Stephen King’s The Stand: this new TV thriller about a global pandemic is eerily familiar

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Everything you need to know about the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand: a new nine-part apocalyptic thriller set in the aftermath of a fatal virus outbreak. 

They say life imitates art – but few could have predicted the uncanny timing of The Stand: a new TV adaptation of Stephen King’s novel based on the fallout from a deadly global disease

“During the two years we spent making The Stand, we all felt the responsibility of adapting what may be the most beloved work of one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, ” says showrunner Benjamin Cavell. “But none of us could have imagined that Stephen King’s 40-year-old masterpiece about a global pandemic would come to be so eerily relevant.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the new nine-part dystopian fantasy, coming to our TV screens early next year.

What’s The Stand about?

A deadly virus, developed as a secret biological weapon, is accidentally unleashed on the world – wiping out much of the global population in a matter of months. Only a small band of survivors escape unscatched from the pandemic; and they will soon be divided in an epic battle of good versus evil. 

On the one hand lies the “Boulder Free Zone”; a democratic community based in Colorado, with Mother Abigail as their figurehead. On the other stands dictator Randall Flagg and his band of murderers, sociopaths and wolves – operating out of a totalitarian state in Las Vegas.

With traitors in the mix, and supernatural powers at play, the residents of Boulder Free Zone must come face-to-face with their nemesis – but can “the Dark Messiah” ever be crushed?

Who stars in The Stand?

A TV show with Stephen King’s name is guaranteed to attract an all-star cast.  The Notebook’s James Marsden takes the lead as virus survivor “Stu” Redman, alongside Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abigail – a mystical figure who first appears in dreams and is a central character in the Boulder Free Zone community. Other members include virginal teacher Nadine (Amber Heard), whose flirtation with the dark side is one of the more horrifying aspects of The Stand, and burnout pop singer Larry Underwood (Jovan Adepo). 

Alexander Skarsgård stars as Randall Flagg, The Stand’s terrifying otherworldly leader who creates his own totalitarian state, using psychopaths as his lieutenants. 

Is there a trailer for The Stand?

There is indeed – watch the terror unfold, below.

When does The Stand come out?

The Stand comes out on StarzPlay on 3 January 2021 – just in time for a New Year dose of post-apocalyptic fantasy.

Images: StarzPlay

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.