The Stand Adaptation Casting Call

With the news that Warner Bros. and CBS are teaming up to bring Stephen King’s apocalyptic epic The Stand to the big screen (a move that is unsurprisingly not sanctioned by King himself), you had to know this was coming, right? Welcome to my Fantasy Casting of The Stand Adaptation!

My love for King’s The Dark Tower series has been officially recorded in the annals of the internet (like, a lot), but my love for The Stand is also deep and abiding. There was a long period of my youth in which I read that novel every single summer break. It was a significant tradition for me to crack open my fat, worn paperback on the first day of freedom and delve into King’s “dark chest of wonders” with gusto. The Stand is prodigious, engaging and profound. It’s also horrifying and hilarious. I don’t believe that any one adaptation can grasp the depth and scope of this vast story, but I believe Hollywood can do a better job than the 1994 mini-series. Don’t get me wrong–I love the mini-series. I own it! And Gary Sinise and Rob Lowe are both perfectly cast as Stu and Nick, respectively. But the series is silly and cheap when it should be terrifying, and many of the other actors are miscast. I hardly think one two-hour feature film can deliver this monumental narrative, but hopefully The Powers That Be will turn it into a trilogy or at least a two-parter. That shit could melt our collective faces, y’all.

So let’s jump in! (I tried to keep this from being too spoilery for those who haven’t read the book. Also: READ THE BOOK.)

Stuart Redman (Stu):

Originally played to perfection by Gary Sinise, Stu’s an intelligent, taciturn East Texan man who is forced into an experimental lab after the government realizes he’s immune to the superflu. Stu makes his escape and, while mild and laidback,  eventually emerges as the leader of the survivors as they try to rebuild an approximation of society. Stu is wise and brave, the closest thing to a main character in this sprawling ensemble of characters.

Mischa Collins:

As Castiel on Supernatural, Collins has established that he has poise, charisma and major chops. He can play mild or intense, which is key for Stu, and Collins has a pleasant, everyman way about him. I think he could definitely stand out in the crowd of cast members this adaptation will necessitate.


Randall Flagg:

I’ve already cast Gary Oldman as RF in The Dark Tower series, but that’s a different Randall Flagg, if you can dig it.  He’s tall and dark and poisonously charming. He’s the Walkin’ Dude, the Dark Man, the very personification of evil itself. And he is fucking SCARY, you heard?

Daniel Day-Lewis:

Tall, dark, charming and scary, that’s our Daniel. The man can do anything, and I’d love to see his perilously quirky take on RF.

Frances Goldsmith (Fran):

Frannie is the headstrong, indomitable, younger love of Stu after Captain Trips hits. Before the world disappeared, Frannie was a scared college student who had just discovered she was pregnant by her useless boyfriend. She’s beautiful and resolute, with an “I-want” line that creases between her eyebrows when she’s determined to get her way.

Rachel McAdams:

McAdams is gorgeous with a sense of humor and a strong presence. She’s also a terrific actress who can easily manage Frannie’s hefty character arc. And McAdams looks as if she could be downright stubborn if she set her mind to something, too. I think she’d be a far better choice than the woefully miscast Molly Ringwald.

Mother Abigail Freemantle:

The matriarch of the survivors, Mother Abigail is 108 years old and she still makes her own bread. She radiates benevolence and strength, with a mischievous sense of humor. The wayward survivors find themselves drawn to Mother Abigail’s homestead as a rallying point.

Ruby Dee:

Ruby Dee did a tremendous job portraying Mother Abigail in The Stand mini-series, heavily made up to age her past her then-70 years. As she’s only grown duly older in the ensuing seventeen years, I can’t think of anyone more appropriate to tackle this role.

Lloyd Henreid:

Lloyd’s a petty criminal who gets himself locked on death row through a series of blunders on an ill-executed crime spree. Flagg rescues him from death by starvation in his locked cell, and he is ever afterwards Flagg’s right hand man. Lloyd is pleased to be treated with respect and significance under Flagg’s order, and he  grows more competent and organized at the head of Flagg’s dark army.

Sean Bean:

He looks right, with a gruff, sketchy exterior that can be nicely cleaned up for the latter part of his arc. The actor who plays Lloyd has a lot of heavy lifting to do in certain dramatic scenes, and Bean is the man for the job.

Larry Underwood:

Larry is a young, cocky, handsome singer who’s just making it to the top—and learning that mo’ money does in fact mean mo’ problems—when the superflu wipes out the population. He begins his journey as a selfish and immature man who eventually grows into quite the hero.

Justin Timberlake:

Young, cocky, handsome and he can sing! Timberlake’s showing that he’s got solid talent in the acting department, as well. I think he can definitely pull this off.

Nadine Cross:

A young, extremely private teacher who has long felt that she must preserve her virginity for some dark purpose. She has dark, wild hair that becomes streaked with white as she descends further into Flagg’s dreadful plan for her. She attempts to redeem herself once she meets up with Larry, with whom she shares an attraction.

Eva Green:

Eva Green is so perfect for Nadine! She’s got the wild, dark hair, the piercing green eyes, the innate sensuality that is sometimes at odds with her intensity. And most importantly, she gives great crazyface.

Harold Lauder:

A few years younger than Fran, Harold grew up in the same town as a bitter, lonely, yet brilliant teenager. He’s tubby and unpleasant, with thick glasses and bad skin. He’s in love with Fran and is fiercely jealous of her relationship with Stu. As Harold proves himself to be a worthy member of the fledgling community with his clever ideas and hard work, he loses weight and becomes handsome and charming—all the while growing more sinister and desperate within.

Matthew Lewis:

He’s proven he can play the tubby nerd as Neville in the Harry Potter movies, but Lewis is a good-looking dude with charm to spare. I’d love to see him handle the malignance that steadily grows inside Harold’s soul. It should be an interesting challenge for the likeable star, and I think he’s up to it.

Nick Andros (r):

Nick is 22-years-old, a deaf and mute drifter with much integrity. He’s kind, handsome and highly intelligent, becoming a trusted advisor to the remaining survivors after they group together. He meets up with Tom Cullen early on his journey and they establish a very close bond. Rob Lowe originally portrayed this character to beautiful effect.

Matthew Bomer:

Bomer has been on the casting list for Superman three different times, always just missing out to another actor. He’s handsome with a perceptive face and incredibly expressive eyes, the most important attribute for an actor who will remain silent throughout the film.

Tom Cullen (l):

Tom is moderately mentally handicapped with a sunny disposition and a charming, grandmotherly way of speaking. My laws! He’s a big guy with blonde hair and a contagious smile. Despite Tom’s handicap, he is deeply intuitive. He’s also incredibly brave and loyal, particularly to Nick Andros.

Chris Pratt:

Props to Mr. Marla for this casting choice! Pratt plays the lovably daft Andy on Parks and Recreation, and with his big, goofy grin, shaggy blonde hair and considerable heft, I can just see him wearing those overalls now. M-O-O-N, that spells Chris Pratt!

Glen Bateman:

Originally played by the great Ray Walston (Mr. Hand!), Glen is an elderly, retired professor of sociology, a sharp-witted, affable man who displays wisdom, humor and loyalty throughout the novel.

Ron Glass:

Ol’ Shepherd Book has a wonderfully professorial way about him, with a deep, pleasant voice and an intellectual face. He’s of the right age and I think he’d suit Glen perfectly.

Trashcan Man:

Trash is a batshit crazy firebug who is worshipfully devoted to Flagg. He mostly keeps to himself, blowing shit up and humming crazy little ditties, as the insane are wont to do.

Rhys Ifans:

He’s got the right look and the man can certainly play crazy. He has a permanently peculiar expression on his face that is well suited to Trashy.

 So those are my picks, reader. Give me yours in the comments!

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, check out my fantasy casting for The Dark Tower series: Round One (the main ka-tet), Round Two (allies) and Round Three (enemies). You can also read my general predictions for that particular Stephen King adaptation here.

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13 Responses to “The Stand Adaptation Casting Call”

  1. Sean Bean as Lloyd is PERFECT! Absolutely perfect. Although I quite liked Miguel Ferrer in the mini-series. Possibly because I like Miguel Ferrer in everything. Including Hot Shots Part Deux.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Meredith Borders, Beach Cities Dude. Beach Cities Dude said: The Stand Adaptation Casting Call « Danny Isn't Here, Mrs. Torrance: Danny Isn't Here, Mrs. Torrance. « It's New… http://bit.ly/h0P9An […]

  3. i’ve decided that if i ever meet a genie, and i get three wishes, one of them will be that hollywood has to obey ANY AND ALL casting choices that i make for potential films. because then, when it comes to films like the stand (and dark tower, obvs), i can just email them yr blog and INSTANT MASTERPIECE.

    rachel mcadams YES x 10000. and the chris pratt idea is BRAZILLIANT.

  4. I completely agree Posh! Don’t tell anyone but I have a massive crush on Rachel McAdams. Who wouldn’t? Also, Daniel Day-Lewis should be in all movies based on Stephen King books (real ones, not stuff like The Green Mile).

  5. Uncle Mustache Says:

    Misha Collins for sure. I think he’s got a great face for Stu and I think he would really do well in the role. He’s got this great presence about him. Also, Matthew Bomer I can really see as Nick. Partially because he looks like Rob Lowe and he is so good as Nick in the original mini series. Great choices all around!

    I like that Ruby Dee is still around and would be even better suited to this role because she’s closer to 108 now. She is so awesome as Mother Abigail that I can’t imagine anyone else doing it. I’m sure Hollywood will screw it up and cast someone like Halle Berry made up to look old. They love to do that.

  6. Well yeah, but they’d cast Halle Berry because she’d be “old, but sexy”. You know, that familiar winning combination.

  7. I’d cast Daniel Radcliffe as Nick Andros. He’s the right age, he looks the part, and taking on such an unconventional role would help him to avoid being typecast after Harry Potter. For Glen Bateman I’d go with Anthony Zerbe – he matches the description, and he played an almost identical sort of benevolent philosopher character in the Matrix sequels. He’s always been Glen to me.

  8. Interesting choices, especially Radcliffe as Nick. I’d have to wrap my head around that, but he could definitely do it.

  9. again, quite good. must be out of the loop, cause i don’t know who some of these folks are. sean bean is very good, but i really did like miguel ferrer. and how cool would it be to get ruby dee again? and shepard as glen? so awesome!

  10. I really liked Miguel Ferrer too. Thanks!

  11. Akkuschrauber Makita…

    The Stand Adaptation Casting Call « Danny Isn't Here, Mrs. Torrance…

  12. Most of these are really interesting and thought-provoking picks leaving me going ‘hmmm… that could really work!’ But Daniel Day-Lewis ???? I love the man,but Randall Flagg??? Uhh… no. I pick the fiendishly sexy smart and charismatic Billy Zane.

  13. Dave Connolly Says:

    Your casting is very insightful.
    When I first read the book, nearly thirty years ago, I in visioned Flagg as a younger Tommy Lee Jones (He had a serious Jim Jones thing going on back then.) However, now, in these ever tumoltuous times, ther can be only one Walking Dude… Benicio Del Torro.

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