Stephen King's The Stand is an epic book. Not only is the story of humanity's last stand in a battle of good versus evil in a world brought to the brink by a pandemic itself one that has been compared to the fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings, but the novel is long one and is beloved by readers all around the world. Adapting such a well-known and beloved book is something that executive producers Benjamin Cavell and Taylor Elmore didn't have reservations about but did feel a responsibility to get right.
Speaking with ComicBook.com, Cavell described King's work as one of the great American novels and said that everyone involved wanted to ensure that they did right by not just the story, but what that story means to fans.
"Everyone, and I mean Taylor and I, but everyone, you know, the actors, the crew felt a responsibility to do right by this iconic story," Cavell said. "We all know what this book means to people. We know what it means to us, but we know what it means to people generally and we never lost sight of that. And, you know, every one of the actors and, by the way, not just the actors. People from our crew, I had like, our head electrician wanted to show me the signed first edition that he had of The Stand. This book, it just means things to virtually everybody. It's one of the great American novels of the 20th century. So, yes, as Taylor says, he and I are both confident enough in our ability as showrunners, as filmmakers, that I don't think we doubted whether to take it on, but we certainly felt like once we're doing it, we better get it right."
Elmore further explained that because this wasn't the first time they'd worked with a major adaptation -- FX's Justified, which is based on Elmore Leonard's Raylan Givens stories -- they already had some experience in taking on epics, though the two stories did have different expectations.
"You know, having worked on Justified for four or five years together, we adapted Elmore Leonard, the expectations were different with that space, obviously because we were getting a lot more leeway," Elmore said. "We weren't adapting something so strictly, but adaptation is just fun. It's just really, really fun. So, it seemed it was an exciting project and, you know, a bit challenge."
"It gives it stakes for us," Cavell added. "It feels important to get it right."
The Stand stars Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abagail and Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flag, aka the Dark Man. The cast for the series also includes James Marsden as Stu Redman, Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, Jovan Adepo as Larry Underwood, Amber Heard as Nadine Cross, Owen Teague as Harold Lauder, Henry Zaga as Nick Andros, Brad William Henke as Tom Cullen, Irene Bedard as Ray Bretner, Nat Wolff as Lloyd Henreid, Eion Bailey as Weizak, Heather Graham as Rita Blakemoor, Katherine McNamara as Julie Lawry, Fiona Dourif as Ratwoman, Natalie Martinez as Dayna Jurgens, Hamish Linklater as Dr. Jim Ellis, Daniel Sunjata as Cobb, and Greg Kinnear as Glen Bateman.