There is a moment in every man’s life where he knows things have just made a big turn for the better. Moment’s when he knows that things are going to be a-okay. Moments that seem to shout “holy cheetah balls, this freakin’ rules!”
I’ve had many of those moments in my life.
Just to name a few: the day the McRib came back last fall, the day that both Dianna Argon and Emma Stone were rumored to be in the Spider-Man re-boot, the day I met Grace, the day the Minnesota Twins traded for JJ Hardy, the first-time I saw the preview for (500) Days of Summer and the list goes on and on and on…
The point is, last week, I experienced one of those moments when it was announced that Warner Brothers and CBS Films are teaming up to make a big-screen adaptation of my favorite book, Stephen King’s The Stand.
My initial reaction was to geek out like a small child…on Christmas morning…after six Red Bulls…and smoking crack.
After I calmed down a bit, I realized how ridiculously bad-ass my luck really was in this situation. I started reading The Stand late last summer and didn’t finish it until roughly mid-to-late October.
I then plowed through the totally bitchin’ graphic novel version of the book—also awesome and a much, much quicker way to “read the novel”—and I watched the abso-f’n-lutely awful mini-series that came out in 1994.
How awful was it, you ask?! Well, let me show you…
If you think that was bad, check out the re-mastered trailer from when they came out with some new DVD technology to enhance the film…or something. Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you if you didn’t click the link. One viewing of the trailer is more than enough.
I mean come on, it had Molly freakin’ Ringwald…and it wasn’t even from the ‘80s. There’s no excuse for that in the mid-‘90s.
It had Rob Lowe—who is hilarious—playing one of the most serious and important roles in the entire thing. The entire time I just kept giggling at him.
It had Ruby Dee as Mother Abagail—again, one of the key characters—and the entire time I couldn’t stop thinking that she sounded just like Tracy Morgan does on 30 Rock.
Long story short, I was very unhappy with the silver screen adaptation and did what any nerd would do. I ran to a number of online message boards at places like IMDB and StephenKing.com (among many others) and ranted and raved that The Stand deserved better.
I suggested an updated mini-series like AMC’s totally bitchin’ The Walking Dead as it would allow plenty of time for the story to really play itself out and would likely have a solid enough budget to make it worthwhile.
I suggested a trilogy (or longer) series of movies of the same ilk at Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter.
I ranted. I raved. I re-cast the movie with people I think would rock.
All the while, I never expected anything to ever come out of it. I mean, seriously, how often do you start ranting for something and it just magically appears a few months later. Especially when you consider that Hollywood has largely quit producing movies/shows/etc. based on Stephen King novels since a plethora of flops in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
It seemed that the only thing any studio wanted to touch was King’s Dark Tower series. NBC already has a show in the works and there is already a movie deal as well.
In fact, here’s a direct quote from one of my dorky message board postings:
Odds are nothing will happen with The Stand for years, especially since The Dark Tower appears to be King’s focus for the time being and is undoubtedly his hottest commodity, but a dude can dream, right?!
Thus it is no surprise that it totally caught me off-guard last week when I read that it was finally happening; apparently it caught a lot of people off-guard. One of those people was Stephen King. According to interviews, he learned the good news via the interwebs.
He did, however, offer his take on the latest adaptation, of which he will be largely uninvolved.
I was most intrigued with the latter, especially since I’d done the same thing a few months back—I gleefully wasted an entire Saturday at work on this little project—and now it seems that someone (anyone?) in the world might actually care to read my lil old opinion.
Most of my decisions were based on the following criteria:
1) Acting ability – I’ll take talented actors over big-name actors any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
2) Do they look the part – Molly Ringwald looked NOTHING like the Fran Goldsmith the book portrayed and I’ve tried to remedy that by picking actors who remind me of the characters they’ll be playing.
3) Budget/Reality – I can’t imagine a ton of big-time stars would sign on for a project of this magnitude, so I tried to keep it pretty realistic in that regard.
With no further ado…here is my casting choices for the big-screen The Stand, feel free to hook me up with your casting choices, comments and/or criticisms in the comments.
Stu Redman: Sam Rockwell
Frannie Goldsmith: Evan Rachel Wood
Nick Andros: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Tom Cullen: Ethan Suplee
Larry Underwood: Joshua Jackson
Mother Abagail: Alfre Woodard
Lucy Swan: Madeline Zima
Judge Farris: Robert Duvall
Glen Bateman: Dennis Quad
Ralph Branter: Jeff Bridges
Dayna Jurgens: Shawnee Smith
Susan Stern: Zooey Deschanel
Randall Flagg: Timothy Olyphant
Lloyd Henreid: Will Patton
Harold Lauder: Paul Dano
Nadine Cross: Rebecca Gayheart
Trashcan Man: Jackie Earle Haley
Julie Lawry: AnnaLynne McCord
General Starkey: Chris Cooper
Charles Campion: Clancy Brown