In the latest adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, Whoopi Goldberg is Mother Abagail and Alexander Skarsgard is Randall Flagg, the Dark Man. It’s still set in a future version of the United States (which resembles today’s society) where a military-level virus gets out and kills the majority of the population. Those who remain are called to join two polar opposites, one good and one evil. And everyone has to choose between one or the other.
In the CBS/Paramount release, fans can get the original (which won Emmy awards for sound mixing and makeup) starring Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Miguel Ferrer, Ruby Dee, Jamey Sheridan, Ed Harris, and Matt Frewer on Blu-ray, alongside the latest version starring Goldberg, Skarsgard, James Marsden, Greg Kinnear, J.K. Simmons, and Heather Graham. The drama remains, and the fate of the world remains in the balance.
Special features on the set include the “Making of” the 1994 original, and audio commentary for the original. For the remake, there’s a gag reel(!) and “An Apocalyptic Epic: Adapting the Stand,” that shows the way it was translated the second time around. Watching the series versions, audiences will notice there’s a new ending to the updated version, written by King himself just for this.
While all of King’s novels have some wrestling balance between good and evil, The Stand has always stood out as plainly presenting the opportunities for people to choose. The world is desolate, torn apart, and still, some people want to control it for themselves, to control others and manipulate them. But there remain good people who choose selflessness, who choose inclusion. The Stand is a dark parable, with Biblical influences. It’s the end of the world, but there’s a new world coming – one vision for the betterment of all and one for evil domination.