Major casting has been completed, and principal photography will begin Feb. 16 on locations in Salt Lake City, Utah, for Stephen King’s “The Stand,” an eight-hour miniseries which is scheduled to be telecast during the 1993-94 season on ABC.
Heading the all-star cast of the epic drama are Gary Sinise (“Of Mice and Men”) as Stu Redman, Molly Ringwald (“Betsy’s Wedding”) as Frannie Goldsmith, Rob Lowe (“Bad Influence”) as Nick Andros, Diane Lane (“Lonesome Dove”) as Julie, Jamey Sheridan (“Shannon’s Deal”) as Randall Flagg, Laura San Giacomo (“sex, lies, and videotape”) as Nadine, and Ruby Dee (“Atlanta Child Murders”) as Mother Abigail.
Also appearing in key roles are Bill Fagerbakke as Tom, Miguel Ferrer as Lloyd, Matt Frewer as Trashcan Man, Moses Gunn as Judge Ferris, Corky Nemec as Harold, Adam Storke as Larry and Ray Walston as Glen Bateman. The miniseries has more than 125 speaking parts; further casting announcements will be made over the course of the five-month production schedule.
“The Stand” was first published in 1978 and was reissued in 1990 in a complete and uncut edition, restoring more than 500 pages that had been cut from the original manuscript. This complete version is the basis of the ABC miniseries. The story envisions a future world in which virtually the entire population of the planet is wiped out by a deadly flu virus which has been accidentally unleashed in a Defense Department laboratory accident. The relative handful of survivors find themselves drawn to two distinct camps — those searching for an ancient black woman, Mother Abigail (Ruby Dee), who embodies purity of spirit and seeks new beginnings for the Earth; and those inexorably linked to the satanic Randall Flagg (Jamey Sheridan), the very distillation of evil and corruption.
King has written the screenplay himself and will also serve as executive producer with Laurel Entertainment, Inc. President, Richard P. Rubinstein. “The Stand” will continue a 13-year writing/producing association between King and Rubinstein that includes King’s first produced theatrical screenplay (“Creepshow,” 1982), his first theatrical adaptation of one of his own best-selling novels (“Pet Sematary”), and, with this project, the first King adaptation of one of his novels as a television miniseries.