‘Potter’ masterminds Steve Kloves and David Yates reunite for ‘The Stand’

The Stand coming to the big screenBy Drew McWeeny, Source: HitFlix.com

The “Harry Potter” film series was a juggernaut pretty much from start to finish, occupying ten years of pop culture real estate by sheer force of will. There was no guarantee up front that the films would work, or that fans would be happy, or that the studio would be able to get all the films made before the kids got too old to star in them. It seemed like a huge challenge up front, and the way they pulled it off has been sort of overwhelming to witness. It is a triumph of filmmaking as mountain climbing, an accomplishment that few would have been able to pull off, much less with the style and grace of this series.

How many other film franchises genuinely got better as they went? How many film franchises produced eight films in a decade? Especially films of this size and complexity? “Harry Potter” is one of those singular things, and especially over the back half of the series, David Yates and Steve Kloves did a lot of the heavy lifting as the director and screenwriter of the films, and they made a whoooooole lot of money for Warner Bros. in the process.

Little wonder, then, that Warner Bros. is in the process of finalizing the deals for David Yates and Steve Kloves to re-team for a multi-movie version of Stephen King’s epic “The Stand.”

This makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. First, “The Stand” remains this tantalizing almost for a lot of fans of the book. The Mick Garris version for television is a very faithful telling, but there’s something wild and terrifying about the book that television standards and practices just didn’t make room for, a scope to the world of the book that still hasn’t been captured. Kloves is a smart writer and given two (or possibly even three) movies to tell the story, he can let it live and breathe, and hopefully nobody’s going to try to push this to a PG-13. “The Stand,” as originally written, was dark and powerful and disturbing, and if you’re not going to go further than television has allowed in the past, there seems little reason to revisit the material.

Yates had mentioned his involvement with “The Stand” when he was doing press for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” but he was still just thinking about it at the time. Word is that the deals are now coming together quickly, and that this is a priority project for the studio and for Vertigo Pictures, which will produce. After all, with “Potter” concluded, why not put the same team back to work on something that will cover several films? It’s darker and more adult fare, but it’s a book that has sold millions and millions of copies over the years, one of the best known things King ever wrote.

At the time, though, he didn’t mention that this was a reunion. If this comes together quickly, this could be several huge release dates for Warner Bros., and a real treat for King fans. We’ll have more on this as details are finalized, but for now, count on an official announcement soon.

Of course, that raises the question of casting, and that’s a big conversation for another day…

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