The Stand: What James Marsden Hopes Viewers Take Away From the Stephen King Adaptation

Stephen King's The Stand may start with a pandemic, but while the epic novel is ultimately about so much more than the vicious disease -- a super flu called "Captain Trips" -- that wipes out nearly all of the world's population, CBS All Access' limited series adaptation of the novel comes at an interesting time. With 2020 having seen the world deal with its own deadly pandemic, there are sure to be no shortage of parallels and lessons that viewers will take away from the series, for series star James Marsden, there are a few things he hopes people come away from The Stand with -- and among them is hope.

Speaking with ComicBook.com Marsden, who plays Stu Redman in the upcoming series, said that fundamentally The Stand is about good and evil as well as the humanity of things, something that makes the story a bit philosophical in a sense.

"Well, I think it's an exploration of that age old battle between good and evil, right? I mean, and everything in between and it's really all the stuff in between that's even more interesting, right?" Marsden said. "If Randall Flagg was just a straight up evil bad guy all the time, and it was just all kind of cut and dry, black and white, it wouldn't be that interesting. But there's a seductive quality to him here he presents certain ideas that you kind of think 'well, I can't really disagree with that.' So, it brings a humanity to these characters and how seductive those kind of characters can be. And then the good guys, they're all flawed and broken as well. So, I guess Stephen King's great at sort of really peeling back the layers of hu man psychology and what drives us and what scares us and, you know, that's the big question of what if. What if this were to happen, what would we do, what choices would we make?"

He also explained that he hopes viewers come away from the series with a bit of optimism that there can be "some green shoots" growing up from adversity.

"So, I hope that people take away that there's, you know, hope, optimism, that adversity and chaos and absolutely, you know, destruction and collapse of society as we know it, could actually, that there can be some green shoots there," he said. "You know, some actual good can spring from it."

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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.

The Stand is set to premiere on Thursday, December 17. New episodes will premiere weekly exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers.