CBS All Access Casts Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgard & More in 'The Stand'

Jeff Pfeiffer
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CBS All Access' upcoming Star Trek: Picard may be the big show many fans are anticipating soon on the streaming service, but don't sleep on its upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand, based on the author's 1978 post-apocalyptic epic that remains his longest novel.

The plans for this limited event series have sounded intriguing ever they were announced earlier this year, and our curiosity was piqued even further at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press tour when Julie McNamara — CBS All Access' executive vice president, original content — announced the initial casting for some key roles, along with the sure-to-thrill fans news that King himself will write the series' final chapter.

Most recently on Septemeber 11, CBS revealed more casting additions which are rounded up below.

  • James Marsden (Westworld) will play Stu Redman, one of the main protagonists, described by CBS All Access as "an ordinary working-class factory man in an extraordinary situation with a damaged quality to him that belies his exterior." Marsden had earlier been reportedly in talks to take on this role, and that has now been confirmed.

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  • Amber Heard (Aquaman) will portray Nadine Cross, "a deeply conflicted woman who feels the consequences of her actions, but is still compelled by her allegiance to Randall Flagg."
  • Odessa Young (Assassination Nation) has been cast as Frannie Goldsmith, "a pregnant young woman navigating a strange new world, who also has the foresight to recognize that there is evil lurking beyond the Dark Man."
  • Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why) will portray Nick Andros, "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."
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  • Whoopi Goldberg (The View) will portray Mother Abigail who is a prophet that has visions from God and guides the survivors of the superflu.
  • Alexander Skarsgard (Big Little Lies) has been cast as Randall Flagg, according to Collider. The menacing character has appeared in many of King's books, with the first being The Stand.
  • Jovan Adepo (When They See Us) will play Larry Underwood, a musician drawn to fame and illegal substances. When plague hits he'll have to face his demons in order to move through the changed world.
  • Owen Teague (IT) is set to appear as Harold Lauder, who goes in search of survivors with Frannie Goldsmith after the superflu hits his town.
  • Brad William Henke (Orange Is the New Black) plays Tom Cullen, Nick Andros' traveling companion. Developmentally disabled after a bad fall as a child, his sweet nature will play a key role in survival.
  • Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me) will portray Cobb, a member of the military who is assigned to supervise Stu Redman as the government searches for a cure to the superflu breakout.

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The Stand takes place in a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old other Mother Abagail and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.

King's legion of passionate Constant Readers probably already have strong thoughts on this casting, and will have plenty more to consider as further casting news eventually trickles out, given the large amount of characters in the massive novel — especially when it comes time to name the actors who will play biggies like Mother Abagail and Randall Flagg.

We're not sure if Stephen King was directly involved in casting, though it seems likely he would have at least been asked his opinion on it, especially considering that his son Owen is serving as a producer.

King is involved in The Stand as a writer. At TCA, CBS All Access announced that the author will be writing this limited series' final chapter, and we are promised that it will be "providing a new coda that won’t be found in the book."

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Josh Boone and Ben Cavell will write and executive produce The Stand, with Boone also directing. Roy Lee, Jimmy Miller and Richard P. Rubinstein will also serve as executive producers, with Will Weiske and Miri Yoon as co-executive producers. Knate Lee, Jill Killington and Owen King will serve as producers.

No word on a specific premiere date yet, but McNamara said the series will be "capping off the year" for the streaming service in 2020. Production will begin this fall.

The Stand, Limited Series Premiere TBA, CBS All Access