The Stand (2020 miniseries)

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The Stand
The Stand (2020 miniseries logo).png
Genre
Based onThe Stand
by Stephen King
Developed by
Starring
Music byNathaniel Walcott and Mike Mogis
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Stephen Welke
  • Jill Killington
  • Knate Lee
  • Owen King
Production locationsBritish Columbia, Canada
Cinematography
Editors
  • Robb Sullivan
  • Matthew Rundell
  • Marc Clark
  • Rob Bonz
  • Robert Berman
Running time53–65 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original networkCBS All Access
Original releaseDecember 17, 2020 (2020-12-17) –
present (present)
External links
Website

The Stand is an American dark fantasy streaming television miniseries, based on the 1978 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The first episode was released on CBS All Access on December 17, 2020.[1]

Premise[edit]

The Stand is described as "King's apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied by a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the nefarious 'Dark Man.'"[2]

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

Guest starring[edit]

Stephen King cameos in "The House of the Dead" on an advertisement for Hemingford Home.

Episodes[edit]

No.Title [3][4]Directed byTeleplay by [3]Original release date [5]
1"The End"Josh BooneJosh Boone & Benjamin CavellDecember 17, 2020 (2020-12-17)
A lethal weaponized strain of influenza (known as Captain Trips) is unleashed, causing an apocalyptic pandemic that kills billions in weeks, yet a small number of people remain immune. Geeky Harold Lauder vies for his former babysitter Frannie Goldsmith. Both quickly lose their loved ones to the virus and appear to be the only survivors in their hometown. After preventing Frannie from committing suicide, Harold suggests that they leave to find others. Elsewhere, Stu Redman witnesses the death of Charles Campion, the man who was supposedly Captain Trips' patient zero. While all his friends die, Stu discovers he is immune and is taken in by medical authorities. The facility's staff ultimately succumbs to the disease, and Redman is aided in escaping the facility by a sympathetic general. Months later in Boulder, Colorado, Harold helps his fellow survivors bury the numerous bodies while Stu and a very pregnant Frannie are in love regardless of their difference in age. Overcome with jealousy, Harold then schemes about their deaths. In flashback, it is revealed that Campion was subtly manipulated into spreading the virus by the sinister Randall Flagg.
2"Pocket Savior"Tucker GatesJosh Boone & Benjamin CavellDecember 24, 2020 (2020-12-24)
Larry Underwood is a musician who was on the verge of success when Captain Trips hits, killing his mother and his former writing partner. In a now largely abandoned New York City, he meets Rita Blakemoor and starts a relationship with her. They decide to leave and are attacked by stalkers and escape into the sewers before eventually reaching the outskirts of the city. Whilst traveling, Rita commits suicide by overdosing on pills. Criminal Lloyd Henreid is arrested after a botched robbery and ends up trapped in prison when Captain Trips takes over. Growing weaker and becoming delusional, he is visited by Flagg who promises to release him on the condition that he become his "right-hand man". Months later, Larry arrives in Boulder alongside Nadine Cross and a child named Joe. Larry discovers that Mother Abagail, the leader of the commune, has been looking for people to lead and wants him to be one of the leaders alongside Stu and Ray Brentner. Nadine begins to have visions of Flagg beckoning to her.
3"Blank Page"Danielle Krudy & Bridget Savage ColeJill Killington & Owen KingDecember 31, 2020 (2020-12-31)
As a child, Nadine used a planchette and contacted Flagg who promised to make her his queen. After Captain Trips, Nadine discovers Joe and the two of them run into Larry who has been following messages left behind by Harold. He reluctantly brings them along with him and he bonds with Joe. Stu encounters Frannie and Harold with the latter distrustful of him. He parts ways with them and meets Glen Bateman who has painted Mother Abagail, whom the two of them have had visions of, as well as a very pregnant Frannie. Nick Andros, a deaf-mute temp worker, is attacked in a bar and loses his eye. Flagg beckons him, but he resists and instead follows Mother Abigail's directions. Later, he meets Tom Cullen, a man with learning disabilities. Months later, Heck Drogan escapes Las Vegas and ends up in Boulder where Mother Abagail and her committee (consisting of Stu, Frannie, Larry, Ray, Glen and Nick) learn that he is a messenger from Flagg; warning them of his impending rise. Nadine uses the planchette again to contact Flagg who orders her to kill Mother Abagail and the committee by seducing Harold.
4"The House of the Dead"Danielle Krudy & Bridget Savage ColeJill Killington & Owen King and Benjamin Cavell & Eric DickinsonJanuary 7, 2021 (2021-01-07)
On the road together, Harold confesses his feelings to Frannie but she rejects him. They are ambushed by a serial rapist keeping women captive, who chains Frannie up and brutally beats Harold. Stu and Glen arrive, having followed Harold's signs, and a firefight breaks out. Dayna Jurgens, one of the rapist's captives, kills him with a crowbar. Stu explains the dreams and paintings to Frannie, who agrees to travel to Boulder along with a reluctant Harold. Nick and Tom, also traveling to Boulder, encounter an unstable woman named Julie Lawry, who kisses Nick but begins ridiculing Tom's mental handicap, leading a disillusioned Nick to abandon her. She fires at the two men with a shotgun as they depart, and Tom saves Nick's life. In Boulder, the committee vote to send three spies across the mountains to identify the threat made by Drogan: Frannie nominates Dayna Jurgens, with whom she has formed a bond; Larry nominates Judge Harris, the oldest member of the community; and Glen nominates Tom Cullen. Nadine approaches Harold and quickly seduces him, convincing him to help her kill Mother Abagail and the committee. Harold devises a plan to use avalanche control explosives. While taking the explosives from the outskirts of town, they are spotted together by Teddy Weizak, Harold's friend and partner on the body crew. Nadine shoots Weizak dead to cover their tracks, and he dies in Harold's arms.
5"Fear and Loathing in New Vegas"Chris FisherJill Killington & Knate LeeJanuary 14, 2021 (2021-01-14)
Dayna arrives in New Vegas and plans to work her way up to meeting Flagg. She ends up getting favored by Lloyd who takes her in as an arm girl. She learns that Tom is also there and gives him a note telling him to "run", but he cannot read it. Dayna finally meets Flagg who reveals that he knows why she is there and plans to let her go on the condition that she reveal who the "third spy" is. After a failed attempt to kill him, Dayna kills herself to prevent revealing any secrets. Harold is haunted by Teddy's death, but is invited by Frannie to have dinner with her and Stu. The dinner is a ploy so that Larry can break into Harold's house and snoop around as Frannie is concerned about him. Nadine starts becoming worried for Joe and visits Larry in an effort to sleep with him, but he is busy with the plan. Larry finds Nadine's shirt in Harold's house, arousing his suspicion. The dinner is nice, but becomes awkward when Harold points out that Frannie does not remember anything about their time together. Harold leaves just as Larry leaves the house, however Harold knew about the plot thanks to his surveillance cameras. Mother Abigail is upset about the committee sending spies and prays to God for advice, only to be attacked by Flagg in his wolf form. Ray arrives at her house to discover that she has left a note saying that she left.
6"The Vigil"Chris FisherJill Killington & Knate LeeJanuary 21, 2021 (2021-01-21)
7"The Walk"Vincenzo Natali[6]Owen KingJanuary 28, 2021 (2021-01-28)
8"The Stand"Vincenzo Natali[7]Benjamin Cavell & Taylor ElmoreFebruary 4, 2021 (2021-02-04)
9"Coda: Frannie in the Well"Josh Boone[2]Written by : Stephen KingFebruary 11, 2021 (2021-02-11)

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In January 2011, it was announced that Warner Bros. Pictures and CBS Films were developing a feature-length film adaptation of author Stephen King's 1978 novel The Stand, which had previously been adapted as a 1994 miniseries.[8] In August 2011, David Yates was hired to direct with Steve Kloves writing the screenplay.[9] They subsequently left the project with Yates later explaining that he felt it would work better as a miniseries.[10] In October 2011, Ben Affleck was named as the new director.[11] In January 2012, David Kajganich was hired to write the screenplay.[12] In an interview in November 2012 Affleck admitted that he was having difficulty with the adaptation.[13] According to Kajganich, when he was hired, the plan was to make a two-film adaptation.[14] Kajganich claimed he finished the first draft of part one, only for Warner Bros. to change their minds and change the project to a single film.[14] Kajganich then scripted a one-film version.[14] In August 2013, Scott Cooper replaced Affleck as director.[15] In November 2013, Cooper left the project.[16] Cooper later stated that he was unable to make the story fit into one film.[17] On February 25, 2014, Josh Boone was hired to write and direct the adaptation.[18] He later revealed that he wanted Christian Bale to play Randall Flagg and Matthew McConaughey for the role of Stu Redman.[19] By September 10, 2014, the script had been completed and pre-production was underway.[20] In November, Boone planned to split his adaptation into four full-length feature films in an effort to remain true to the breadth of King's sprawling novel.[21][22] In June 2015, Warner Bros. proposed an eight-part Showtime miniseries to set up the story, which would culminate in Josh Boone's film.[23] However, in February 2016, The Stand project was put on hold and the rights reverted to CBS Films.[24] In September 2017, King talked of doing an extended TV series on Showtime or CBS All Access.[25] On March 30, 2018, it was reported that CBS All Access were redeveloping the project into a ten-hour limited series with Boone still attached to serve as director.[26] In January 2019, a 10-hour limited series was ordered by CBS Television Studios to be broadcast on CBS All Access.[27] The production features Stephen King's son Owen King as a producer and writer,[2] and a new ending written by Stephen King.[28] The episode count was reduced to nine episodes after the writing process had finished.[29]

Casting[edit]

In June 2019, James Marsden, Amber Heard, Whoopi Goldberg, Greg Kinnear, Odessa Young and Henry Zaga were all in consideration for the roles of Stu Redman, Nadine Cross, Mother Abagail, Glen Bateman, Frannie Goldsmith and Nick Andros, respectively.[30] On July 8, Marilyn Manson confirmed in an interview with Revolver that he had been cast in an undisclosed role[31] and also recorded a cover of The Doors' "The End" with Shooter Jennings that would be included in the miniseries.[32] However, this cover could not be used due to the series' tight budget.[33] On August 1, it was announced at the TCA Summer Presentation by CBS All Access the formal casting of Marsden, Heard, Young, and Zaga were all cast in the series.[34] According to news reports, Stephen King has written an entirely different ending to the final chapter of the series that is also different than the book as well as a coda. In addition, the last episodes will be written by King and his son Owen.[28] On September 11 it was announced that Alexander Skarsgård was cast as Randall Flagg.[35] Also confirmed cast members include Goldberg, Jovan Adepo, Owen Teague, Brad William Henke, and Daniel Sunjata for the roles of Mother Abagail, Larry Underwood, Harold Lauder, Tom Cullen, and Cobb respectively.[36] On September 13, 2019, Boone posted a teaser video to Instagram to announce that production on the series had begun.[37] In October, Nat Wolff, Eion Bailey, Katherine McNamara, Hamish Linklater and Heather Graham were added to the cast.[38][39][40] Natalie Martinez was confirmed to have a role in the series in December 2019,[41] and confirmed that she was playing Dayna Jurgens in the comments section of an Instagram post.[42] In January 2020, Clifton Collins Jr. revealed on Instagram that he will play the minor role of Bobby Terry.[43] In his interview with GQ in March 2020, Ezra Miller confirmed he has a role in the series which was undisclosed[44] but later revealed to be Trashcan Man.[45] With this news, it was revealed that Marilyn Manson was in talks to play The Kid but that his part was cut out of the script during the writing process. In May 2020, Vanity Fair revealed the first look at Gordon Cormier as Joe.[46]

On August 19, 2020, Mick Garris, the director of the 1994 miniseries adaptation, confirmed that he would have a non-speaking cameo in the new series.[47] On December 3, 2020, showrunner Ben Cavell revealed during the Television Critics Association virtual panel presentation for the series that Stephen King would have a cameo.[48]

On August 7, 2019, the Daily Moth reported that Josh Boone cast a hearing actor (Henry Zaga) over a deaf actor for the role of a deaf character, Nick Andros. This sparked a backlash from multiple well-known deaf actors. A deaf man from Los Angeles, Jared Perez-DeBusk, had a brief conversation on Instagram with Boone, sharing the exchange in a vlog and showed screenshots in the comments section. In the comments, Boone explained that the deaf character, in his dreams and when he turns into a ghost, can speak and hear, so it is acceptable to have a hearing actor because the character is both deaf and hearing depending on whether he is asleep or awake. Boone said Zaga is a dedicated actor and has been hard at work learning ASL, and that there would be deaf consultants on set. CAD Media said on Twitter that there would be a meeting on August 7, 2019, between the miniseries' production team and CBS on this issue.[49]

In August 2020 it was announced that Fiona Dourif and Irene Bedard had been cast as gender-swapped versions of The Rat Man and Ralph Brentner, respectively.[50] On December 11, 2020, Gabrielle Rose's role as The Judge was confirmed.[51] On December 16, 2020, J. K. Simmons was confirmed to play a supporting character,[52] later revealed to be General Starkey.[53] Bryan Cranston has a voice cameo role as the President of the United States.[54]

Filming[edit]

The production filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia from September 2019[55] to March 2020.[56][57] The production completed filming a few days before it would have been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[58]

Music[edit]

The original score for the series was composed by Nate Walcott and Mike Mogis, who have contributed to Josh Boone's other works.[59]

Release[edit]

The miniseries premiered on December 17, 2020, with a new episode releasing weekly.[1]

Reception[edit]

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, it was labeled as "rotten" by the critical consensus, with the miniseries receiving an approval rating of 58% based on 45 critic reviews, with an average rating of 6.56/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Despite an A-list cast and a smattering of poignant moments, The Stand's extended runtime doesn't make for better storytelling, leaving its expansive cast stranded in a cluttered apocalypse."[60] Metacritic gave the miniseries a weighted average score of 56 out of 100 based on 24 critic reviews, indicating "mixed to average reviews".[61]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]