Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ is getting a big Hollywood remake – let’s imagine the perfect cast
Early this year it was announced that “The Fault In Our Stars” director Josh Boone was hired by Warner Bros to helm a new adaptation of the the classic, post-apocalyptic Stephen King novel “The Stand.” On Friday, major movie sites were reporting that Matthew McConaughey was being courted to play the iconic manifestation of American aggression and evil, the legendary Randall Flagg. Then on Saturday Josh Boone tweeted this:
The book has already been adapted once as a miniseries in the early ’90s by King himself and Mick Garris. It’s good but not great. In fact, parts of it were really atrocious. (It’s available on Netflix right now if you’re interested.) King adaptations are really easy to screw up. You either understand his mix of camp and seriousness or you don’t. For every “Misery” and “Pet Sematary” there are a dozen “Manglers” and “Children of the Corn.”
Early this year Josh Boone said the magic words that all “Stand” superfans have been dying to hear: “We’re gonna do one three-hour, R-rated version with an amazing A-list cast across the board. Every single one of those characters will be somebody you recognize and somebody you relate to. And it’s gonna be awesome.”
After years of waiting, false-starts, and director swaps, “The Stand” is finally happening! So let’s just fantasize for a moment about who could fill out the cast.
I always thought Michael Fassbender would be great. But Bale’s name has been thrown around since the “Dark Tower” was almost made a few years ago. Bale is ideal. He’s seductive and crazy and always seemed destined for the role. If we can’t have him play Roland, Flagg will do just fine. It’s just meant to be. Flagg is like The Joker of the King Multiverse. A dimension-traveling wizard-demon of destruction and the embodiment of chaos, dysfunction, and evil. Also, if Bale does play Flagg, there is always the chance he could play him in the “Dark Tower” adaptations, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Just as important as Flagg is his nemesis and counterweight. Mother Abigail is the spiritual leader of the Superflu survivors who would embrace decent living and purpose over anarchy and chaos. While the obvious thing to do is go for Viola Davis and put her in old people makeup, I would go with Nichelle Nichols. She’s a pioneering black woman in Hollywood, who, at 81, could play 108 with aplomb.
McConaughey is pure Texas, so this is, again, a perfect casting choice. He’s attractive and mesmerizing and will imbue Stu with an inherent chillness that is needed for such a tense story. He’ll play the rural but street smart dude perfectly. Just imagine him delivering the classic line, “Country don’t mean dumb.” And he’s just coming off wining an Oscar so we could do a lot worse. If one man could keep L-I-V-I-N through the Superflu, it’s McConaughey.
Emmy Rossum would be good but she’s a little too old. Fran has to be too young for Stu and believable as a young and emo expectant mother. Shailene Woodley has already worked with Boone on “The Fault In Our Stars” and is blowing up right now. She may be busy with the “Divergent” movies, but this is an easy choice.
Lizzy Caplan is capable of heavier drama than you might think from just watching “Party Down.” Look at those eyes! She’s sexy and haunted and perfect for a character with questionable allegiances.
Nat Wolff has already been cast in the film for an as-yet-unannounced role. He has been in every Boone movie and I’m guessing this time it’s Nick Andros. He’s the right age and has that deep understated cool that defined Nick’s character.
As great as Matt Frewer was in the original, he just wasn’t right. Trashy is a mess of man. A pyromaniac who couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag. No one plays a mess like Andy Serkis.
Justin Timberlake should be Larry Underwood. He’s a good actor and I just don’t see anyone else in 2015 pulling off a song like “Baby Can You Dig Your Man?” And after “Social Network,” we know JT can play sleazy, which Larry is at the beginning of the story. Adrian Grenier or Jared Leto could work as well.
Ezra Miller is a ball of fire. He can portray a level of insular emotional intelligence few actors his age can pull off. This kid is a little too skinny for Harold but sometimes an actor is just too right for a role. After “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” we know he can play a creepy, insecure, damaged little fucker. Jonah Hill is too old now. Bummer.
Sam Rockwell would be a great Lloyd simply because of his weird face. He has the face of a man who can do some really bad stuff and understand his own shortcomings and weaknesses.
Or they should just get Miguel Ferrer to play Lloyd again because he’s a goddamn champion.
Mandy Patinkin is the perfect combination of cerebral and cool. Glen is a professor who’s going to have a lot of expositional dialogue, and Patinkin is the only one who can deliver it with the right amount of scholarly detachment and human foreboding.
Everyone might go for the obvious choice of Morgan Freeman, but Keith David has been in the entertainment business for a long time. He’s a boss of epic manliness and I just don’t see Morgan Freeman holding his own in a fight against Flagg’s marauding anarchists.
Anyone could do Ralph, but Bryan Cranston plays a great warm-hearted everyman like nobody’s business. Or maybe Richard Jenkins.
The Kid is probably the first character that will be cut for time, but if he is in it, there’s no other choice than Hollywood’s biggest creeper, Casey Affleck.
Stephen King said at the time of the original production that Bill Fagerbakke as Tom Cullen in the miniseries was the closest he’s ever had a character cast in a film that was identical to his imagination. Fagerbakke is too old now, but Channing Tatum or Liam Hemsworth could pull it off. They both don’t seem to have a whole lot going on upstairs, so either one will do. M-O-O-N spells: just cast a dumb-looking guy.