When Warner Bros. announced back in late October of 2011 that Ben Affleck was their number one choice to adapt Stephen King's post-apocalyptic tome "The Stand" for the big screen, it surprised everyone. Previous mentions of the project had director David Yates, the man responsible for the last four, box office-crushing "Harry Potter" films, attached. Turning those books into films was no easy feat - so it made sense that Yates' experience would lend itself well to "The Stand."
But Affleck? Even with two critically-acclaimed films under his belt in "The Town" and "Gone Baby Gone," I still wasn't sold. But after seeing "Argo," a fantastic thriller that will surely nab a Best Picture Oscar nom, and perhaps even a Best Director nom for the 40-year-old, I'm no longer concerned. The guy can direct - and it's clear he's up to the task. But as was expected, the project is proving to be daunting.
"Right now we're having a very hard time," he tells GQ of him and writer David Kajganich's efforts to condense the 823-page novel. "But I like the idea—it's like The Lord of the Rings in America. And it's about how we would reinvent ourselves as a society. If we started all over again, what would we do?"
Back in February, Stephen King admitted that "The Stand" as a movie would prove difficult to adapt.
"You absolutely can’t make it as a two-hour movie," he told Entertainment Weekly. "If it was a trilogy of films…maybe." As for the visual translation, he has more optimism. "Historically speaking, movie studios blow the budget on things like this, so maybe it’ll be fun to look at. The dough certainly isn’t going to me, although if it is a trilogy, and if it makes a lot of money, I might be able to buy a chicken dinner at Popeye’s. Great slaw!"