After backpedaling in February on its previous plans to adapt Stephen King's post-apocalyptic classic "The Stand" into a three film trilogy, Warner Bros. received criticism from fans who believed a single film could not possibly do the 1,000 page novel justice.
"To make this into a movie, it MUST be a trilogy at the very least. With this news the movie has just been doomed to failure and no matter what director helms it that is all it has in it's future," wrote one commenter back in February.
In a new interview with Collider, director Josh Boone inspires faith that all may not be lost; sharing the positive reaction of King himself to the recently-completed script.
"I finished writing the script maybe a month ago," he says. "Stephen [King] absolutely loved it. It’s, I think, the first script ever approved by him. [It'll be] a single version movie of The Stand. Three hours. It hews very closely to the novel. It was such an amazing process. I’m so familiar with [King's] work and I’ve read so many of his books so many times over the years that it was just a really comfortable thing to be able to work with his material."
That approval is a huge turnaround for King, who adamantly told EW.com a couple years back that only a trilogy would "maybe" work. "You absolutely can’t make it as a two-hour movie," he added.
As for Boone, the latest in a long succession of directors attached to the project (David Yates, Ben Affleck, and Scott Cooper), he appears to have had more success in craftng a script filled with the most impressionable pieces from King's novel.
"I just focused on the things that I felt strongly about, that I have strong memories about, that are evocative to me even when I read it now," he says. "You just have an internal interest meter. The Stand is about so many things — you could make ten to fifteen different movies and focus on a different aspect of it. I just focused on the things that were more important to me and felt essential to me and were based in the characters."
As for when production might actually get off the ground, Boone says that while everything is still in the early stages, a Spring 2015 shoot is not out of the questions. But first, he needs to find his cast - a piece of the puzzle that took an interesting turn last month after Deadline reported that Matthew McConaughey was being courted for the lead villain.
"This is by no means a firm situation, but it’s understandable why the studio thinks McConaughey would be a compelling and persuasive force of evil in the film," the site shared.
Get McConaughey in the mix and some other big names are likely to follow. Couple that with a three-hour script that even King approves and suddenly this project appears less hopeless. Let's just hope "Don't Fear the Reaper" makes another cameo.