Will Matthew McConaughey Play the Big Bad in ‘The Stand’?

By August 25, 2014

Now this is some news about that beleaguered big screen version of The Stand that we can get excited about.

For just a little bit of backstory, let’s take a quick jaunt through the various incarnations of this new version of the Stephen King classic. Back in February of 2011, Warner Bros. announced that they were making a big screen take on the massive book. There was no word on who would write, direct, or star in it, and zero indication was given to its possible length or if we could expect multiple movies (an issue that would move to the forefront later). In the summer of 2011, director David Yates and screenwriter Steven Kloves come on board for a “multi-film” event, a possibility that was kind of intriguing — but only for a few months, because by October, they’re both out and suddenly Ben Affleck is set to to direct. There’s little news until August of 2013, when someone at WB finally gets around to confirming that Affleck is off and Scott Cooper is on board to direct. By November, though, Cooper is out and there are suddenly rumors that Paul Greengrass could direct. In February of this year, all those names are off the table, and Josh Boone is named as both director and screenwriter. Boone’s film, it seems, will be just that — a single film. Uh, has anyone over at Warner Bros. even bothered to glance at a copy of “The Stand”? It’s kinda big.

In any case, this thing might be happening after all — though even Cooper got to the “dream casting” stage of directing before he was kicked to the curb, so all Boone really needs to do right now is lock down some talent and he’s already the most advanced director yet. Deadline reports that the production might be aiming pretty high, as the outlet shares that no less than Matthew McConaughey is being looked at for a major role in the film.

And, no, they don’t want the Oscar winner to waste his talents on playing a good guy. They want him to go full evil. They want him to go Randall Flagg.

The Stand slice

Deadline reports that “Warner Bros covets him to play the role of Randall Flagg…the personification of evil, a demonic figure who wreaks havoc after a plague kills most of the population. He was played in haunting fashion by Jamie Sheridan in the miniseries adaptation.” Flagg repeatedly pops up in King’s fiction, and is the author’s most enduring villain. It’s a good, unexpected piece of possible casting, and one way to flex McConaughey’s acting muscles in a fresh way. We’re on board with this idea.

Deadline cautions that “this is by no means a firm situation, but it’s understandable why the studio thinks McConaughey would be a compelling and persuasive force of evil in the film.” Agreed! Agreed!

Boone last chatted about his vision for this movie back in June, when he was promoting The Fault in Our Stars. Although the director expressed an interesting vision, this news that McConaughey could star in the film is easily the most compelling slice of information to hit the wire yet.

There’s no word yet on when we can expect to see The Stand — with or without McConaughey — but Boone is currently working on another King property (Lisey’s Story), which should arrive before The Stand. That film is slated for a release sometime in 2015, and he’s in early talks to write and direct The Vampire Lestat for Universal, which would presumably happen after The Stand finally gets rolling.

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss, Film.com, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.