Ben Affleck Directing ‘The Stand’ For Warner Bros?

Ben Affleck is looking at “The Stand,” and Warner Brothers is standing behind him.

Deadline broke the news on Friday that Affleck is the WB’s choice to adapt the massive Stephen King novel, marking the first big announcement about the long-in-development project since August. Last we checked in, “The Stand” was rumored to be helmed by none other than David Yates of “Harry Potter” fame, but this, it seems, is no longer the case.

“The Stand” is, to put it lightly, massive. Clocking in at over 1100 pages, the book is one of King’s most popular works, yet it’s also one that’s had a hard time making it to the screen; see the uneven 1994 miniseries as an example, the only “successful” attempt at bringing “The Stand” to live action so far.

Pulling this cat out of the bag would be an enormous moment in Affleck’s directing career, not to mention a daunting one. But the timing couldn’t be better: Affleck has definitely found his directing stride, with last year’s “The Town” showing us exactly what he’s made of. On top of his skills behind the camera, Affleck could well be the perfect man to play the film’s lead role, Stuart Redman. But even if he doesn’t star in the film, Affleck has enough big name friends in Hollywood to fill “The Stand” to the brim with A-List talent.

It still remains to be seen how Affleck might tackle “The Stand,” though I imagine the film has to be told in at least two parts to shed even a glimmer of light on the book’s expansive cast and plot. But just because WB is zeroing in on a director — and it’s still up in the air that Affleck will take “The Stand” or not — does not mean this monster of a tale is ready to be told. It’s going to take one heck of a screenwriter (Steve Kloves, is that still you?) to turn “The Stand” into a watchable, comprehensible story.

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