James Marsden and Amber Heard have nabbed the lead roles in CBS All Access’ upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s 1978 novel “The Stand.”
Along with those two, Odessa Young and Henry Zaga have also boarded the limited series, the streamer announced Thursday during the Television Critics Association press tour.
“The Stand” is King’s apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man. The novel marks the first appearance of Flagg, a frequent villain that pops up in King’s other works.
Marsden will play Stu Redman, a former military man who is immune to the virus. He found patient zero in the original quarantine zone but never got sick so the government was precious with him in order to try to find a vaccine from his blood.
Heard, who most recently starred in “Aquaman,” will play Nadine Cross, a deeply conflicted woman who feels the consequences of her actions, but is still compelled by her allegiance to Flagg. Young will play Frannie Goldsmith, a pregnant young woman navigating a strange new world, who also has the foresight to recognize that there is evil lurking beyond the Dark Man. Zaga will portray Nick Andros, a young deaf man who does not speak and finds himself in a position of authority when the unthinkable happens.
King himself will pen the finale for the series, which will be something that was not included in his novel. According to CBS All Access, it will provide “a new coda that won’t be found in the book.” The adaptation will be written and directed by Josh Boone, who is best known for directing “The Fault in Our Stars,” and is currently helming the “X-Men” film, “New Mutants.”
The series will be produced by CBS Television Studios. Boone and Ben Cavell will write and executive produce, with Roy Lee, Jimmy Miller and Richard P. Rubinstein also serving as executive producers. Will Weiske and Miri Yoon are attached as co-executive producers, with Owen King as a producer.