Ben Affleck Compares ‘The Stand’ to ‘Lord of the Rings’

Posted Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 12:00 pm GMT -4 by

These days, not only is Ben Affleck starring in some pretty good films, but he’s directing them as well. So far, he’s hit home runs with all three of his directorial efforts. That’s why it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. is willing to give him a massive project such as the adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand.’ However, it’s been nearly a year since there have been any updates. Now, in an interview with GQ, the actor/director reveals what’s been holding him up.

The last update we got about ‘The Stand’ was that Affleck had selected David Kajganich, the writer of the 2007 ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ remake, ‘Invasion,’ and the upcoming remake of Stephen King’s ‘Pet Semetary,’ to write the script for the post-apocalyptic tale about a group of survivors tracking the government’s accidental unleashing of a killer virus. Since then, it appears that the writer and the director have found the process of adapting such a seminal and expansive piece of literature to be daunting. In the interview, Affleck said:

“Right now we’re having a very hard time. But I like the idea—it’s like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ in America. And it’s about how we would reinvent ourselves as a society. If we started all over again, what would we do?”

The tale of ‘The Stand’ is quite the epic one, but maybe Affleck and Kajganich could look to Marvel Comics’ adaptation of the story written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Though I’m sure that they’d like to put their own twist on the story, it wouldn’t hurt to study the previous adaptations like the comic and the mini-series extensively. I’m sure Peter Jackson did the same thing with his ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies.

But if then they’ve already done that, then I’m out of ideas. Sorry, Ben!

How do you think Ben Affleck will do with the adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  • M. O. O. N. that spells academy award!

  • Ally

    Any kind of adaptation would require more than one film. Make it a trilogy – one to match each part of the novel. I have the unabridged version and there’s no way one could edit it down to one film. Stephen King may be verbose but for this novel it was necessary.

  • Thiago Delain

    If they respect the work of King, choose a good crew (obviously with a more direct look into Mother Abagail and Flagg) and use a solid plot (that would work more smoothly in a trilogy), would be a hit!

    But I’m still waiting the Dark Tower…

  • “The Stand” needs to be done as a 26 part (maybe 13 part) HBO/Showtime type series – that allows for for some R rated material. Taking “The Stand” to movie theaters will kill the story – while the story is epic scale – it’s not EPIC in a TLTR way.

  • Michele

    It must be like the book. That is literary cult history. I watched all 8 hours of VHS after reading the book.

    • Andrew

      cool i have seen the films maybe 60 times ,480 hours worth i hope he stays true to the movie and gives the old ideas some serious scrutiny. stay true ben keep the cult fallowing

  • I’m hesitant in even having an opinion. I love the book and really enjoyed the mini series. But now we have a big screen adaptation coming. There will be no middle ground there will either be success or failure and based on the lack of news coming from the camp and the fact he even said “Right now we’re having a very hard time.” It isn’t looking very promising.

  • blah

    please dont let them destroy this movie to,,,

  • Sherry Majercak Reichard

    Omg I cannot wait. Loved the book read it three times saw the mini series some many times.

  • Elen Snyder

    Yes…I agree. There is no way to make this outstanding book come alive in just one movie. It’s too expansive…too many brilliant characters to do it justice. I’m almost afraid to see it, as they mutilated it in the tv series, and I would hate to see that happen again!

  • Hvn

    Almost anything would be better than that made-for-TV atrocity.

  • No more remakes please. Just stick with what’s out there. I like what Affleck has to say about the stand in light of how things are today, but leave the movie alone. The one that’s already out there is perfect as it is. The only way to have a better experience with the story is to be patient with Stephen King’s writing style (taking pages to illustrate what could be shown in just a few paragraphs) and read the actual book from the actual creator of the story. That goes for any movie made after color was standard and movie making started getting more sophisticated. For modern or updated stories, just be creative and invent our own stories from scratch. Leave the classics undefiled and unaltered and on a related note… stop colorizing films that were originally made in black & white.

  • Sounds pretty pointless. Aside from the terrible casting of Harold, I thought the mini-series did the story justice. Don’t waste time remaking King stories that have already been filmed….make Cell or Under the Dome for crying out loud!

  • KGray

    Watch out for the Walkin’ Dude. Also, please don’t make it a cheesy melodrama. It’s a sick story, it deserves a good retelling. My life for you!

  • King’s books consist of so much internal mental dialogue that they nearly always fail miserably in any attempt to translate to the screen as more than a pitiful shadow of his books…. The Stand would only be a good film if it were 20 hours long. Don’t do it!

  • ponghalo

    Who knows? Maybe Affleck will join Rob Reiner and Frank Darabont in the very elite club of great movies based on his books. The best cast, action, and special effects are in the imagination of course and it’s always a challenge to translate King’s work. At least this “mini-opus” is easier than translating the “Dark Tower” series which I think would be monumental challenge. But even if Affleck half-asses it it will be at least exponentially better than the mini series some time back that had a mini-brat pack reunion, Lt. Dan, and Dauber from Coach…Ugh.

  • theresa Poindexter

    Leave it alone. u wont top the first one..never do. Thr same with pet cemetery. Get busy on the dark towe.

  • titusdos

    This is a tough one, mostly because my wife is a legit Stephen King fan. She’s been to Maine. However, i will claim to my own fandom-cred the fact that the TV series of the Stand (Gary Sinise, Matt Frewer) was incredibly good AND i saw it live on the air when it came out. I’m pretty sure that series still has a pretty devoted following, too. It’s a great ice breaker at parties. “Tasty dip. Say – any The Stand 1994 fans up in here?”

    Given that, I say bring on some of the cast from that fabled series to act in / help consult on this one to lessen the burden for poor B’affleck. That way, you could connect the two projects in some cool “passing of the torch” way. For starters, cast Frewer as the old dude with the dog (Ray Walston’s role). Then, that frees you up to pick someone with box-office muscle who is truly insane to play Trash… Brad Pitt? Leo? You know they’d do it. Next, cast an actual musician as the acoustic guitar dude: Marcus Mumford? And of course, you gotta get the god / devil parts right. Abigail? Whoopi. ’nuff said.

    Finally, casting dreams aside, what would The Stand look like in 2013? I say, simply let the internet implode on itself. In lieu of superflu, the dystopian scenario is basically New England after a big hurricane. No power? Eff! What are we gonna do!?? Well, that would be quite a Stand wouldn’t it – imagine if the power came back on but the internet was destroyed never to come back, like, ever. Who would emerge in the new land-grab of good vs. evil? {Interestingly, this is what life was like in 1994 when the tv series aired. I doubt that young people today born into a world of universal social media and internet access would have an easy time coping with the lack of Net. It might just fry their brains.}

    But the ones that survived and adjusted, they would make their Stand.

    Great question, Silverio. Catch you later,