a still from the new trailer of The Stand
Courtesy of CBS

CBS All Access’ The Stand: A Worldwide Pandemic and Humanity’s Struggle to Overcome Evil. Sound Familiar?

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A worldwide pandemic wipes out most of humanity, allowing for a despot to rise up and take power.  This may sound like the year 2020, but it’s not.  This is the plot for Stephen King’s 1978 horror classic, The Stand.  Now it’s being brought to life at CBS All Access.  We can only hope that the plot of the book is not prophetic because that would be very, very bad for all of us. 

Previous versions of this King classic

This is not the first time that The Stand has been given the TV treatment.  Gary Sinise took the title role along with Molly Ringwald back in 1994.  A 4-part miniseries that was done really well.  But it’s been 24 years since that version has come out. 

So, what can we expect this time around?

Well, for starters, series creator Josh Boone and Benjamin Cavell have decided that a miniseries just won’t do.  2020’s The Stand will last ten episodes.  They have been developing this show since 2014 and this December, horror fans will finally get the payoff. 

Playing the lead role of Stu Redman will be James Marsden who has stints in both HBO’s Westworld and the movie Sonic the Hedgehog.  It will be up to him to save the world, along with Whoppi Goldberg playing Mother Abigail, the prophetic leader of those opposing Randall Flagg. 

Early shots from the set show Alexander Skarsgård as a truly terrifying Flagg.  With sets that add a heavy creep factor, The Stand looks like it might be one of the best adaptations of any Stephen King work, which is saying something. 


Add in Heather Graham as Rita Blakemoor, Greg Kinnear as Glen, and Amanda Heard as Nadine, and there’s plenty of reason to be excited about what’s coming out.  But perhaps the biggest draw for this version of The Stand is what we don’t know. 

Who will play Trashcan Man? 

For those that are not familiar with the book, The Trashcan Man is a schizophrenic enigma that is also a pyromaniac.  To not give away the plot, this character matters as much as Randall Flagg or Mother Abigail. 

There are only rumors of who will play this role, but fans are begging for Marilyn Manson, who we have to admit seems almost too perfect.  But with a cultivated image of heavy metal rocker combined with high intelligence, who else could be better? 

Even for fans that think they know the ending, don’t be too quick to brag.  You actually may not.  In a Tweet, Stephen King himself stated that he has written a new ending for the miniseries. 

He stated that he has had it in his head for 30 years and by December, fans will get to take a look.  That’s what makes this version of The Stand a must-watch this year.  King has stated that he was never really satisfied with the ending in the book, so what’s coming this time around? 

With any luck, this year’s The Stand will satisfy millions of hardcore fans, while at the same time grabbing new readers that haven’t discovered this story.  Either way, maybe we will all get to see how the rest of 2020 plays out.  Start by meeting in Boulder, Colorado, and hope for the best.