Josh Boone Speaks About His Upcoming 3-Hour, R-Rated Version of ‘The Stand’

By June 5, 2014

A film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand has been in the works since (at least) 2011, and directors like Ben Affleck, David Yates, and Scott Cooper have all been attached at various points before an unlikely filmmaker signed on: The Fault in Our Stars helmer Josh Boone.

The Stand is a sprawling story of good versus evil that features subplots about a deadly virus unleashed by the government, a prophet, a demon, and the battle that rages in the aftermath of the plague. (It was a huge influence on one of my all-time favorite shows, “LOST.”) Check out a trailer for the 1994 ABC miniseries below:

Vulture spoke with Boone about his plans for the movie, and they’re a little different than what we’ve heard before:

We’re gonna do one three-hour, R-rated version with an amazing A-list cast across the board. Every single one of those characters will be somebody you recognize and somebody you relate to. And it’s gonna be awesome. I’m really excited. It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever got to do in my entire life. If 12-year-old me had ever known that one day I’d be doing this, to even just go back and look at that kid, I’d be like, Keep doing what you’re doing! It’s just crazy. I’ve met so many actors over the years, and like, when I met Stephen King, I hugged him with tears in my eyes. He meant that much to me when I was young. I still say everything I learned about writing I learned from Stephen King. I don’t read screenplays. I don’t read screenplay how-to books. It’s always just, establish the character. Establish the character.

At over 1100 pages, there’s an awful lot of story here to cram into one film, and with the way Warner Bros. treated the final Harry Potter book adaptation, we assumed they’d be more interested in squeezing as much money out of this property as possible. I suppose that split could still happen, but Boone seems to be speaking from a position of “the studio and I are going to do this” instead of just “I want to do this,” so it sounds like we could see a three hour, R-rated version of this movie in the next couple of years. The R-rating is also a little surprising, considering how much that narrows the potential profits for the movie, but as someone who’s never read the book, I’m guessing that fans of the source material would prefer an R-rated version over a sterilized PG-13 one.

Have you read The Stand? Are you interested in seeing the movie when it comes out? Let us know below!

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.
  • lexigeek

    Yeah, to do ‘The Stand’ justice, it really *has* to have an R rating. It remains one of my favorite books that I read growing up, but it definitely goes to dark places.

    • Good to know! Thanks for reading/commenting!