'The Stand' First Look: Stephen King's Post-Apocalyptic Tale Gets An Update For Our Pre-Apocalyptic Times

Just in time for a real pandemic, here comes The Stand! Stephen King's tome about the end of the world, and what comes after, is being turned into a miniseries yet again – this time on CBS All Access. James Marsden, Amber Heard, Greg Kinnear, Odessa Young, Whoopi Goldberg, and more star in the adaptation, and you can get a first look glimpse of some of them in character below.

The new CBS All Access adaptation of The Stand went into production before the coronavirus outbreak, and now finds itself set to arrive in a very different world. Comparisons between our current situation and King's 1978 novel have become commonplace, which immediately casts a shadow over this new production. "Whether or not anybody will want to watch it in the aftermath of coronavirus, I don't know," King tells Vanity Fair. "The book is selling—The Stand, the novel, is selling—so..."

In King's book, a biologically engineered super-flu – nicknamed Captain Trips – kills off 99% of the world's population. The survivors struggle to deal with the aftermath while also trying to rebuild society. Two distinct sides crop up – the "good" side, who just want to try to start over, and the "bad" side, who set up shop in Las Vegas and plan all sorts of mayhem.

In addition to that quote from King, Vanity Fair has a first look at the miniseries, which you can see above. The images feature Whoopi Goldberg as the 108-year-old Mother Abigail, a very religious woman who draws the good survivors of the plague to her rural farmhouse. "She is very, very righteous and very good. But really flawed I feel," said Goldberg. "I've been fighting with not making her the Magic Negro, because she's complicated."

On the opposite side of the coin, there's also an image of Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg, a supernatural being who draws the bad plague survivors to him in Las Vegas. Other images include Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, who discovers she's pregnant right before the plague breaks out; Owen Teague as Harold Lauder, an insecure guy who has a huge, creepy crush on Frannie; and Nat Wolff as Lloyd Henreid, a convict who becomes Flagg's right-hand-man. There are more images at the Vanity Fair link, including a look at Jovan Adepo as Larry Underwood, a musician who has a hit song just as the virus starts killing people, and Heather Graham as Rita Blakemoor, a lonely woman Larry travels with along the way.

Josh Boone – who has been attached to a new Stand adaptation for a few years now – directs the first episode, while Benjamin Cavell and Taylor Elmore serve as showrunners. "[The Stand is] about the fundamental questions of what society owes the individual and what we owe to each other," said Cavell. "Over the last however-many years, we have sort of taken for granted the structure of democracy. Now, so much of that is being ripped down to the studs. It's interesting to see a story about people who are rebuilding it from the ground up."

No premiere date for The Stand has been announced yet, but it's likely to arrive sometime this year.