitely had a long list of amazing actors, I always felt there was something missing. To be honest, most (but not all) of Stephen King’s books that have been turned into movies have disappointed me. Maybe it’s that his books are so riveting that it’s hard to recreate them on screen? I don’t know, but I would love to see The Stand adapted into a major motion picture.

  11. Char Milam says:

    God! They’re making another film about The Stand? The book’s a bore (and way too long for the story line. Under the Dome is much, much better), the miniseries a snooze fest and after it all, Stephen King is STILL my favorite author.

  12. The book was amazing. I really liked the TV miniseries also. Great actors there, especially the characters of Stu Redman, Nick Andros, Tom Cullen and Mother Abigail! They can’t do better than that, in my opinion.

  13. Most definitely need a remake of this! It always drove me nuts that they did it for TV back then as they had to tone it down so much.

  14. myintx says:

    M-O-O-N Spells don’t do a remake. The original series was great! :)

  15. Lola says:

    I’ve read the book 2 times & watched the movie on VCR & DVD several times & still watch it. I don’t think they need to remake it again anyway. There was too many changes in the first one & hate to think how many more would be done in this one. Leave it be people, leave it be! I will probably watch it, lol.

  16. Jody York says:

    No one thought that Heath Ledger would be a good Joker and yet he was in his own way the best. Ben Affleck deserves a go at this. He was good in Dare Devil and may surprise every one. We should give him a chance!

  17. Joe says:

    Well glad to see someone had some sense. Affleck doing The Stand is not good. He did not even make a good blind lawyer in one of his movies. As for the batman role, Affleck would not make a pimple on some of the ones that has played Batman butt. Affleck needs to stick to what he does best, “shoot’em up, bang bangs”. Right now the only thing he has going for him is who he is married to, Jennifer Garner!

  18. Rose MJ Jurkowski (sheppard) says:

    It’s gonna be hard to top “The Stand” starring Gary Sinise. He was the best Stuart Redmond there ever could be.

  19. Amanda Covert says:

    Oh I hope he does a good job…loved Argo….but Stephen King is another level that no one has quite achieved.

  20. Sammy Brooks says:

    Its one of his best novels do it right!

  21. Mary Johnson says:

    “Why are they remaking this! The mini Series is a classic!

  22. sandra says:

    Oh Please do a good job. The Stand is my favorite story.

  23. D-Man says:

    Or, maybe make an adaptation of Robert McCammon’s “Swan Song”, the novel King was ripping off when he wrote The Stand.

    • Pat Castillo says:

      I love Swan Song!!!! But I love The Stand too!!! Love both books (and The Stand mini series) and have read both numerous times and watched The Stand countless times! I’ve always thought that they should make a movie out of Swan Song. The big difference is that King’s novel is about a plague and Swan Song nuclear holocaust. They are both gripping novels in my humble opinion. Both good reads.

    • Dr. Lund says:

      Just to clarify, the publication you refer to, (Robert McCammon’s “Swan Song”), was published in 1987. The Stand was initially published in 1978.
      Hard to imagine that Stephen King based his novel on a book published 9 years after he published his.

      Thoughts? Thanks for listening.

    • Stephen says:

      Um, no. Other way around buddy. The Stand was published in 1978. Swan Song was published 10 years later in 1987.

    • D-Bag says:

      Was King friends with Robert McCammon? If not, it would be hard for him to rip off a book that came out almost ten years later.

      • D-Man says:

        I am aware The Stand came out nine years earlier. It still ripped off Swan Song.

        That’s how bad of a book it is. Glad I could clear that up for you.

    • Fire says:

      Swan Song was written 9 years AFTER The Stand. Besides one has to do with a “super flu” and the other with nuclear war.

    • Sonia Dickinson Cox says:

      The Stand was originally published in 1978 and Swan Song is a 1987 horror novel by American novelist Robert R. McCammon.
      Your point is invalid.

  24. Lord Aran says:

    I say go for it. The mini series was good but had its flaws.
    I’d suggest two movies, released within a year of each other.

  25. curt says:

    I have read the novel several times. I think that no matter how it is treated, there is no way that a film or mini series will ever compare to it. So the best thing that can be done is to leave it alone.

  26. G. Jardoness says:

    Abandon Ship Ben!

    What makes Mr. King’s novels work and their adaptations not is his palpable and visceral fixation on the grizzly and grotesque details. That’s why there was “Cujo” the novel, and “Cujo”, the movie with a plot that could fit on a 3×5, ‘Dog get rabbies, traps mother and child a in car, and slobbers all over it during a hot summer day’.

    The same goes for “The Stand”. And given how many crazed and frenetic apocalyptic viral movies there have been, having a black comedy about lingering death and the dysfunctional survivors who wander, (sans – dragons or zombie or magical woodland creatures), to Denver to have endless town meetings about civic duty and infrastructure needs, only to grind to a an even-duller anticlimax, by then, in desperate in need of divine intervention, by walking from there to Vegas, and doing absolutely nothing thereafter…

    Unless the producers intend to ‘enhance’ the plot with LOTR devices, or draw inspiration from the recent spade of supernatural teen melodramas, they should reconsider the fact, the 1994 mini-series was a faithful and authentic adaptation, and as good as that source-material had to offer.

  27. When Ben Affleck signed to direct THE STAND for Warner Bros., I took a stand…that the actor/director find some other work. His interest in the project notwithstanding, my respect for Ben as a director (and opinion that King’s story has past its prime) imagine his considerable talents being put to better use, while the book should remain a novel (and a novel TV series).

    Gladden by Affleck’s decision to pass on this film. Fiscally, Warner Bros. will not go it alone without a substantial financial partner like CBS; and the script, as good as they say it is, remains in development.

  28. Bill says:

    I have read the entire book 4 times and couldn’t put it down any of those times. I didn’t see the tv series but will check it out. It is one of the greatest books ever and I hope they get the movie made soon because I’m in my 70’s.

  29. I absolutely love the original novel (especially the unabridged edition). It is a massive book and even though it could sustain two or three films I actually hope they condense it into one well written script.

    I recently re-watched the mini-series on Netflix and it is surprisingly true to the original works (except for Harold, they changed him). I think the biggest draw back of the mini-series is the casting of “The Dark Man” aka “The Walking Dude”… he needs to be a character on par with the greatest villains of all time for the film to have the impact it needs.

    • Hooker Jay says:

      One thing I always hated about the Complete and Uncut version and the 1994 mini-series is the cockamamie hand-of-God ending. The original ending of the 1978 novel where Trashcan Man – hurt and betrayed by Flagg who had lost all composure and publicly castigates him instead of pandering to him – gets even by detonating the nuke with a wild eyed and maniacal “Bump dee Bump!” needs to be restored. Trashcan Man’s sacrificial act in detonating the nuke was his redemption. All his own evil as a mentally deranged firebug was effectively erased in the reader’s mind by that one “atta boy” of pure street justice …

      Also, anything short of not casting Simon Templeman as Flagg is a mistake. Jamie Sheridan’s performance is a tough act to follow, but Simon is the only actor I know that can either do justice to or exceed Sheridan. In fact, Sheridan’s performance as Flagg is missing the measured intensity, method-to-his-madness, and pure diabolical wickedness that Templeman delivered in spades as Kain in the “Legacy of Kain” video game series. Oh, and he can pull off Flagg’s trademark tittering laugh like no tomorrow …

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