The upcoming TV adaptation of Stephen King's epic novel The Stand is beginning production -- and as often happens right around this point in a project's development, someone has sussed out the working title for the project. Working titles, used to keep the general public in the dark about what is filming when movies have to shoot on location (among other reasons), tend to have some minor, often thematic, tie to the project itself but are not usually close to the actual title. In this case, the working title is "Radio Nowhere," and it has a kind of strange tie to King and The Stand.
"Radio Nowhere" was the debut single from Bruce Springsteen's 2007 album Magic. The song features a repeating lyric that asks "is there anybody alive out there?" While that might feel right at home in the world of The Stand, where a deadly virus has killed much of the world's population, it was already a familiar refrain to Springsteen fans years before "Radio Nowhere" was written, as it is a phrase he uses from the stage to get the crowd worked up. In terms of The Stand specifically, King's novel opens with a stanza from Springsteen's "Jungleland," the song that closes out his seminal album Born to Run.
The "Radio Nowhere" title comes from Production Weekly, who monitor industry jobs, filming locations, and the like. The Stand was ordered to series back in January by CBS All Access. The series has a 10-episode order, with Josh Boone (Fault In Our Stars) and Ben Cavell (SEAL Team) indeed overseeing the series. The pair co-wrote this long-form adaptation of the novel, and Boone will direct.
Here's what Josh Boone had to say about tackling this challenging work, which has been seeking a new adaptation for some time:
“I read The Stand under my bed when I was 12, and my Baptist parents burned it in our fireplace upon discovery, said Boone. “Incensed, I stole my Dad’s FedEx account number and mailed King a letter professing my love for his work. Several weeks later, I came home to find a box had arrived from Maine, and inside were several books, each inscribed with a beautiful note from god himself, who encouraged me in my writing and thanked me for being a fan. My parents, genuinely moved by King’s kindness and generosity, lifted the ban on his books that very day. I wrote King a cameo as himself in my first film and have been working to bring The Stand to the screen for five years. I’ve found incredible partners in CBS All Access and Ben Cavell. Together with Stephen King, Owen King, my longtime producing partners Knate Lee and Jill Killington, we plan to bring you the ultimate version of King’s masterwork.”
King himself has endorsed the project. The Stand was previously adapted as a network TV miniseries in 1994, which was written by King. The project starred (among others) Molly Ringwald, Gary Sinise, and Jamey Sheridan, and while it has its fans, King purists were never thrilled with some of the modifications necessary to make it fit the broadcast standards of the format. The world of The Stand was later expanded upon in a number of comics from Marvel, scripted by a pre-Afterlife With Archie Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with story input from King.
“I’m excited and so very pleased that The Stand is going to have a new life on this exciting new platform,” said King. “The people involved are men and women who know exactly what they’re doing; the scripts are dynamite. The result bids to be something memorable and thrilling. I believe it will take viewers away to a world they hope will never happen.”
The Stand chronicles an apocalyptic future in which the remaining factions of humanity are being corralled into camps of good and evil. In that conflict, the righteous survivors have to stand against an evil supernatural figure named Randall Flagg, aka the Dark Man. In the Dark Tower series, arguably the only one of King's projects to be more ambitious than The Stand, Flagg was a major antagonist. No word on how or whether Amazon Prime's in-development Dark Tower series will use the character.0comments
Boone has been courting interest with horror fans, due to his work on Fox's teen superhero/horror movie hybrid, The New Mutants. Unfortunately, the director hasn't been able to showcase his horror talents (or lack thereof) yet, as The New Mutants has been held up and delayed for years now.
We'll keep you updated on the status of The Stand TV series.