Stephen King's 'The Stand': Our wish list cast includes Josh Brolin, an Olsen sister, and... Stephen Colbert?

The-StandImage Credit: Marvel EntertainmentA new film version of Stephen King’s end-of-the-world survival epic The Stand has just been announced, so now’s the time to pray to the movie gods for who we’d like to see in it.

This is a tough one, because the 1994 ABC mini-series — while looking a little cheap (because it was network television) and being a little toothless (because… it was network television) — was exceptionally well cast: Gary Sinise as the scrappy Texan who’s the first to encounter the disease that will wipe out 99 percent of humanity; one-time teen icon Molly Ringwald as the pregnant survivor unsure if her child will do the same; Rob Lowe as the deaf-mute Nick Andros following visions through an empty world; and the mystical badass Anti-Christ known as Randall Flagg, played by Jamey Sheridan (now best known for Law & Order: Criminal Intent and NBC’s Trauma).

The trend in movies is that concept is the star, not the actors. King’s name and his apocalyptic story, which has been a pop-culture touchstone since 1978, will be the biggest draw. So don’t expect the whole cast of Ocean’s 11 in this new version of The Stand. But maybe some of them. Here’s my wish list (although, be warned, some plotline spoilers follow):

The-Stand-2_510.jpg Image Credit: Marvel Entertainment

Illustration from Marvel Comics’ graphic novel version of The Stand: From l to r, Harold Lauder, Stu Redman, Frannie Goldsmith, Larry Underwood, Trashcan Man, Tom Cullen, Nick Andros.

CHARACTER: Stu Redman — This was the Sinise role in the TV miniseries, and for all intents and purposes it’s the lead role in a very broad ensemble. Stu is one of the good ol’ boys at a Texas gas station when a refugee from a bio-weapons facility crashes into the pumps. The guy’s a mess, and his wife and kid are already liquefying in the car. This is how the novel’s population-killing disease, Captain Trips, gets out into the world, and Stu and his buddies are soon quarantined by military scientists. Only Stu survives — inexplicably, even when they inject him directly with the disease. Soon it’s his captors who are dying off (along with the rest of the planet); he walks free, eventually uniting with handfuls of other stragglers.

Wish-list: Think of Josh Brolin from No Country For Old Men, only a lot more savvy. Brolin can be tender when need be, and a defiant mother(expletive) a split-second later. Most of all, Stu needs brains — not just brawn. Brolin’s the man.

CHARACTERS: Frannie Goldsmith & Harold Lauder — Frannie finds out she’s having the baby of a weak guy she’s, frankly, not all that into. Just when things couldn’t get worse, the world ends. (Isn’t that always the way?) Frannie could give birth to the first  new human generation, or lose the child to the disease as soon as it’s born. Unlike most of the other characters in King’s book, not everyone Frannie knows is taken by the disease. Harold, a lonely, dweeby neighbor, a kid her own age, is also resistant to Captain Trips. So you’re a pimply, overweight comic-book-nerd who finds that the only other survivor of the plague is your longtime dream-girl crush. (Isn’t that always the way?)

Wish-list: Ringwald was great casting because who didn’t crush on that girl in the ’80s? The new movie needs someone sweet and vulnerable, but being pregnant isn’t for sissies — especially during Armageddon. Most people don’t know her yet, but she just played two besieged, beautiful, and ballsy women at this year’s Sundance: Newcomer Elizabeth Olsen. As for lonely, bitter Harold, a sympathetic character who eventually goes to the dark side, I nominate Jonah Hill. Yeah, he’s got the body-type, etc., but did you see Cyrus? That dude will stick a knife in your back (or a bomb in your closet). Mark my words.

CHARACTERS: Nick Andros & Tom Cullen — So you can’t hear, can’t speak, and suddenly the superflu takes away everyone in the world, but as you set about wandering the vast emptiness, an old woman named Mother Abagail begins appearing in your dreams — and you can hear her. Nick, played by Lowe in the miniseries, is the novel’s messiah, the man who would be king. Perhaps the most big-hearted of all the survivors, he pairs with Tom, a lost, mentally-disabled man (“M-O-O-N, that spells ‘sidekick'”), when others discard him in those Darwinian times as too much of a burden. Nick seems to be a magnet for the “good” survivors of the plague, leading them to Boulder, Colo., where a new society will begin. (Really, it’s the light side of the coming battle between good and evil.)

Wish-list: Nick needs to be played by an actor audiences love, and he has to be good enough that he can pull it off without saying a word. Here’s where the producers should go big with their casting: Matt Damon. Smiling Matt Damon from Good Will Hunting, not dour Matt from the Bourne films. (UPDATE: Someone in the comments mentioned Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which made me snap my fingers and curse for not thinking of him first. Yes. Perfect.) As for Tom Cullen, who was played in the mini-series by Bill Fagerbakke (Coach, How I Met Your Mother), the role should go to one of the solid actors out there who actually share the character’s disability. I say rewrite it slightly, make Tom younger, smaller and a girl (the character’s eventual role as a spy in the colony of the wicked relies on being non-threatening). Give it to the awesome Lauren Potter, the actress with Down’s Syndrome who already kills it in a sidekick role as Sue Sylvester’s Cheerios majordomo on Glee.

CHARACTER: Larry Underwood — A struggling musician finally hits the big-time: Women, drugs, a hit song on the radio and — free downloading destroys his industry. Er, I mean, the superflu kills all his fans (and lots of other people), and reduces him to a nobody again faster than you can say, “one-hit-wonder.” Probably the character who is most in need of redemption, it needs to be an actor whose allegiance you’re not sure about. Will he end up with the heroes, trying to rebuild society in Boulder, or nailing people to crosses along the highway to Las Vegas with the demonic horde?

Wish-list: There are enough musicians who want to be actors that the inclination may be to go for one of those: Justin Timberlake, maybe? But nah, way too much of a nice-guy vibe. Make Larry a rapper (with a cooler stage name) and perhaps 50 Cent is your man. Curtis would certainly have the requisite menace. But does he have the performing chops? If he’s still up for the acting game after 8 Mile, I’d go for Eminem. Now there’s a guy we’re still not sure about — Good-guy? Sonofabitch? Maybe both. That’s what this character needs.

CHARACTER: Trashcan Man – What if one of the last living humans was not really all that human? Trashcan Man is to The Stand what the fly-eating maniac Renfield was to Dracula. Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, Watchmen) played the role in the miniseries — a demented vagrant pyromaniac who earned his nickname setting blazes in trash dumpsters, but who now incinerates empty cities and prowls the desert in search of bigger government ka-booms now guarded only by memories.

Wish-list: This is the book’s scenery-chewing role to beat all others — a raving, self-scorched psychopath. I say monsters like this are always better when cast against type. You could put the most jacked-up, snaggle-toothed character actor you can find in this role, but it just reinforces what we already know. Contrast will show the Trashcan Man’s buried humanity. Cast a pretty-boy. (Think Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys.) My vote: Robert Pattinson. To back up my thesis, I searched for the most unflattering photo I could find.

CHARACTER: Randall Flagg – He’s not a man; not a god… but close. He’s nothing that lofty. The Rolling Stones would say he’s pleased to meet you, and hopes you guess his name. Flagg is evil personified and yet, like many of the world’s most brutal leaders, he’s also a fantastic charmer. Charisma is the key here. No one wants to be a bad-guy, but if you’re going to convince half of the world’s surviving population that they should give in to their lustful, brutish, and self-absorbed instincts rather than unite for the greater good, you have to make it look good.

Wish-list: King himself once wrote that he thought (a much younger) Robert Duvall would make a great Flagg. In the mini-series, Sheridan gave the character rock-star swagger. But times have changed. Flagg needs to be persuasive, smooth, and iron-clad in his albeit twisted logic. He doesn’t inspire, but preys on his followers fears. The role needs someone who could rally to keep fear alive. Therefore, the decision is obvious: there is no greater Anti-Christ than Stephen Colbert. He’s good-looking in a clean-cut way, comfortable speaking with authority to powerful people, and casually manipulates public opinion on a nightly basis. Also, have you seen that thing he can do with his ear? Tell me that’s not a little hellspawn-ish. It may be difficult drawing Colbert away from his real-life Anti-Christ duties, but it’s worth a try. (Doesn’t that Marvel illustration of Flagg at the top of the post even look like Colbert? Okay, but with long hair and red eyes?)

Of course, any fan of The Stand knows there are a lot of other characters. What are your suggestions for the preceding characters, or any of the other survivors who have so-far gone unmentioned?

Comments (661 total) Add your comment
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  • Dommerdog

    Betty White for Mother Abigail.

    • Peggy

      I love Betty White, but I thing Mother Abigail is one character that can’t be tinkered with too much.

      • Jennifer Truth


        This is some news!

      • Carla

        You can never escape the fact that Mother Abigail is black. No one other than Whoopi Goldberg could do it today.

      • jay

        Yes, Whoopi!!!

      • Zakry

        You can do better than that. Cicely Tyson, Irma P. Hall, with some makeup, Alfre Woodard, all are capable. Whoopi is not the only black actress in Hollywood.

      • teekay

        CCH Pounder?

      • Lolly

        Whoopi Goldberg would be a horrible choice.

      • Sheila G

        Mother Abagail is OLD. I love all of these ladies and I don’t think Ms. Cicely is acting anymore. Hhmm – who?

      • hmrpotter

        Ruby Dee is still alive and still acting, and I think she was a perfect Mother Abigail, so my vote would be for her to return to that role.

    • HD

      No g’damnit! No more Betty White. All this misplaced love for this woman has burnt me out and made me unappreciative of her talent. We should have praised all the Golden Girls while they were still alive instead of heaping it undeservedly onto Betty White. Enough is frickin enough!

      BTW, Ruby Dee was great in the mini-series, was the character originally black?

      • tracy bluth

        Yes, Mother Abigal was black in the novel.

      • khia213

        The character is written as African American.

      • HD

        If the character was written as black in the book, then especially HELL NO on Betty White. Give it to Phylicia Rishad (from Cosby – sorry for the spelling), she seems to be the heir apparent to Ruby Dee and would bring a nice presence to the role.

      • world sick

        thank you HD. to hell with this betty white love.

      • Brett

        If we’re talking about turning Cullen into a little girl with Down’s Syndrome, then why is Mother Abigail off limits?

      • Celimene

        Phylicia Rashad would be a great choice. She’s been proving her dramatic chops on Broadway for the past several years and she’s just all-around awesome. Perfect casting choice.

      • Sarah

        Cicely Tyson!

      • JRS1

        Tyler Perry as Mother Abigail would be awesome.

      • HD

        @JRS1, too damn funny.

        Hot oil, bananas and cream!

      • Sheila G

        Ruby Dee is perfect!

      • Delon

        Why can’t Ruby Dee reprise her role as Mother Abigail? When she first played the character she was 70 years old, now she’s 86. Much closer to the character’s 106 years of age. I say there’s only one Mother Abigail and that’s Ruby Dee.

      • hmrpotter

        To piggyback on HD’s comment, if not Ruby Dee, then another great actress to play the part would be Jasmine Guy; she was great as an older witch on TV’s The Vampire Diaries, and I think with the right makeup to age her, she’d be perfect for the part.

      • Chris

        Liked the mini for the most part..Molly wasn’t allowed to get tough (Fresh Horses)Laura San Giacomo as Nadine just never set right with me and Flagg was not the sexy,suave, persuasive guy (NOT Jaime Sheriden!) who could turn on a dime.Love the idea of Eminem for Larry. Good for the drugged-out, trying to pull his head out of his ass…but really a great guy when it all falls apart. Stu-Ben Afflack. Laid back, nice, small-town guy who’s smart and resourseful. Angus T Jones-great idea for Harold! Whoopi for Mother Abilgail! I thought that part was seriously weak in the mini, Whoopi could bring back the strength of the character from the book.
        Still thinking on some of the others…this could be GREAT or (hopefully not) really lame.

      • Mary

        Yes, she was black. Read the book to get an appreciation for the character traits

    • Rush

      Cloris Leachman.

      • Ashok

        I vote for #1 as I think he’s really saiyng something ! And I know I’m not really all that eligible, but wanted to vote anyhow because you are such a terrific photographer!

    • Lauri

      Sure, the minute she turns into an old black woman, Betty White will be perfect. The character in the book is an old black woman. There no need to go screwing with what is already perfect. I like Sarah’s suggestion of Cecily Tyson.

      • Ian

        Hey, Jeffery Wright got to play Felix Leiter in the 06 Casino Royale. didn’t ruin the movie. what’s so wrong with going the other way?

      • Lauri

        @Ian – It’ll be bad enough to see how they gut the story to make it all fit into a 2 hour movie. But Mother Abigail is too important a character to go tinkering with. Same with Tom Cullen. Turn him into a little girl? Have Dolph Lundgren play him? Somebody needs to lay down the bong. And personally, I couldn’t care less what they do to a James Bond Movie. He stopped being Bond when Sean Connery stopped playing him. If they jack this story up too much, no one will go see it (least of all real fans of the story). I don’t care what anyone says, the 94 mini-series was great, and any attempts to “re-envision” it, remake it, or re-cast it, will fail utterly and completely.

      • jennie

        Um, guys, how about Oprah for mother Abigail. No, I am totally serious. She could do a great Job!

      • Lauri

        @Jenny – Oprah?!? What did I say? Put down the bong! No way in hell would Oprah do justice to the role of Mother Abigail. I don’t care how great people think she was 25 years ago in “The Color Purple”. She couldn’t shine Ruby Dee’s shoes, much less fill them!

      • Lauri

        @Jennie – Oprah?!? What did I say? Put down the bong! I don’t care how great people think she was 25 years ago in “The Color Purple”. She could never do justice to the role of Mother Abigail. She’s not fit to shine Ruby Dee’s shoes, much less fill them!

    • Rush

      Josh Brolin may be too old for the Stu role, but would be great as Randall Flagg. How about Josh Jackson as Stu?

      • EMcG

        Timothy Olyphant as Stu. I see no one else.

      • Rush

        Good choice. He would also make a good RF.

      • Ford

        What about Skeet Ulrich as Stu?Young,hot and a good actor.Also he has experience with these situations from Jericho.

      • wino

        Timothy Olyphant as Stu is an excellent suggestion. The every day, kinda sexy, a bit bad arse man.

      • Suze

        Skeet Ulrich for Stu… YES!!!!

      • Mary

        Josh Brolin as Flagg? Good choice!

      • Lisa

        How about Jake McLaughlin as Stu?

    • Bluto

      Why don’t they just do a “Glee” version of it? Half the posters will cream their pants immediately. And Molly Ringwald sucked as Fran.

      • Bluto

        And speaking of—could this article be any more breezy? I keep expecting him to pull a Bratz doll out of his ass.

      • LAJackie

        I totally agree. Molly Ringwald was awful and I didn’t like Jamey Sheridan as Flagg either. Didn’t live up to the hype of the character in the book.

    • Rush

      The woman who played the oracle in Battlestar Galactica.

    • Rush

      James Calis for Larry Underwood.

    • Standbyme

      Cecily Tyson!

    • Meli

      It’s one of the few direct references Stephen King makes to race in his collection of works. Mother Abigail was an elderly African American woman. If she’s still alive and capable, have Ruby Dee reprise the role.

    • Heidi

      Cam could be played by Timothy Olyphant or Matthew Fox

      I need to see Jeremy Sisto in something a little dark – maybe trash can man?

      I also vote Ruby Dee for Mother Abigail.

      Love the idea of Joseph G.L for the deaf mute who has visions.

      I like someone seriously hot and smooth talking for the role of the antichrist. Ian Somerholder – so charming – but SOOO bad. If you need someone older…I’m thinking a blonde such as Stellan Scarsgaard’s son (Alexander). He’d make anyone listen!
      Pregnant Girl – Blake Lively, Felicity Williams

    • Color Me Impressed

      Josh Holloway as Stu!!!! That would be awesome!!!

      • my thoughts


      • Brandy

        I think I’d rather him be Larry.

    • Chris

      This is ridiculous. Betty White? No. The character and her entire background making her who she is, is African American. Joseph Gordon Levitt would be perfect and I agree. Tom Cullen, yes, maybe a little younger but not female. How could you even say that knowing the book? Tom Cullen basically carries Stu back from Utah and into the mountains, nurses him back to health, and then crosses the Rockies in the dead of winter! Jonah Hill would make a great Harold as he can do the very sneaking eye and smiles needed for the role. Josh Brolin, great choice. Then we come to Eminem and Robert Pattinson…. No, no, no. Eminem would not do the role justice and doesn’t have the background to fallback on. Try Jared Leto. Trashcan Man needs to be gritty. Almost likable but draws more pity than anything else with the air of true madness brewing underneath. Robert does not have that skill or look. Someone like Sharlto Copley, a man who can wrap himself up in the character and BECOME Trashcan Man is the way to go. Don’t forget, Trashcan Man was a weasel, low lying creature, dirty. Sharlo showed he can pull off those things and add desperation in District 9 very well. For Flagg, Colbert would not have the presence needed. No matter how well he does, he isn’t a dramatic actor. Someone menacing. Capable of making an audience want to watch the screen out of the corners of their eyes. There is only one: Daniel Day Lewis. He would truly be the Darkman, Randall Flagg, LEGION. His eyes can tell every bit of emotion that character requires. In short, some of these choices were good, I think Josh Brolin would be great as Stu Redman. However, I feel the above choices are much more thought out and a better fit for the roles. That is of course if you read the book.

  • Al

    Is this a joke? Molly Ringwald was awful and these casting suggestions are terrible. Did you even read the book?

    • Pede

      Thank you. I hated Molly Ringwald as Frannie, in the book Frannie was pretty tough, Molly played her as wimpy and unsure. The rest of cast of the miniseries was amazing. Please don’t tinker with anyone’s race or gender, the book is a classic because of the characters as they are written. To change them would be a travesty, and quite frankly, I don’t think we need a movie. To fit over a thousand pages into 2-3 hours is simply not possible to do it justice. Sigh… Hollywood & it’s lack of creativity…

      • Fullbug

        Agreed. The casting suggestions in the above article are ridiculous. I say William Fitchner (Prison Break’s psycho FBI guy) for Flagg. Or the kid that played McLovin’.

      • Al

        McLovin as Flagg: now THAT’S funny!

      • chistosa

        Having read The Stand multiple times over the years, I thought Molly Ringwald was not believable as Frannie. My pick: Ellen Page

      • Jessica

        I also agree – this writer clearly has not read or has no love for the novel. Josh Brolin? No way. Keep the Goonie away from Stu Redman.

      • Fullbug

        Timothy Olyphant as Flagg?
        Walton Goggins as Flagg or Lloyd or Trashy?
        Jason Lee as Stu?

      • Rush

        I originally imagined that Nick was black because of the persecution he received while walking through the south. It made sense to me that rednecks would pick on a man of color more redily than someone who was just quiet.

      • Lauri

        @Rush – He wasn’t just ‘quiet’. He was a deaf mute. What some referred to as “deaf and dumb”. The way the character was persecuted in the book was accurate. Black people weren’t the only ones who were persecuted in years past. There is no reason to make the character black. Deaf and mute is plenty believable, if you understand the history.

      • Ru

        I also totally thought the character was black. I can’t remember why, but I held on to that idea until I saw “The Stand” miniseries and was like, “Rob Lowe? What the what?”

        FYI, he’s never described as “white,” either, so there is also no reason to make him white. Unlike Stu, Fran, Larry, etc., there is basically no physical description of Nick beyond his deaf-mute status and his injuries after getting jumped.

      • Lauri

        Yes, there is. Not as detailed as the others, but there was a description. He was described as having brown hair and I believe blue eyes. Not many black men with those features. And I don’t know what book you read, but Flagg was the one with the ambiguous description. I thought HE was black, not Nick. I think it’s time to pull out my copy of ‘The Stand’. I read it so many times that my paperback fell apart and I had to go out and buy the hardcover.

      • Rush

        @Lauri & Ru What I meant by “quiet” is that this in itself wouldn’t necessarily attract persecution, but being a black stranger walking through the south would be a more plausible for the beating he was given. Yeah, his physical description was described later after he was introduced and it was as a white man. But changing his race to african-american would not have an impact on the plot.

        A black actor for Randall Flagg? How about Denzel Washington?

      • Meg

        I figured Nick was Greek because of his name. I’d make him neither white nor black, but somewhere in between.

      • Lauri

        A@ Rush, it WAS his silence that drew attention. He got beat up because the ones who attacked him were a bunch of drunken good ol’ boys, and he was new in town. A stranger walking down the street, and he had insulted the leader of the ‘necks (I forget how) and because he couldn’t speak (to apologize) or hear (when they were calling to him) he became an easy target. Making him black wouldn’t enhance the story, so why bother?

      • LadyBug979

        I agree Molly Ringwald did not do the character of Frannie justice. If I remember correctly from the book and it was only a few months ago the last time I read it, Frannie was described as a prom queen/liberated woman type. Seems like an odd combination, a complicated person. After the plague she had to toughen up and she did. I remember Molly Ringwald playing kind of tough characters in other movies but they didn’t let her character toughen up in the movie. But either way I still don’t think I would have liked Molly Ringwald in that role. I like her just didn’t like her in that part. I just never could make the leap of Molly Ringwald as the Frannie I had pictured in my mind. I can’t really explain why, she just didn’t fit the part somehow.

      • JoSCh

        Interesting that people don’t like Betty White for Mother Abigail, don’t like making Tom Cullen a girl, but no mention of Morgan Freeman as “Red” in Shawshank.

        FWIW, I think the characters should be cast as written. But agree, this is a movie better off not made.

        I liked the mini-series though, in spite of it’s flaws.

      • Kelly

        While I agree there could have been a better actr for Fran, I thought Molly Ringwald did an okay job. Besides for the first half of the mini-series, people who haven’t read the book don’t know she’s pregnant, so those of us who have read the book have a little bit of a different view. She did make Fran look weaker, but I feel she worked well with the lines they gave her. She can only do so much, y’know. I think she did a good job. I enjoyed Molly as Fran, although I have to say, the wardrobe department had her dressed way to nicely. She was a jeans-and-tee kind of gal, not a halter and skirt girl.

    • jules

      SHE WAS GODAWFUL!!! And whose idea was it to dress Fran in chiffon and tights? Fran Goldsmith would never be caught dead in the outfits that were featured in the 1994 version.

      • naynay

        Yeah, I loved that. Your world as you know it has ended, you are trying to get to a safe place to have your baby, you are afraid and let’s dress like we are going to work in a high rise everyday. Bluejeans and tshirts would have been normal.

      • Lauri

        I think the whole point of the way she dressed was that things had changed so drastically and so quickly, that she was trying to hold onto some “normal”, so the way she dressed was her way of trying to pretend things were still “normal”. She wasn’t dressed that way through the entire movie. When she was burying her father, for instance, she was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. But after her dad died, I think subconsciously, she just couldn’t handle any more loss or change. And after all, the character was a college age girl. You think it would be easy for a 20 yr old kid to just overnight give up looking pretty or wearing cute clothes? JMOFWIW

    • joesmom

      Yeah, Ringwald was HORRID in the mini! I vote Ben Browder for Stu, and Glenn Beck for Flagg.

      • Rush

        LOL at Glenn Beck. I don’t think Beck’s ego would allow him to play that role. He views himself as the Stu Redman type.

      • Suze

        and here I thought I was the only one who hated Molly Ringwald…

    • Heidi

      Are you referring to me? Yes I did read the book and saw the miniseries

  • Allison

    I haven’t read the book or watched the original TV movie, but I’d love to see this crew!

    • Lauri

      If you had read the book or seen the original, you would know these casting choices suck.

  • Peggy

    Mother Abigail might be a tough one to cast because I don’t know too many older black actresses who could do it. It has to be someone who is either very old or can play very old. Maybe Oprah?

    • tracy bluth

      Can’t Ruby Dee just play her again?

      • Peggy

        Actually, that is a good idea. I think she would be great.

      • anne

        Yes, and without the bad old-age makeup this time.

    • Melanie

      I’m sure Oprah appreciates that suggestion.

    • Jane

      For Mother Abigail I would suggest Cicely Tyson.

      • lostidol

        You’ll probably laugh, but Whoopi Goldberg would make a great Mother Abigail.

      • Sarah

        YES! She’s perfect!

    • Antonio of Gilead

      Viola Davis???

      • Meier

        I’m with Antonio.

    • Leila

      The Mama Cosby suggestion was excellent. I caught her on Broadway playing an older family matriarch. She was nothing short of brilliant.

    • SS

      Maya Angelou could play her perfectly.

  • tracy bluth

    Really weird casting.
    I was happy with the actors who played my two favorite characters from the book, Larry and Lucy, in the miniseries. And Rob Lowe was surprisingly good.
    My choices:
    Stu: Timothy Olyphant
    Fran: Carey Mulligan (had to fight really hard not to type Emily de Ravin)
    Larry: Wes Bentley (had to fight really hard not to type Dominic Morgan)
    Randall Flagg: Christian Bale
    I disagree with the choice of Jonah Hill for Harold- Harold loses a lot of weight throughout the novel.

    • Dannyboy

      Timothy Olyphant would be PERFECTION as Stu! YES!

      • me

        But didn’t Timothy do a disease movie already…The Crazies?

    • Brenda

      Timothy Olyphant is an excellent suggestion. I love it! Stu is a fairly cleenched guy when we first meet him, and Olyphant’s Bullock on Deadwood was oh so clenched!

    • gf120581

      Olyphant would be perfect. He’s already doing the Texas thing with “Justified,” doing Stu would be easy.

      I admit, I thought of Dom Monaghan too when it came to casting Larry, just because Charlie was inspired in large part by the Larry character.

      • Brett

        Yeah, except Olyphant’s doing the Kentucky thing. Different part of the country.

      • Standbyme

        After checking out the many faces of Dom he seems to be an excellent choice. From the charmer to the devil, that’s Larry

    • SS

      I think these casting suggestions make sense. And please stop toying with gender or race of the characters from the novel. Changing them will ruin what has become a classic.

      • SS

        that shoulda read “make NO sense”!

    • Kate

      Oh hell yes to Christian Bale. He was also who I immediately thought of for Roland in the Dark Tower movie/TV series.

    • AJH

      Olyphant! Great suggestion. I like de Ravin as Fran, too. And Bale as Flagg = win. Good job Tracy!!!

      • LBW

        Love love love the idea of Bale as Flagg. But wasn’t Nick in his late teens or 20s in the book? So, Damon is out. I like Gordon-Levitt though.

    • Don Alex

      I think Olyphant would make a better Flagg, he’s got the right looks and can be scary looking when he wants to be.

    • Ali

      That’s what would be so awesome for Jonah Hill. He NEEDS to lose the weight before he pulls a John Candy.

  • Adele

    This entire article sounds like a joke. Jonah Hill? Really? Tom Cullen a girl? What?

    Pattinson in any role other than a victim of the disease would suck.

    • Corpsegoddess

      Amen to that. I’m pretty sure this article is just to get fans riled up and bring out the trolls.

    • Jason

      Seriously, I’m on board with Colbert and Brolin, but Jonah Hill? Nope. Tom Cullen should stay a man. And Pattinson as Trashcan Man has to be one of the WORST ideas I’ve heard.

      I know on other boards I’ve been pushing for him to be Haymitch in Hunger Games — but Bruce Campbell would be an AWESOME Trashcan Man.

      • Amy

        John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi or Woody Harrelson as Trashcan Man.
        Stu = Brolin, Olyphant, or Bill Paxton
        Frannie = Michele Williams or Mila Kunis
        Harold = Jonah Hill or Angus T. Jones
        Nick = Olyphant or Joseph Gordon-Levitt
        Tom = David Morse or Woody Harrelson
        Larry = Scott Speedman
        Randall Flagg = Bruce Campbell (may add too much campy to this), Bale, Brolin, Michael Madsen, Geoffrey Rush

      • Tajah

        Bruce Campbell as Randall Flagg. Definitely.

      • markhail

        This has to be a series of movies, or the one movie will bomb due to blood loss on the cutting room floor.

        For miniseries or trilogy….

        I vote for Malkovich or Robert Duvall as Glen Bateman (with the other cameoing as The Judge). Steve Buscemi could mail in Trashcan Man, and Woody Harrelson or Paxton as Randall Flagg– it’s a role for overplay. Gordon-Leavitt as Nick, Olyphant as Stu. An Olivia Wilde type (or Olivia) as Nadine Cross.

  • greg

    Cicely Tyson for Mother Abigail!

    • Dannyboy

      I was going to say the same thing! She would be perfect! .

      And please dear god, not Oprah!

  • chris

    I cannot believe that these movies we have grown up with are continually being updated. How about a new “Jaws” or “Godfather”. I personally liked the original movie and agreed with almost all of the casting (was not a big Molly Ringwald fan but she did well). I did read this book and have seen the miniseries many times.
    Hey – how about Oprah for Mother Abigail ? I hear she may be looking for a job. How about that for new casting.

  • Melly

    Some of this “dream” casting is way off target of what was written in the book. Also seems a little too (conveniently) pedestrian.

    • chillydogs

      What about the guy from Dexter?

    • StevenTyler’sGirlfriend…

      I agree, too pedestrian. Back in the 80’s I had a perfect cast in mind after I read the book- straight through! Gotta really think on this one. However, I did think of Angus T. Jones for Harold. The one thing we’re missing here is the music. From day one I always thought of the song by Echo & the Bunnymen,Called “Killing Moon” I’m telling you folks, this is THE song! If you search the title & artist you can check out the lyrics but it’s much more than that, it’s the feel of the music equating to the feel of the book (now movie) Can’t wait for this to happen! Regardless of if it’s one movie or broken in to three ( hello? Lord of the Rings?) just do it justice this time! No Molly Ringwald- take the time to do it well, we’ve already been disappointed once!

  • Al

    Larry-Jared Leto
    Stu- Jeremy Renner
    Frannie- Blake Lively
    Flagg- Terry O’Quinn

    • Tiffany

      I like these choices. The dream casting in this article is a joke aside from Matt Damon.

    • Pumpkin man

      YES …. you get it Terry O’Quinn … this movie will kill in the box office if they tie the LOST stuff in (see my post below)!

      • Maserda

        Oh yeah, I like Terry O’Quinn and Jeremy Renner (I want to see Jeremy play a non-crazy role)

      • joesmom

        OMG, Terry O’Quinn would be the perfect Flagg!

      • Chris

        Perfect choice for Flagg.

      • Windy

        Lynne: 175# BP, Dead Hang PU11-1411-1511-1508-1610-10Could have done more pullups but it would rruqiee longer waits between reps at the end, >4 seconds, which seems to go against the spirit of the exercise. If you rest long enough you can put up some crazy numbers.

    • Prunella Von Schleidlhaagen

      Let’s keep it with people who can act. Blake Lively in that group is a big “Which of these things does not belong here?”

    • Amy

      Good choice for Flagg and Larry.

    • sue

      Hate Blake Lively but like your other choices.

  • dusty

    That was some terrible casting…And Randall Flagg needs to be the same person playing the man in black in the Dark Tower. I vote David Duchovony.

    • majamababe

      I agree – there needs to be continuity between movies, since many of the characters cross-over from story to story.

    • Seeleygirl

      After watching his smarmy charm in Californication, I could totally see David Duchovony in this role. He’s the devil that you kinda understand.

      • Softy1

        Now THIS is a suggestion I can get behind! David would be perfect for Flagg, all charm and seduction, leading you down the dark path to hell. Love it!

      • StevenTyler’sGirlfriend…

        David would be an excellent choice! I concider myself to be a “The Stand” snob! (Well, who isn’t after the miniseries!) I hope casting director’s are reading this! The true fans are very dedicated and protective of this project after the last slaughter… Keep it going people!

      • popsokc

        david would be a good choice, devil always needs to be the last person you would expect.

  • Pumpkin man

    This book/story was the architecture of the TV series LOST. There are many similarities between “The Stand” and “LOST” including subing “the great virus stuff in lieu of the so-so “battle for humanity’s soul” stuff.”

    I think this movie will be a success for 2 reasons:

    1) If the studio is smart they will cast/cameo some of the LOST people into the parallel rolls to parlay some of the LOST heat their way.

    2) King has also admitted that this is a religious story, and because he is Christian, most of the allusions are to the Bible … this plays well to Americans.

    I wonder if they will ’set’ this movie in the original books time, the revision of the books time, or present day? I think a present day revision would be interesting, but “time” pieces (like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire) are very popular. It would be cool if it was all 1980s and such.

    • Bren

      I don’t know, a good part of the creepiness is the idea that a supervirus could get loose and wipe out humanity so quickly. I think you lose that factor a bit if you set it in the past.

    • Lauri

      The Stand WAS “the battle for Humanity’s soul”. The catalyst for the battle was the virus. Sort of like culling the herd. But the main plot point was the battle for humanity, ‘good vs. evil’.

    • econruth

      Maybe they can rewrite the ending too? It was such a huge disappointment after such a great story. Oh wait… am I talking about The Stand or Lost?

    • StevenTyler’sGirlfriend…

      Good point. I think they should be true to the entire story & keep it in the time in which it was written. For example; No cell phones then, No internet, When Nick broke into the pharmacy it was for bandaids, not oxycontin & vicodin. You get the point. Simplertimes…

  • Pumpkin man

    BTW whoever wrote this article should really not cast anything … asinine list of people and reasons!

  • K

    Matt Damon is way too old to play Nick. However, he’d actually make a fantastic Flagg. Charismatic and handsome, and I bet he could do psycho really well. It’s time to see him go crazy.

    • Mole

      Everybody remember The Talented Mr. Ripley? Matt Damon’s got some sociopath in him.

      • Mr. Eko

        He was villianous in The Departed and School Ties.

    • Brett

      Only Steven Tyler could do justice to Randall Flagg, and only ’cause Mick Jagger’s too old and Keith Richards is too incomprehensible.

      • StevenTyler’sGirlfriend…

        Ya know, that could work for me!

  • greg

    Maybe Tom Hardy (from ‘Inception” as Randalll. He’s got a seductive, insinuating air about him that a bit mysterious.
    I think Ellen Page would make a great Nadine if she brought on her ‘Hard Candy’ persona.

    • Fullbug

      Tom Hardy..good one!

    • sue

      Good one! He can be down right scary. Watch the Take or Oliver Twist. He can be sinister and seductive at the same time.

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