Director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves are 'the right team' to bring Stephen King's novel to the screen, expert tells MTV News.
By Terri Schwartz, with reporting by Josh Wigler
Hot off the success of the "Harry Potter" franchise, director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves are teaming up again to adapt another major literary property: Stephen King's "The Stand," for Warner Bros.
For the uninitiated, "The Stand" is a post-apocalyptic novel that follows a group of survivors after 99.4 percent of the human race is wiped out by the effects of a biological weapon. The remaining survivors break off into two camps, one based in Boulder, Colorado, which represents good, and the other in Las Vegas, which represents evil. The two camps eventually face off in a stand that determines the future of mankind.
When it comes to bringing a beloved novel to the big screen, Yates and Kloves certainly seem like the go-to pair, but "The Stand" is a different beast than "Harry Potter" in many ways. For one, the adult-oriented material is much darker than "Potter." Drew McWeeny of HitFix, who broke the news, told MTV News he thinks the way Yates and Kloves treated the darker aspects of the "Potter" movies is a mark in their favor as they gear up for the "Stand" collaboration.
"I think they've demonstrated as a team that they are capable of making extreme darkness palatable and ably depicting the struggle between good and evil," McWeeny said. "It might not have been the first team I thought of to adapt that book, but it's a damn good team."
MTV Movies Blog editor and "The Stand" fan Josh Wigler doesn't think the movie can be made with anything less than an R rating. Similarly, McWeeny said the film won't be an easy project for Warner Bros. to move through the studio.
When McWeeny first broke the story, he said it didn't make sense to bring "The Stand" to the screen again if it didn't expand upon the 1994 TV miniseries — and he offered that the new element should be the very disturbing material that made the novel a hit.
The novel, which features a massive cast of characters, is divided into three "books," and the assumption is that Yates and Kloves wouldn't attempt to adapt the story into just one movie. The larger question is whether Warner Bros. would make two movies or a trilogy out of "The Stand." McWeeny thinks it could go either way.
"I've been hearing that three is the magic number, creatively, and they want a trilogy," he said. "[But] two films may just make better economic sense for them. I do think there's a way to pull it off in two films, but that's when you really start cutting this to the bone and that may not be best for the story itself."
With Universal having passed on Ron Howard's ambitious attempt to adapt another King classic, "The Dark Tower," it seems fair to presume that Yates and Kloves may worry about making "The Stand" too big. But there are many elements of "The Stand" that make it more adaptable than "Dark Tower" ever was, McWeeny said.
"Even though ['The Stand' is] very big and has a ton of characters, there is a much more linear storytelling shape, and a simple film trilogy is something that Hollywood understands," he explained. "Coming off the final 'Potter' film, I think Yates and Kloves are the right team to get almost anything made."
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