David Yates To Direct Stephen King's THE STAND or Vertigo's FABLES?

Harry Potter helmer is in Hollywood today to discuss his next project - The Stand, Fables, an Al Capone biopic & Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You are all on the cards at WB.

I reported earlier about the Al Capone gangster biopic he wants to get off the ground with Tom Hardy at the studio, but Vulture also say director David Yates is traveling from London into Hollywood today to discuss another huge movie with Warner Bros just hours after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was released in cinema's. On the plane he will be re-reading Stephen King's epic-lengthed 1,100 word supernatural tome The Stand (he won't read it in one journey that's for sure!) which we heard earlier this year Warner Bros and CBS want to turn into a multi-picture adaptation, much like Universal's ambitious plans (though now seemingly in trouble) for King's The Dark Tower. WB look like they want to beat the now floundering Universal out of the gate on the other much-loved King epic. Talks will happen today between Yates and WB, before he is given two weeks to decide if he wants to make what is now being talked of as not two films.... but a trilogy (which inevitably before filming actually become ONE movie with the POSSIBILITY of a trilogy if it succeeds.... WB sounding a little too eager out of the gate here). But certainly there€™s a helluva lot of material and storytelling that would be troubling to condense into a 2 and a bit hour feature. Indeed, we€™ve already seen a cult mini-series adaptation which was a modest version of the novel that clocked in at six hours and still felt like it was incomplete (though with the perfect casting of Gary Sinise) €“ but with a studio budget and a more ambitious scope and director, there€™s lots of room for a new movie here. The Stand is a post-apocalyptic novel where a plague nicknamed Captain Trips has caused mass devastation to the planet, wiping out almost everyone. The novel focuses on the rag-tag group of survivors who share dreams of a mysterious evil being and they team-up, forming a community, to try and rid them of it. It is such an important book for Stephen King fans, WB should certainly take time with the adaptation and although I was hopeful for a visionary more along the lines of Sam Raimi or the best director of King's works, Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile & The Mist) - but there's plenty of supporters for this new Harry Potter film of his for me to be happy if he gets the opportunity to make this. If Yates does turn The Stand down and a deal can't be made for the Capone biopic, Warner Bros will throw their adaptation of the Vertigo Comics series Fables at him, which is another big deal project we have long championed at WhatCulture! Bill Willingham€™s successful series was one I actually attempted to adapt once and a few years back was being thought of as a t.v. series at ABC. Warner seem to be thinking more of a film adaptation (though t.v. should be the way to go). Fables is based on the idea that fairy tale characters such as Snow White and The Big Bad Wolf have been forced out of their homeland into the real modern day world of New York City and it€™s hidden community known as Fabletown. It€™s kind of like a witness protection act and they all assume new identities. The comics read as part fantasy/part detective saga as the first volume of issues revovle around the mysterious death of Rose Red, Snow White€™s party-loving cousin. White is now a counsellor living in the city and the Big Bad Wolf is a detective. The prime suspect is her boyfriend, Jack who once climbed beanstalks! Clearly in the world where we have dozens of Snow White adaptations in the works and every other fairytale imaginable, this one is a property that shouldn't stay unrealised for long and it very much has mass-market appeal. So much potential with it but hopefully WB are thinking small screen, not big screen. It would suit the format better. But if all these franchise films sound too epic for Yates, then there's also the adaptation of Jonathan Tropper's family funeral dramedy This Is Where I Leave You about a family coming together at the death of a patriarch, and an attempt to seal old wounds. If Yates is exhausted after Harry Potter and maybe has made enough money that he no longer has need for visions of grandeur, then we could definitely see him taking that one. But with the finale to the Wizardry franchise Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 earning an astonishing record-breaking $32 million in advance ticket sales alone (i.e. - the complete gross of many a movie this year!), Yates will know that he himself hasn't really been all that important in the financial success of the franchise. No matter who directed them, WB were onto a goldmine with Potter. This isn't like Jon Favreau, Michael Bay or Christopher Nolan who saw the cinematic potential in their visions for Iron Man, Transformers & Batman respectively and should be credited with large kudos for their continuing financial success stories but instead he was a steady hand brought in to steer the second half of the Potter films to their conclusions. From what I understand as being a non-Harry Potter fan, Yates' Potter films, with the exception of his triumphant finale, have been a little underwhelming and now that he is back into the real world, he probably thinks he has to prove himself a little and Warner Bros are going to give him the opportunity to do just that. So maybe he will take on one of these franchise gigs. My hope is for him to do Capone with Tom Hardy, leaving The Stand to a visionary and Fables for the small screen....
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.