The first images from the CBS All Access adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand have started to appear, with new photos from the set offering a first look at the main cast of characters, including Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg.
Vanity Fair shared the exclusive reel of photos showcasing “the good, the bad, and the otherworldly” in the upcoming series, created by Josh Boone and Benjamin Cavell, who is also serving as showrunner alongside Taylor Elmore.
Whoopi Goldberg is among those pictured; she is starring in the series as 108-year old Mother Abigail, a blind prophet who is essential to humanity’s fight for survival after a devastating plague sweeps the globe.
“She is very, very righteous and very good. But really flawed I feel,” Goldberg said of Mother Abigail. “She doesn’t listen when God is talking to her. And she tends to go her own way because she’s been like this her whole life. It takes her a little while to figure out that there’s something bigger than her.”
Alexander Skarsgård also makes his debut as the iconic villain Randall Flagg, a charismatic rockabilly demon who is “galvanizing as a leader.” His true power is said to be his ability to bring out the worst in his followers.
“He’s so charming and he’s so handsome, and so powerful—I mean genuinely powerful, able to perform these sort of miracles where he could levitate himself and he has these actual powers,” Elmore said of Skarsgård’s character. “And yet he needs this adulation and this kind of worship from these people whom he’s summoned to him.”
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Elsewhere, Heather Graham’s Rita Blakemoor is pictured alongside Jovan Adepo’s Larry Underwood, a struggling, drug-addicted musician who finds his true calling after civilization collapses. Owen Teague’s Harold Lauder, Odessa Young’s Frannie Goldsmith and Nat Wolff’s Lloyd Henreid also make appearances.
These ragtag bunch of characters are placed in a post-apocalyptic world after a pandemic of a weaponized strain of influenza almost wiped out the entire world population, though the show, just like the novel, will focus on a variety of themes borne outside of the virus.
“It’s about the fundamental questions of what society owes the individual and what we owe to each other,” said Cavell. “Over the last however-many years, we have sort of taken for granted the structure of democracy. Now, so much of that is being ripped down to the studs. It’s interesting to see a story about people who are rebuilding it from the ground up.”
The Stand is expected to air on CBS All Access later this year.