James Marsden and Amber Heard have been tapped to lead the upcoming CBS All Access limited series, based on King's best-selling 1978 novel, for a late 2020 debut, it was announced Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. King will write a new final chapter to the series, providing a new coda not included in the book.
The Stand tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.
Marsden, who most recently starred on Westworld and Dead to Me, will play Stu Redman, an ordinary working-class factory man in an extraordinary situation with a damaged quality to him that belies his exterior.
Heard, who last starred on the big screen as Mera in Aquaman, will portray 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.
Joining Marsden and Heard in the limited series are Odessa Young (Assassination Nation) and Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why,Looking for Alaska). Young has been cast as 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. Zaga will play Nick Andros, a young deaf and mute man who finds himself in a position of authority when the unthinkable happens, and has a habit of risking his own well-being for the safety of others.
The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone and SEAL Team's Ben Cavell will write and executive produce The Stand. Boone, who is a longtime fan of the novel, will also direct.
Production begins this fall in Vancouver.
ABC previously adapted The Stand into a miniseries, written by King, that starred Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe and Miguel Ferrer, among others.
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