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Big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand might begin as limited Showtime series

Plans for a big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s 1978 novel The Stand have been in the works for a while now and taken various forms throughout the development process, but the latest turn in the story’s path to theaters could be the most intriguing one yet. A new report suggests that before the novel gets its long-awaited feature film, the story will begin unfolding as a limited miniseries on television.

According to The Wrap, Warner Bros. Pictures is leaning toward establishing the The Stand’s characters and world in an eight-part miniseries on the Showtime network before releasing a feature-length film.

The Fault in our Stars director Josh Boone, who was officially attached to The Stand earlier this year, is expected to write and direct both the miniseries and the movie. The television series will reportedly begin filming early next year, with the two projects gelling together as a single production for their cast and creative team.

Related: Hollywood adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand will be a four-film series

Originally published in 1978 and then re-published in 1990 with a massive amount of revisions and added material penned by King himself, The Stand chronicles the apocalyptic events that transpire when a biological weapon is accidentally unleashed on the country and the survivors become caught up in a battle of good versus evil. Filled with supernatural elements that suggest the battle being waged is something greater than a simple struggle for survival, the novel is widely regarded as one of the greatest post-apocalyptic epics ever written.

The Stand was previously adapted as an eight-hour television miniseries in 1994 that starred Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, Ossie Davis, and Laura San Giacomo. The screenplay for that series was written by King.

Rumors have suggested that Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey could be targeted for the role of Randall Flagg, the demonic figure opposing the forces of good in the story.