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The Stand's New Trailer Finds Hope and Plenty of Terror in Post-Plague America

The eyes of Randall Flagg are upon you.
The eyes of Randall Flagg are upon you.
Image: CBS All Access

As the real-life pandemic rages on, CBS All Access’ adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand will arrive to remind us just how much worse things could be.

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Ahead of the series’ December debut, the cast gathered for a New York Comic Con panel to talk about life in their post-apocalypse, and, most excitingly—revealed a chilling new trailer!

“Certainly we did not make this show in response to covid,” showrunner Benjamin Cavell said at the panel, addressing the obvious. “We were making it long before—2018, we wrote most of it, and we finished on March 12 before anyone knew what covid would really become. I think it’s a testament to how universal the book is, and how prescient it is, that it really does seem to have resonance with the way the world has responded.”

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Executive producer Taylor Elmore added, “Getting a chance to kind of update—not tropes, but things that are 40 years old that you come across in the book, getting a chance to sort of update that with a little more of a modern lens, looking at the world like it is now, not like it was in 1978, gave a lot of opportunities to just deepen characters and cast differently, cast against type. It was a really fun opportunity to explore.”

Whoopi Goldberg, who plays the ancient Mother Abagail, spoke about her character’s challenges.What Mother Abagail recognizes is that change comes all the time. It’s a constant, it’s the one thing that you know is always going to be there. So that when she is sort of awakened in her, you know, divineness, when it comes, she’s like ‘This is what I’m supposed to do,’ and then she forgets that she’s not God, she’s the messenger. It’s something that happens to people. Power can sometimes make your mind think that you’re in charge. And that’s kind of the thing she has to figure out, how do I do this and not make it about me leading the people but making it about me, through God, leading the people where they need to go.”

And Goldberg knew from the very beginning that her character circa 2020 had to change in the way that Elmore mentioned. “She couldn’t be the Magic Negro. You couldn’t have that. That was fine 40 years ago, but she had to be a real person. You had to be able to feel her. You had to understand where she was coming from, why she made the choices she made, how she thought she was supposed to do things. And then when she discovers that she may have made a mistake and may have done the wrong thing, she has to deal with all of that. I needed her not to be the little old black lady who has all the magic information. She doesn’t. She’s hopeful that she’s right, but she’s not positive.”

Whoopi Goldberg with the casual Baby Yoda presence, making us love her even more.
Whoopi Goldberg with the casual Baby Yoda presence, making us love her even more.
Screenshot: YouTube
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The Stand hits CBS All Access on December 17.

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DISCUSSION

Johnnyma45
Johnnyma45

If the trailer’s true-to-show, it doesn’t seem like they’ll focus much on the pandemic?  That first Act was my favorite part of the book, how society crumbled.  (Yes, yes, cue “look out the window” comments now)