I can hear you now, “The Stand? Theatrical screenplay?  But The Stand wasn’t ever made into a movie!” And you’re absolutely right about that, but it turns out that it almost was, and that movie was going to be directed by George Romero.
Romero and Stephen King got together in the early 80s to work on The Stand, and after King had a hard time whittling down his screenplay to a filmable length, they agreed to bring in an outside writer.  They decided on Rospo Pallenberg, who was most well-known at the time for writing Excalibur.  Pallenberg, who was a big fan of the novel, came up with a script that King liked, but just when it looked like it was going to happen, Warner Brothers pulled out of the deal.  King later accepted an offer from ABC to turn The Stand into a miniseries in 1994, and fans’ hopes for a theatrical release died.

Apparently, the Pallenberg version of the script would have resulted in a movie almost three hours in length, and with Romero at the helm, you can imagine it would have been much darker, and probably closer in feel to the novel than the made-for-TV miniseries turned out to be.

If you’ve got $200 laying around, you can buy an original copy of the Pallenberg script on Amazon, but if you want to save that cash for your Christmas shopping, then you can just download a copy in PDF here.

If you want to read even more about the movie that never was, head on over to Subterrean Cinema for the whole story, and check back here in a while and I’ll let you know what I thought about this version of what I consider to be my favorite post-apocalyptic novel ever.