'The Stand' TV Series Reveals Cast, Confirms New Stephen King-Approved Ending [TCA 2019]

CBS All Access confirmed the first four leads of its adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand for its streaming service. The Stand is considered by many to be King's definitive book. Well, it's either The Stand or It, as both are over 1000 pages and have been adapted as miniseries in the past. While It got a two-part movie, The Stand will get a streaming series on All Access.Streaming will allow The Stand to explore the graphic horror of King's prose without restrictions. We learned that King will write the final episode and who will being playing Stu, Nadine, Frannie and Henry. The Stand will premiere in 2020 with nine episodes. It begins filming in Vancouver in the fall and EVP of Original Content for CBS All Access Julie McNamara said it caps off their year, so late 2020 sounds likely. 

More King and New King 

It's not just that King is adapting his own story. As the writer of the final episode, King promises to create an all new coda for the ending of The Stand"For fans of the book who have wondered what became of the survivors of The Stand, this episode will contain story that takes us beyond the book to answer those questions," McNamara said. For folks who love the ending of The Stand, that might be cause for concern. The ending of the book will still be there, and presuming the rest of the episodes are faithful, viewers can just as easily imagine it wrapping up the same as the book in the last five minutes. But for folks who've been intimately familiar with The Stand since it was published, the opportunity to revisit the story from a new angle, even if only the final moments, is promising. And if you don't like it, it's still what King wants to do."He and Josh Boone who is the director/EP had been working on how to bring The Stand back to some version of either a movie, a series of movies, a series for quite a while," McNamara said. "They have a strong relationship and so when we decided to move forward with this version that Josh brought to us, it was already something that I think the seeds had been planted. Stephen feels he has been very present in our creative process and his son Owen King is in our writers room. I got that great call one day that he wanted to do that and we said yes, please."

James Marsden as Stu Redman

Marsden was cast as Stu Redman, the main character of King's sprawling ensemble epic. Marsden also plays Teddy on HBO's Westworld. The press release describes Stu Redman thusly: "James Marsden will portray Stu Redman, an ordinary working-class factory man in an extraordinary situation with a damaged quality to him that belies his exterior."In the book, Stu survives a plague that wipes out most of humanity. He ultimately becomes a leader of the survivors who take a stand against the evil Randall Flagg.

Amber Heard as Nadine Cross

Nadine is one of the plague survivors who has visions of Randall Flagg. Her connection to Flagg ultimately ostracizes her from the survivors and drives her towards Flagg. The press release describes her as follows:"Amber Heard will play Nadine Cross, a deeply conflicted woman who feels the consequences of her actions, but is still compelled by her allegiance to Randall Flagg, the Dark Man."Heard is best known as Mera in Aquaman, where she kicked butt. She's also played her share of femme fatales and seems to be a good fit for the role.

Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith

Frannie is pregnant at the time of the plague and will give birth to the first person born in the post-apocalypse. The press release describes Frannie:"Odessa 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."Young was in the Sundance midnight hit Assassination Nation and has many credits. She's still playing high school/young adult, so the vulnerability and strength of Frannie should suit her.

Henry Zaga as Nick Andros

Nick is a deaf drifter who winds up in jail when the plague hits, luckily freed to join the survivors before all the wardens die off. The press release describes him thusly:"Henry Zaga will portray Nick Andros, a young deaf and mute man who finds himself in a position of authority when the unthinkable happens. He has a habit of risking his own well-being for the safety of others."We've been waiting to see Zaga in New Mutants and at the rate that's going, we may see The Stand first. Zaga also appeared in 13 Reasons Why and the upcoming Looking for Alaska. The Stand sounds a bit more physical than the usual teen drama. 

The Stand Can Be Graphic On Streaming

On CBS All Access, The Stand can gets three more hours than it did on ABC in 1994. It can also be as graphic as the source material."It's not an issue," McNamara said. "We have one price point for our service that has limited ad pods, but I think we are able to be quite selective about how we pair our sales and so it hasn't really curtailed our ability to show adult content."There is a great deal of violence in King's novel, both from human threats and supernatural threats. Toning it down could cheapen the experience. "In terms of the fact that there's a lot of carnage and all those things, we will be, I think, accurately depicting how he intended in the book," McNamara said.