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The Stand trailer brings Stephen King’s plague saga to terrifying life

Welcome to the apocalypse

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Who’s ready for a little holiday-season escapism? Forty-two years after Stephen King published his apocalyptic epic (and 26 years after King’s go-to director Mick Garris brought it to life for a Gary Sinise-led miniseries), The Stand is returning to TV — and in the “perfect” moment. The novel opens with a strain of the flu killing off most of the world’s population, and then the battle between good and evil takes off from there. Just another relaxing TV show for these easygoing times.

At the 2020 New York Comic Con, writer-director Josh Boone (New Mutants) was on hand to debut the first big trailer for the CBS All Access event series, which introduces unfamiliar audiences to the peril of mankind and two warring forces: the 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) and the otherworldly villain Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård) aka the Dark Man.

Book fans should take delight in the cast: James Marsden stars as Stu Redman, with Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, Jovan Adepo as Larry Underwood, Amber Heard as Nadine Cross, Owen Teague as Harold Lauder, Henry Zaga as Nick Andros, Brad William Henke as Tom Cullen, Irene Bedard as Ray Bretner, Nat Wolff as Lloyd Henreid, Eion Bailey as Weizak, Heather Graham as Rita Blakemoor, Katherine McNamara as Julie Lawry, Fiona Dourif as Ratwoman, Natalie Martinez as Dayna Jurgens, Hamish Linklater as Dr. Jim Ellis, Daniel Sunjata as Cobb, and Greg Kinnear as Glen Bateman.

It’s a BIG story.

The nine-episode series premieres Dec. 17 on CBS All Access. New episodes roll out each Thursday.