CBS All Access's The Stand is the latest adaptation of the iconic Stephen King novel to hit the small screen, but for Katherine McNamara, who plays Julie Lawry in the nine-episode series, it may be the most complete version yet. In a new featurette highlighting this latest adaptation, McNamara says the epilogue that is new to this version of the story brings things full circle, highlighting how King's story is a "living document".
"I fully agree with people that you know speak about the story as a living document," McNamara says in the featurette. "That's one advantage of having an author like Stephen King who's constantly reassessing and reevaluating his work. You know, given how the world has changed since he originally wrote the story, it's interesting to see this epilogue and I really do think that it wraps up the story in a perfect way. It brings it full circle."
The epilogue that McNamara is referencing is the ninth episode of the series, something that executive producer Benjamin Cavell described as a "coda" to the story. Written by King himself, it will give Frannie (Odessa Young) her own "stand", something the author has been wanting to do for 30 years.
"He wrote a coda that is our ninth episode. It will be completely new to the entire audience," Cavell said. "I can, and will say, the big reason he wanted to do the coda was, he was thinking about for [the past] 30 years that Frannie doesn't go on 'the stand' in the book. She's seven or eight months pregnant, and can't walk across the mountains to face the Dark Man. It always ate at him that she was one of the heroes of the book, and she was never given her 'stand.' The coda is his planned attempt for the last 30-years to give her her 'stand.'"
Of course, that epilogue isn't the only way that this take on The Stand has embraced the "living document" concept. The series made a few other updates to the story, bringing it into 2020 America.
"I think, and King has said this, too, so I'm not breaking news, the original in 1978 is very white and male," Cavell recently told ComicBook.com. "And certainly in 2020 that just doesn't, it just doesn't play the same way and for it to feel as much of this time and this place and this moment as the original did when it came out it meant that the people who are populating this book needed to feel like this moment and this moment in America. And, you know, 2020 America doesn't feel like a whole bunch of white men and Frannie or something. It doesn't and so we took the character of Ralph Brentner and turned him into Ray Brentner and got just the phenomenal Irene Bedard to come and play and what an amazing presence she is."0comments
He continued, "And Rat Man who is sort of, he's a little bit undefined in the book. It's kind of hard to find those touchstone characters in Vegas beyond Lloyd and Flagg, really. So, we really built up the character of Julie Lawry and the character of Rat Man, now Rat Woman played by Fiona Dourif, who I had seen in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and thought was just a complete revelation and a genius. And you know, we just got to take her and run so that's essentially why we made those choices. It feels like it adds so much."
The first four episodes of The Stand are now streaming on CBS All Access. New episodes arrive every Thursday.