In CBS All Access's adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand, a horrifying pandemic wipes out nearly all of humanity, setting the stage for what ends up being a showdown between the factions of good and evil among the few survivors of the devastating Captain Trips superflu. It's a story that is eerily timely with its release during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, production on The Stand also had some eerie timing. Filming on the series was nearing completion just as COVID-19 was beginning to take hold and it turns out, the pandemic ended up having an impact on the series production. According to series production designer Aaron Haye, things were shut down with just three days of shooting left.
Speaking with Bleeding Cool, Hayes spoke about bringing Vegas to life for the series and revealed how they were very close to completion when COVID shut everything down, prompting them to finish things in post-production.
"The casino for Vegas was pretty crazy," Haye said. "We had to build an extensive set; the interior, exterior and penthouse suite. Some of what you'll see in episodes 7 and 8 was made with giant chasms and missile silos."
Things got interesting, however, when production was shut down.
"We were shut down with just three days left," Haye revealed. "We shot 120 days in Vancouver and British Columbia with an additional three days planned for in Las Vegas. When we tech scouted in march and California had just issued the shelter in place order, production shut down. We realized it was much more serious than we had thought. We had to come back several months later with COVID protocols to pick up those few days we missed."
He continued, "We went into post-production. We had 98 percent of the show in the can. It was the matter of editing and visual effects to put in."
The eerie timing of the film's production and the real-life pandemic is something that wasn't lost on series executive producer Taylor Elmore, either. He previously told ComicBook.com about how the seriousness of the situation didn't quite hit them right away.
"I remember when we were in Vancouver shooting and we started hearing noise about it," Elmore said about the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic. "When then the notices started going up, being taped up in the bathrooms, saying 'wash your hands, be extra careful, there's this cold going around.' And I don't think anybody anticipated just how devastating this was going to be, but we certainly were making jokes about it at first and then, later on, we're not making so many jokes about it. We wound up having to cut the entire show remotely from home, essentially, which is unprecedented for a show this size. I hate to say it was a good challenge because that sort of undercuts how awful everything is that led up to the challenge, but it's been really interesting to try and work. I kind of got this feeling when it started getting awful that it would be no fun to work on the show, but it hasn't been the case at all really. It's been kind of therapeutic really, to get a chance to get through that stuff and see the other side. And, of course, the other side of Captain Trips is a hellscape but hopefully, we'll have better luck."
The first seven episodes of The Stand are now streaming on CBS All Access. New episodes arrive on Thursdays.