First Trailer For Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ Reveals World After Deadly Pandemic

This is a worst case scenario.

It feels awkward to write this while there is an actual global pandemic in progress, but The Dark Man is coming in December and Stephen King and CBS All Access want to be sure you’re there to meet him.

That Dark Man is Randall Flagg, the otherworldly and possibly demonic villain in King’s novel of good and evil after a global pandemic, The Stand, and he is played in the upcoming new limited series by Alexander Skarsgard—a.k.a. the big brother of Bill Skarsgard, who played another iconic King villain as Pennywise in IT.

The brief trailer for the new miniseries version of The Stand reveals the older Skarsgard only briefly, and it focuses on introducing Whoopi Goldberg’s Mother Abagail, the embodiment of good in King’s novel.

In case you’ve never heard of it: The Stand is a King classic first published in 1978. It’s about a bioengineered flu virus nicknamed Captain Trips that is accidentally released from a secret US lab and goes on to kill billions the world over, bringing civilization to a halt and leaving two camps of survivors. One group stations themselves around Mother Abagail in Boulder, Colorado, and the other goes with Randall Flagg to Las Vegas. 

Needless to say, the groups break down starkly into good and evil and they come into conflict—but King made it work.

Showrunner Benjamin Cavell was quoted by addressing the story’s current relevance:

“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, 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,” said Benjamin Cavell, showrunner and executive producer.

“We’re honored to tell this sprawling, epic story, including a new coda that Stephen King has wanted to add for decades. We’re so proud of this show and its attempt to find meaning and hope in the most uncertain of times. We can’t wait to share it with the world.”

In addition to Goldberg and Skarsgard, The Stand also stars James Marsden as protagonist Stu Redman, Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, Jovan Adepo as Larry Underwood, Amber Heard as Nadine Cross, Owen Teague as Harold Lauder and Henry Zaga as Nick Andros.

The Stand begins streaming on CBS All Access on December 17, 2020.