After helming two fine films about young people in love, “The Fault In Our Stars” director Josh Boone may be taking a decidedly different direction for his next project. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director is in talks to take the reins on a big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand.”
For those who’d been following Boone’s career, this is unexpected but unsurprising news: an avid Stephen King fan, the director had previously announced plans for a film based on another of King’s books. “Lisey’s Story,” which centers on the widow of a famous novelist, would have been a natural step into the horror genre for the director; like his other films, it’s a love story with a small cast of characters and a literary twist.
“The Stand,” by contrast, will be a more challenging project: a sprawling ensemble drama set in the U.S. after a massive, deadly flu epidemic has wiped out more than 99% of the population. The story centers on a group of surviving strangers plagued by prescient dreams who must band together and face a powerful, evil man who plans to make over the post-apocalyptic world in his image.
With a diverse and enormous cast of characters, snagging a part in “The Stand” will likely be a goal for many of Hollywood’s hungry young actors. And yes, there could definitely be room for Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley of “The Fault in Our Stars” to make yet another onscreen appearance together… Although not together together, as the pairings in “The Stand” don’t include a typical teen romance.
For Woodley, her potential role is an obvious choice: she’d be great as the fiercely courageous Frannie Goldsmith, who finds out that she’s pregnant with her loser boyfriend’s baby right before the world as we know it comes to an end.
For Elgort, a good-guy role is probably out of the question. He’s too young to play feckless musician Larry Underwood, and too leading-man handsome to play deaf-mute drifter Nick Andros. But if he fancied a part made of pure evil, he could make a particularly gross cameo as one of the story’s various sadistic sociopaths.
If he moves forward with the project, Boone will be the fourth and final director to be attached to “The Stand.” Ben Affleck, David Yates and Scott Cooper had all previously been tapped to direct, with Cooper leaving the project late last year over creative differences.
But with Boone on board to both direct and rewrite the script, this is likely good news for fans of the original novel who want to see the movie stay true to its source material.