Although one ambitious Stephen King adaption has recently withered on the vine (The Dark Tower over at Universal), another ambitious King adaption is starting to show signs of life.
Warner Brothers is in negotiations with screenwriter Steve Kloves to begin work on bringing King’s apocalyptic epic The Stand to the big screen as a series of films. Kloves will be working alongside director David Yates who is also in negotiations with the studio.
The two had previously shepherded the last four Harry Potter films for the studio. With this summer’s finale of that franchise, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, having already pulled in $1.1 billion at the world wide box office, it is clear that the studio is hoping that the pair can work similar magic with the material here.
A multi-film Stand adaption would definitely fit into Warner’s desire to have a number of blockbuster tentpole features on their release calendar for the next several years. They are also currently working at developing many of the superhero characters owned by corporate sibling DC Entertainment for films as well.
The one question that hovers over this proposed franchise concerns its rating. Dealing with the apocalypse and such things, it would be very easy for the films to stray into an R rating territory. Such a rating would, of course, impact the films’ box office receipts, something the studio would obviously wish to avoid. (For a similar instance, see Guillermo del Toro’s clash with Universal over the rating for his proposed adaption of H P Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness.) Granted the television mini-series adaption of the book back in the 1990s managed to tell the story with the far greater restrictions placed on that medium, so a PG-13 rated Stand could be done. But will that water down things too much for fans?