The Stand: Why The Kid Didn't Appear in The Series

Last week's episode of CBS All Access's limited series adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand saw the much-anticipated debut of Ezra Miller as one of the story's most interesting and significant characters, Donald Merwin Elbert, better known as The Trashcan Man. In the novel, readers get to know Trashcan Man -- or Trashy as he's also called -- over several chapters that detail his journey to Randall Flagg's New Vegas. One part of Trashy's story includes his encounter with a character named The Kid and while that character factored Train King's extended version of the novel, they were left out of this latest series adaptation. Fans noticed this absence, but according to showrunner Benjamin Cavell, while they initially planned to include The Kid, there just wasn't a reason to add him into the story.

"We thought we were going to be able to restore the character of The Kid, but there really isn't a lot of reason for The Kid to exist," Cavell told Entertainment Weekly last year.

In the novel, Trashy meets up with The Kid on his way to Vegas with The Kid offering Trashy a ride in his flashy classic hot rod. However, The Kid turns out to be a psychopath with a deep love of Coors beer and plans to overthrow Flagg. He's also cruel and, at one point, sexually assaults Trashy. While the character isn't critical to the story, he does go a long way in the humanization of Trashy as a character, highlighting the trauma he's been through and in a sense illustrating why he's so loyal to Flagg.

Before the series' release, it had been long rumored that The Kid would be played in The Stand by Marilyn Manson, but director Josh Boone clarified that rumor last year as well explaining that Manson's involvement -- which included the recording of a cover of The Doors song "The End" -- was a casualty of budget.

"Just to clarify, Marilyn Manson and I had long-discussed him taking on the role of The Kid in The Stand," Boone told Entertainment Weekly. "He and the great Shooter Jennings even recorded a killer cover of The Doors song, 'The End' that ultimately proved too expensive to use. The show was made on a very tight budget and some of the dreams we had went to the wayside. The Kid was another casualty. When Manson wasn't able to make it work schedule-wise, the storyline was ultimately excised and never shot, which is for the best, as no one could have slayed that role like Manson would have. Hope to work with him in the future."

Now that Trashy has made his debut in "The Vigil", it's a little more apparent that introducing The Kid probably wouldn't have added much to the story. While the book takes several chapters to develop Trashcan Man's story, establishing him as a sympathetic character despite his allegiance to Flagg, the series abandons all of that development. Instead, we're introduced to Miller's version of the character -- an amped up and somewhat off-the-wall version with no real story -- and then he's promptly tasked by Flagg to find a nuke, that task being another major shift in the story.

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The first six episodes of The Stand are now streaming on CBS All Access. New episodes arrive every Thursday.

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