The book to television adaptation of The Stand penned by Stephen King moves forward! Vanity Fair released the first pictures of the CBS All Access mini series of Randall Flagg, the story’s demonic and sweet tongued villain.
Initial speculation predicted the role was going to land actor Matthew McConaughey as ‘The Man in Black.’ After all, McConaughey did portray the character in 2017’s film The Dark Tower , also penned by King. However, it has recently been revealed that Alexander Skarsgard will be beckoning the somewhat misfit cast of characters to the dark side in the new adaptation of the 1978 novel.
For many, the 6’4 Swedish actor was first noticed as vampire Eric Northman in HBO’s True Blood. The suave and powerful vampire had just as much a pull over the fans as he did his victims in the 6 season series. Some of that charm will certainly be used in his new role.
When reflecting on the character of Randall Flagg, executive producer Taylor Emlore told Vanity Fair;
“[Flagg is] so charming and he’s so handsome, and so powerful – I mean genuinely powerful, able to perform these sorts of miracles where he could levitate himself and he has these actual powers… and yet he needs this adulation and this kind of worship from these people whom he’s summoned to him. He needs to have them make a show all the time of how grateful they are to him.”
Benjamin Cavell, executive producer with Elmore, boldly added. “And there’s something fundamentally weak about that. Does it remind you of someone you know?”
There are indeed many similarities to our current world situation. The novel begins with a man made virus being accidentally released onto the world, killing 99% of the population. Those who survive are left to choose their path in their new, dystopian world. They can either follow Randall Flagg into darkness as well as the indulgences of the present, self, and sin, or they can rise above and walk a more righteous path with Mother Abigail (portrayed by Whoopie Goldberg) and start to build a world together for the benefit of each other as well as for the future of civilization.
Goldberg speaks to Vanity Fair of her own character, Mother Abigail;
“She is very, very righteous and very good. But really flawed I feel. I’ve been fighting with not making her the Magic Negro, because she’s complicated.”
While we are nowhere near that amount of human lives lost and world devastation, nor was our own pandemic made in a lab, we are facing a virus that is ravaging our country and the world at large. We are being forced to make choices we never thought we would have to in our lifetime. We are fighting and carving out paths we didn’t initially think we would take ten years ago. Many of us are being brave and making a stand in our beliefs of how we will live day to day, as well as move forward in this quickly and ever changing world.
Much like the characters in King’s book, we are in a world we were not prepared for. This is not the world we were promised as children. This is not a world we were expecting to enter upon leaving college. However, we have to be strong and stand together, and while the irony is strong that the CBS All Access miniseries is coming out during our own real life pandemic, perhaps there is no better time for The Stand.
Soon the ‘The Commpany of the Mad: The Stand Podcast’ will be debuting a six part series discussing the book. Every episode Jason Sechrest, Mike Flanagan, Tananarive Due, and Anthony Breznican will discuss a 200 page installment of the book. The show will begin May 29, so get reading! Read more about the podcast event here!
Read Vanity Fair’s article here
Be sure to read more about CBS All Access remake of The Stand on iHorror as more is to come!