‘The Stand’: Why Stephen King Has Never Been Happy With the Ending

Stephen King’s The Stand tells the story of a deadly virus that kills off the majority of the population. Although the epic novel was written in the 1970s, the book, unfortunately, cannot be more timely. Fans of the horror master are claiming that the year 2020 feels eerily similar to a “Stephen King novel.” When proclaiming this, people are most likely referring to his apocalyptic tale involving the virus known as Captain Trips.

While longtime King fans consider The Stand to be the holy grail of the author’s massive discography, many people are unhappy with the ending, Including Mr. King himself. Here’s why the beloved author is not happy with the final pages of the novel that has had fans shivering with fear for decades.     

Stephen King
Stephen King | Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ is more popular now than ever before

The Stand was a massive hit in 1978 when it first hit the shelves. Although the novel is several decades old, it has been the talk of the town as of late, and even people who have never read a King novel in their lives find themselves fascinated by the themes of the sizable tale. Considering the coronavirus pandemic that is currently in our wake, fans are nostalgically recalling the story that faced a similar pandemic, (yet to much more horrifying lengths.) 

While some people are literally hiding their copies of The Stand because the general theme terrifies them now more than ever, others are rushing to purchase the book in order to devour the timely content. King admitted in an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that people are now coming up to him on the street, claiming behind their masks, “I feel like I’m living in a Stephen King novel.”

The horror author wants people to stop worrying about the current pandemic reaching the same lengths as The Stand. In an assuring tweet, King stated, “No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND. It’s not anywhere near as serious. It’s eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions.” 

Why Stephen King dislikes the ending of ‘The Stand’ 

RELATED: Stephen King Says the Coronavirus Outbreak Forced Him to Change a Detail in His New Book

At the end of the day, writers are still human, which means sometimes they display work that is less than satisfactory. King is always willing to admit when he puts out a dud, (Maximum Overdrive, anyone?) and although he’s quite proud of The Stand, he is able to admit that the ending can use some work. In an interview for The View, where he got the chance to talk to fellow cast member of The Stand, Whoopi Goldberg, King said he’s changing the ending from his original novel while working on the screenplay for the CBS All Access series. 

He said, “I was never really totally happy with the way it ended because the main characters, Stu and Fran, never talked about what happened to them after they left Boulder, Colorado when the thing ends, and I always wondered about their trip back.”     

This isn’t the first time King has admitted to his notoriously bad endings in his works of fiction. Even his biggest fans have commonly stated that the final chapters of his novels can use some work. In the recent blockbuster smash hit IT: Chapter 2, King makes a hilarious cameo in the film where he tells the author character, Bill Denbrough, that the endings of his books are weak. The joke of “bad-novel endings” becomes a running gag throughout the film. 

‘The Stand’ is going to be made into a mini-series by CBS

In 1994, King fans were granted a miniseries adapting the beloved book. It was a low budget series that garnered mediocre reviews from both critics and fans alike. The 90s series starred the likes of Molly Ringwald as Frannie Goldsmith, Gary Sinise as Stu Redman, and Rob Lowe as Nick Andros. Despite the brilliant cast, most King fans always wanted to receive an updated, higher-budgeted version of the classic novel. 

Luckily, in 2019, it was officially announced that the book would be remade yet again into a CBS mini-series. It was set to come out sometime in 2020, yet due to COVID-19, production is currently delayed. This updated version will star Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abigail, James Marsden as Stu Redman, and Amber Heard as Nadine Cross. It will also star Alexander Skarsgard as the evil Randall Flagg, who will not be the first Skarsguard to portray a King villain. His brother, Bill Skarsgard, nailed the role of Pennywise the clown in IT (2017) and IT: Chapter 2 (2019.)  

Although a release date has yet to be announced, we can expect the mini-series to come out sometime in the near future. Fortunately, they were able to wrap up filming 4 days before Quarantine began in the United States.