The epic cast of Stephen King’s The Stand added two more names to the call sheet this week with the addition of Greg Kinnear (As Good as It Gets) and Heather Graham (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me).
Kinnear is set to play Glen Bateman, a widower and professor who rather enjoys the solitude that comes after the superflu aka Captain Trips decimates most of the population. Despite that predisposition, however, he finds himself drawn away from his self-imposed hermitage when he meets other survivors on their way to see Mother Abigail (Whoopi Goldberg).
The role was played by Ray Walston in the 1994 miniseries. Walston was nearly 80 years old during filming, while Kinnear is 56, and it will be interesting to see how the age difference changes the interpretation for this particular character.
Graham, meanwhile, has taken on a character that was featured in the novel but did not appear in the previous miniseries. She plays Rita Blakemoor, a wealthy woman living in New York who is ill-prepared to face the fallout of society’s collapse after the Captain Trips levels her world.
She escapes through the Lincoln Tunnel with Larry Underwood (Jovan Adepo) but soon after dies from asphyxiation after an intentional overdose. She simply cannot face the world as it has has become.
Pieces of Blakemoor were incorporated into the character of Nadine Cross back in 1994 and it will be good to see the character have her own screen time in this new version. No doubt Graham will do well in the role.
Showrunner Josh Boone will direct The Stand for CBS All Access, and Stephen King, himself, will write the script for the final episode which will include a sort of epilogue that he has never been able to tell before in previous iterations of the novel or in the miniseries.