CBS All Access' nine-episode adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand marches on this week with its third chapter, "Blank Pages." As our survivors make their way to either Boulder, Colorado, to be with Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) or to "New Vegas" to join Randall Flagg's (Alexander Skarsgard) ranks, viewers have been introduced to folks like Larry Underwood (Jovan Adepo) and Lloyd Henreid (Nat Wolff) as they take sides in where the future of humanity lies. This week, new faces take the stage as we get to meet Greg Kinnear's Glen Bateman, a widowed professor when "Captain Trips" hit – one accustomed to a solitary life. When he encounters the other survivors, Bateman's curiosity is piqued by Mother Abagail's visions.
If you're a King fan and you notice something oddly similar between Kinnear's portrayal of Bateman and the acclaimed author, then you hit on what the actor was going for- as Kinnear explained in an interview with CB.com. "Well, I read this book when I was in high school. And it is a very, very, very, very, very long book. In fact, if you want to feel good about the pandemic you're in, read Stephen King's 'The Stand' and it will give you a whole new perspective on pandemics because that kind of backdrop is the nuclear bomb of pandemics is what's going on with this story," Kinnear explained. "And ultimately, we focus on a set of characters that are left standing and challenged with the idea of rebuilding society and I think it's ultimately a wrestling and a grappling of good versus evil for everyone."
For Kinnear, a character he loved was also once he envisioned as being very much like his literary creator. "I loved Glen when I read the book. I think it's kind of the voice of Stephen King, strangely enough. I'm channeling King. He kind of has a banjo plan, you know, a dime-store philosophy quality to him, this guy. I didn't know what the hell he was talking about myself, as a writer, but I did like his take on everything," Kinnear continued. "At top of the show, you find him having already given up on society, which in a way is kind of a power position. Everybody is grappling with what they've lost and here's a guy who had kind of already checked out. And so, I think he's more along for the ride, not trying to get back where we were, but just to kind of study it. It's a sociology study for him and I think his eyes are open. And he's learning as he goes and is enjoying the ride as best you can in all of this."
Here's a Look at CBS All Access' The Stand
The ensemble cast for The Stand includes Alexander Skarsgard, Whoopi Goldberg, James Marsden, Amber Heard, Heather Graham, Greg Kinnear, Odessa Young, Henry Zaga, Jovan Adepo, Owen Teague, Brad William Henke, Daniel Sunjata, Nat Wolff, Eion Bailey, Katherine McNamara, Hamish Linklater, and Fiona Dourif, with Ezra Miller guest-starring as Trashcan Man. Set to premiere in the U.S. on Thursday, December 17, here's a look at our cast of characters, as well as another look at the official trailer:
Marsden's Stu Redman is an ordinary working-class factory man in an extraordinary situation with a damaged quality to him that belies his exterior. Heard's Nadine Cross is a deeply conflicted woman who feels the consequences of her actions but is still compelled by her allegiance to Randall Flagg, the Dark Man. Young's Frannie Goldsmith is a pregnant young woman navigating a strange new world, who also has the foresight to recognize that there is evil lurking beyond Flagg. Zaga's Nick Andros is a young deaf and mute man who finds himself in a position of authority when the unthinkable happens. He has a habit of risking his own well-being for the safety of others.
Goldberg's Mother Abagail is a prophet who receives visions from God and guides survivors of the superflu. Adepo's Larry Underwood is a young musician with a taste for fame, as well as illegal substances. When the plague hits, he is forced to confront his demons as he makes his way to the new world. Teague's Harold Lauder goes in search of others with fellow survivor Frannie Goldsmith. While his intentions are good, jealousy and his infatuation with Frannie threaten to lead him down a dark path. Henke's Tom Cullen is Nick Andros' traveling companion who is developmentally disabled due to a terrible fall as a child. A sweet soul, he will be instrumental in their fight for survival. Sunjata's Cobb is a member of the military tasked with supervising Stu Redman as the government searches for a cure during the outbreak of the superglue.
Skarsgard's Randall Flagg is the living, breathing personification of all things dark and evil. Wolff's Lloyd Henreid is a petty criminal who becomes fiercely loyal to Flagg. Bailey's Teddy Weizak is a superflu survivor and member of the body crew, alongside Harold, in Boulder, CO. McNamara's Julie Lawry is a small-town girl with a wild side who is one of Lloyd's conquests in Las Vegas. Linklater's Dr. Ellis is a military colonel and infectious-disease specialist who dreams of being the hero who stops the superglue. Graham's Rita Blakemoor is a wealthy woman who is ill-prepared for the end of the world and attempts to escape superflu-infested New York City. Kinnear's Glen Bateman is a widowed professor when the superflu hits – one accustomed to a solitary life. When he encounters other survivors, Glen's curiosity is piqued by Mother Abagail's visions. Dourif's "Rat Woman" is one of Randall Flagg's evil lackeys.
Written by Josh Boone, Ben Cavell, and more, the 9-episode limited series The Stand also includes a King-penned final episode coda that provides a new aspect and perspective to the ending not found in the book. Boone is directing the first and last episodes, and executive producing alongside showrunner Taylor Elmore, Will Weiske, Jimmy Miller, Roy Lee, and Richard P. Rubinstein, with CBS Televisions Studios serving as studio. Jake Braver, Jill Killington, Owen King, Knate Lee, and Stephen Welke also produce.