The CBS All Access spin-off is the latest small-scale adaptation of Stephen King’s iconic novel, but for Catherine McNamara, who plays Julie Lowry in the nine-episode series, it may be the most complete version yet. In a new column highlighting this latest adaptation, McNamara argues that the epilogue, which is new in this version of the story, closes the loop and emphasizes that King’s story is a living document.
I totally agree with the people who, you know, talk about this story as a living document, McNamara says in the article. This is one of the benefits of an author like Stephen King constantly rethinking and evaluating his work. You know, considering how the world has changed since he wrote the story, it’s interesting to see that epilogue, and I really think it completes the story perfectly. The circle is complete.
The epilogue McNamara refers to is the ninth episode of the series, which Executive Producer Benjamin Cavell called code for the story. Written by King himself, it will give Franny (Odessa Young) her own perspective, something the author has wanted to do for 30 years.
He wrote the code that makes up our ninth episode. This will be completely new to the entire audience, Cavell said. I can and will say that the main reason he wanted to do Coda was that he thought [for the last 30] years that Franny wouldn’t be in the book booth. She is seven or eight months pregnant and cannot go into the mountains to meet the man of darkness. She always ate at his house, she was one of the characters in the book and she never had her stretch. Coda is his planned attempt to give him a framework for the last 30 years.
Of course, this epilogue is not the only way in which this booth has adopted the concept of a living document. The series made a few more updates that brought it to America in 2020.
I think King said it too, so I’m not new, the 1978 original is very white and masculine, Cavell said recently. And of course it won’t be played out the same way in 2020, and to make it feel like the original when it comes out, the people who populate this book had to feel that moment and that moment in America. And, you know, the America of 2020 doesn’t look like a bunch of white men and Frannie or anything. It’s not, so we took the character of Ralph Brentner and changed him to Ray Brentner, and we brought in the phenomenal Irene Bedard to play the part, and what an amazing presence she has.
He continued: And Rat-Man, he’s a little, he’s a little worried about the book. In Vegas, aside from Lloyd and Flagg, it is very difficult to find these test tube characters. So we have the character of Julie Lowry and the character of Rat Man, now Rat Woman, played by Fiona Dourif, who I saw in Dirk Gently’s holistic detective agency and found simply brilliant and revealing. And, you know, we just have to take control and walk away, so that’s basically why we made this decision. It seems to add a lot.
The first four episodes of The Stand are now airing on CBS All Access. New episodes appear every Thursday.