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How The Stand's New Adaptation Differs From the 1994 Miniseries

Although CBS All Access' adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand is one of the platform's most anticipated original series, it's the second time the story's been adapted for television.

ABC aired a critically acclaimed two-episode adaptation in 1994, which won two out of its six Emmy Award nominations. Producers Benjamin Cavell and Taylor Elmore recently shared with CBR what makes their nonlinear adaptation unique and more faithful to King's world.

"Having a nonlinear narrative differentiates us from the original miniseries, which has the same kind of linear narrative as the book, but we when first were sitting down to lay all this out, it certainly felt to me that everyone has seen Contagion and Outbreak -- and I love those movies -- did we want people to sit through three episodes of the world dying before we got to the meat of our story?" Cavell asked.

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"For me, and I know Taylor feels this way too, The Stand isn't really a story about a pandemic -- of course part of it is and it has a pandemic in it -- but really, the pandemic is the mechanism in which the world gets emptied out so that our heroes can walk to Mordor across a dead world," Cavell added. "It felt like since the book is so much about what comes after, this elemental struggle between -- I hesitate to say [it] -- good and evil, the forces of light and dark or whatever, it felt like that's our story and where we wanted to get to. And starting there felt like, in some ways, the most honest way to way to do because that's the story we're doing."

With nine more episodes than its 1994 predecessor, the CBS All Access adaptation has more room to hew closer to King's original text without having to cut its narrative short.

Cavell and Elmore also worked closely with Stephen King and his son Owen to stay as faithful as possible to the original source material.

The Stand stars Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg, Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abigail, James Marsden as Stu Redman, Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, Jovan Adepo as Larry Underwood, Amber Heard as Nadine Cross, Owen Teague as Harold Lauder, Henry Zaga as Nick Andros, Brad William Henke as Tom Cullen, Irene Bedard as Ray Bretner, Nat Wolff as Lloyd Henreid, Eion Bailey as Weizak, Heather Graham as Rita Blakemoor, Katherine McNamara as Julie Lawry, Fiona Dourif as Ratwoman, Natalie Martinez as Dayna Jurgens, Hamish Linklater as Dr. Jim Ellis, Daniel Sunjata as Cobb and Greg Kinnear as Glen Bateman.

The Stand premieres on Dec. 17 on CBS All Access.

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