Harry Potter director David Yates says he's interested in turning Stephen King's The Stand into a multi-movie series. Good luck — this is a task that could make Potter look like a cakewalk.
If you've read the novel — or even seen the miniseries — you know that The Stand is a phone book of characters and plot lines that run all over the place. But, it's also pretty excellent. So we decided we'd do our part in helping to pare back the storylines for the new Warner Bros. films. We went back and studied the book, the comic, and the glorious 1994 miniseries. Here's what has to stay, and what has to go.
What To Keep:
Harold Lauder's Nerd Rage
Harold Lauder is the most underrated character from the novel, and easily has the most potential for a big break out role in the movie. On the surface Harold, is your run-of-the-mill, pissed off, unrequited-love-lorn nerd. But underneath his thick glasses is a volcano of (arguably justifiable) hate. He gets the short end of the stick in almost every situation, and this pisses him off. Thankfully instead of sitting in the corner and complaining, Harold gets revenge (and gets busy). His fury causes all sorts of trouble for the heroes of the story, and a couple creepy sexual encounters to boot. He has the makings of a great villain, and we want to see this guy fleshed out. And preferably fat (he slims down in the novel, whereas in the miniseries he becomes the leather man from the Village People). More Harold, please.
We would argue that Randall Flagg's mullet feather look, sported by Jamey Sheridan in the miniseries, is so infamous that it basically canon at this point. At the very least Flagg's demon mane MUST, we repeat, MUST have feathers. This is important for future Ke$ha correlations.
"(Don't Fear) The Reaper" Even if you're from the "everything in the miniseries sucks" party, you cannot deny that the intro that mixes dead bodies and Blue Öyster Cult's "The Reaper" gave you chills. It's glorious, horrific, and perfectly sets the tone for this Western pilgrimage horror show.
And while we're on the subject of dead bodies, let's not be afraid to show the horrors of the superflu that killed off most of the human race, Captain Trips. We don't need Fly Buddy commercials — we need people choking to death on their own phlegm. We're big kids, we've seen The Walking Dead. If you're going to kill off humanity, do it with disgusting gusto. This was we'll at least know that this was a disgusting, damaging process for the survivors. No need to sew the bodies into dainty bodybags, let them rot in the streets, to the horror of all!
Larry Underwood "Baby Can You Dig Your Man?"
Ah, Larry Underwood, the failed pop star. What ridiculous creation you were. We don't actually care if you live or die in the movie version, Larry — but we insist they insert the Pocket Savior album at some point. No Pocket Savior, NO DEAL.
My Life For You! For every single gangster and corrupt politician that follows Flagg out to Vegas, you need the totally insanity pyro who just can't help himself. Hell, we want Trashcan Man in this simply for his epic final eyelid-less moment.
What To Cut:
Too Many Jesuses
Let Stu Redman be Jesus and let it lie there. There are way too many good guys and girls competing for the metaphorical glory role of Jesus to Randall's Satan. Strip it down to one — Redman — but make sure he keeps calling everyone Hoss. Also by making Stu the focal point, you can probably cut away a few other excess characters and get Stu directly involved in the grand finale, as opposed to getting benched for a leg injury.
Nick Andros: We know that this is probably going to be an unpopular suggestion, so we're willing to listen to your arguments for keeping Nick in the comments. In the book Andros is a much less bothersome character than on screen. But Nick has a tendency to be too good, too aw shucks — yes we love it when he kicks ass in the prison, but his entire storyline feels a little too "touched by an angel" at times. Another character can introduce (the much more important) Tom Cullen to the group. However, we'll take it all back if Rob Lowe would like to return and reprise said character.
Cut Back On the Female Genital Violence
More gore, less horrific rape. We'll never forget reading about the "female zoo," and one of the caretakers who lovingly wipes one girl's ass with barbed wire. Disgusting. This is not necessary, especially with a lot of the other sex going on between Nadine and Flagg (which is horrifying enough for everyone).
Any And All Kareem Abdul Jabbar Cameos
What else? What other demands do you have for this epic movie undertaking? We want to know! For more information on The Stand's movie adaptation, head over to HitFix.