WHY ‘THE STAND’ IS NOT AN UNWORTHY ADAPTATION OF STEPHEN KING’S SEMINAL DARK FANTASY NOVEL - The Daily Guardian
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WHY ‘THE STAND’ IS NOT AN UNWORTHY ADAPTATION OF STEPHEN KING’S SEMINAL DARK FANTASY NOVEL

Murtaza Ali Khan

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WHY ‘THE STAND’ IS NOT AN UNWORTHY ADAPTATION OF STEPHEN KING’S SEMINAL DARK FANTASY NOVEL
WHY ‘THE STAND’ IS NOT AN UNWORTHY ADAPTATION OF STEPHEN KING’S SEMINAL DARK FANTASY NOVEL

Not many authors have consistently written best-selling books that get regularly adapted into films and series. Among those who have done it successfully, the first name that comes to mind is that of the celebrated American author Stephen King. It all started for King with the 1976 film Carrie, directed by Brian de Palma, based on King’s very first novel of the same name. Subsequently, his books have given rise to movies like The Shining (1980), The Dead Zone (1983), Stand by Me  (1986), Misery (1990), Needful Things (1993), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Green Mile (1999),  Secret Window (2004), The Mist (2007), The Dark Tower (2016), and Doctor Sleep (2019), among others. Series based on his books include It, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, The Outsider, and The Stand—CBS All Access’ new series that’s being made available in India by Voot Select—based on the 1978 novel of the same name. The nine-episode series follows the survivors of a pandemic caused by a weaponised strain of influenza that kills almost the entire world population. 

Now, The Stand is meant to be a pure escapist adventure which contains some of the best elements associated with Stephen King’s body of work. But while living in pandemic times even escapism comes with its share of caveats. One wonders if it’s really an escapist adventure to see people getting killed by a deadly strain of influenza. So take the plunge only if you can handle it! For those of you who are still with me, let me assure you that The Stand will take you through an entire gamut of emotions. In writing the book, King sought to create an epic in the spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien’s  The Lord of the Rings that was set in contemporary America. And so naturally it wasn’t an easy book to write for him. While writing The Stand, King nearly stopped because of writer’s block. But, he toiled and lucubrated to finally produce what’s widely regarded as his greatest work. 

When some of the simplest of King’s books aren’t a cinch to adapt, one can very well imagine how challenging it would have been for Josh Boone and Benjamin Cavell to adapt King’s seminal dark fantasy novel. To their credit, Boone and Cavell appear to have given their level best. But, is their best good enough? Well, the answer is yes and no. Let’s try and explore this in detail.

The series hooks us up from the word go. We learn that the “Captain Trips” flu epidemic has wiped out more than 99% of the human population. The remaining few immune to the disease, including Stu Redman (a widower from Texas essayed by James Mardsen), Frannie Goldsmith (a college student from Maine essayed by Odessa Young), and Harold Lauder (a young man obsessively in love with Frannie portrayed by Owen Teague), set out in search of other survivors with the hope of saving humanity from extinction. All this while, they experience visions of the nurturing Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg), and the menacing figure of Randall Flagg aka The Dark Man (Alexander Skarsgård). Soon a few more interesting characters get added to the mix: Larry Underwood (Jovan Adepo), a musician on the cusp of his big break when the flu strikes New York, Nick Andros (essayed by Henry Zaga), a young deaf man, and Nadine Cross (portrayed by Amber Heard), a beautiful woman haunted by a childhood memory.  

The CBS All Access series is marked by constant tonal shifts. To begin with, it presents some great moments of disgust when you can’t help but feel repulsed or freaked out. There are also loads of steamy moments on offer. Not to mention, the unrelenting mystery and suspense driving the narrative forward. The nonlinear approach helps in keeping one interested in the characters’ backstories. Take, for example, the case of Larry Underwood. Before landing up with other survivors he ends up all alone, wandering an empty city. His luck changes when he meets an alluring new acquaintance who is also desperate to escape. The two form a strong bond before things once again change for the worse. Similarly, Harold’s obsessive love for Frannie goes back to the days when she used to babysit for him. When the flu breaks out he suddenly starts perceiving himself as her protector.

What The Stand lacks is consistency and clarity in the narrative. While some of the character arcs are done really well, others leave a lot to be desired. Frannie, for example, is supposed to be a major female character but she doesn’t take the centre stage in the series the way she takes in the novel. In comparison, some of the male characters get a lot more focus, even when it’s not warranted. But, the performances are superb. Skarsgård, Heard, Teague, and Adepo deserve a special mention. The series also features a few memorable cameos including a delectable one by none other than J. K. Simmons. The Stand is not a great adaptation of King’s seminal dark fantasy novel but it’s certainly not an unworthy one either.

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R Madhavan celebrates 10 years of ‘Tanu Weds Manu’

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Aanand L Rai’s ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ starring R Madhavan and Kangana Ranaut went on to become a sleeper hit. The unusual love story of Tanu (Ranaut) and Manu (Madhavan) has been etched in the hearts of movie buffs for giving the Hindi film heroine a rebellious vie.
The film, which released in 2011, clocked 10 years today. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Madhavan took to his Twitter handle to share a heartfelt note thanking the entire team of the film. He also shared a poster of the romantic-comedy movie.
The actor tweeted, “@aanandlrai @KanganaTeam @vikramix @Viacom18Studios
Thank YOU ALL SOO SOO MUCH for this awesome piece of history. Will cherish this for the rest of my life. #10yearsoftanuwedsmanu.”
The director of the film also took to social media to thank his fans for loving the film and giving him an identity. Calling himself ‘Woh Tanu Weds Manu Wala director’, he penned a heartwarming note.
L Rai wrote, “Someone said so beautifully…”Nothing of me is original, I am the combined effort of everyone I have ever known” Thank you for giving me my identity Thank you for making me ‘Woh Tanu weds Manu Wala Aanand Rai’ Thankyou.”
‘Tanu Weds Manu’ is the story of Tanu (Ranaut) and Manu (Madhavan). It followed Tanuja Trivedi or Tanu, who is a bold girl and lives in Kanpur with her parents. Her family wants her to get married and therefore fix a meeting with NRI Doctor Manoj Kumar Sharma alias Manu. But Tanu is in love with someone else. The story then sees many highs and lows. In the end, Tanu realizes her love for Manu and they get married.
The film also featured Jimmy Shergill, Swara Bhasker, Deepak Dobriyal, and Eijaz Khan, among others, in pivotal roles.
‘Tanu Weds Manu’ was followed by ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ in 2015. It narrated the story of Tanu and Manu after their wedding. The sequel, which featured Ranaut in double roles, went on to become a bigger hit. (ANI)

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Ryan Gosling to headline ‘The Actor’ movie adaptation

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Washington [US], February 25 (ANI): Hollywood star Ryan Gosling is set to play the lead role in ‘The Actor’, an upcoming adaptation of Donald E Westlake’s novel ‘Memory’.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Duke Johnson will helm the forthcoming movie and produce it with Abigail Spencer under their Innerlight Films production banner.
Gosling, who will also bankroll the film alongside Ken Kao, will play the lead role of Paul Cole, who must deal with his damaged memory as he struggles to rebuild his life after being left for dead and hospitalised in 1950s Ohio.
Gosling’s character Cole will follow a thrilling journey to find home, love, and ultimately himself. Gosling and Kao’s partnership follows their recent project announcements of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s ‘Project Hail Mary’ at MGM and Leigh Whannell’s ‘Wolfman’ at Universal.
Paul Young is also producing the film through his company Make Good. Apart from helming the film, Johnson co-wrote the screenplay with Stephen Cooney, based on Westlake’s novel.
Meanwhile, Gosling has a number of projects in the pipeline, including Netflix’s ‘The Gray Man’, which also features actor Chris Evans and hails from the Russo brothers.
He will also feature in filmmaker duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s astronaut movie titled ‘Project Hail Mary’ and Leigh Whannell’s ‘Wolfman’ movie. (ANI)

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Tom Holland reveals real ‘Spider-Man 3’ title after trolling fans

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Washington [US], February 25 (ANI): Actor Tom Holland has finally revealed the real title of the third installment in the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise after the star cast of the film trolled fans with their own version of fake titles.
The real title for the latest installment in the superhero franchise is ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’.
Holland took to his Instagram account on Wednesday night to reveal the title of the film. Holland and his co-stars Zendaya and Jacob Batalon appear in a 30-second clip, which begins with Holland walking out of director Jon Watts’ office and lamenting over being given a fake title for the film.
Holland says in the video, “He gave us a fake name again … I just don’t understand why he keeps doing this.”
“You don’t understand? I feel like it’s pretty obvious. You spoil things,” Batalon responds, teasing the star’s reputation for sharing details of the superhero films before they are public knowledge.
“I don’t spoil things. Name me one thing I’ve actually spoiled,” Holland shoots back, as Zendaya chimes in, “The last movie title.”
The camera then zooms in on a whiteboard displaying a number of potential titles, with ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ featured at the centre.
The upcoming film is slated to release on December 17, this year. On Tuesday, Holland, Zendaya, and Batalon had posted never-before-seen stills from the upcoming movie – and announced three different titles.
Holland’s suggested title read ‘Phone Home’, referring to the 1982 film ‘E.T.’, Zendaya’s was ‘Home Slice’ and Batalon’s featured the title ‘Home-Wrecker’.
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ also features actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Marvel mainstay Doctor Strange and is rumoured to delve into the multiverse as it will also unite separate generations of Spider-Man films.
Alfred Molina, who played Doctor Octopus in Tobey Maguire’s ‘Spider-Man 2’, will appear. So will Jamie Foxx, playing Electro, the villain he portrayed in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which starred Andrew Garfield.
Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers have written the script for the forthcoming Marvel film.
Filmmaker Jon Watts has helmed the upcoming movie after directing ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ (2017) and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ (2019), which earned more than USD 1.1 billion globally, making it the highest-grossing ‘Spider-Man’ movie of all time. (ANI)

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Jack Giarraputo launches creative advertising agency Slice Collective

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Washington [US], February 25 (ANI): American film Producer Jack Giarraputo, whose films have grossed over USD 4B at the global box office, has launched Slice Collective, a full-service creative advertising agency that produces Hollywood-level campaigns for clients around the world.
The company, co-founded with investment banker Abhishek Som (former Lazard, IEG, and Private Equity) is disrupting the industry through global access to top-level creative marketing talent.
Giarraputo said, “We are a Hollywood-based agency with an international roster of creative talent, which leads to new ideas and a fresh perspective on global marketing campaigns. Our international setup enables us to take advantage of cost efficiencies, allowing us to service a growing list of micro targets with effective messaging. We are on the road towards personalized marketing, which was once considered cost-prohibitive but now getting closer to reality.”
Som said, “Our work in the U.S. and beyond has validated the idea that our international creatives can deliver in a way that is just as compelling as their American counterparts.”
Leading the Slice team is Leo Draper, former VP Creative Advertising, Sony Pictures, and StudioCanal executive joined by Nick Herbst, who manages business development.

Additionally, Reliance Entertainment veteran Medha Jaishankar will be serving as media advisor. (ANI)

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Ishaan Khatter shares adorable throwback picture to wish Shahid Kapoor on birthday

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): We all have fond memories from our childhood, and who doesn’t like looking at old pictures with siblings? As Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor turns a year older today, his brother and actor Ishaan Khatter shared a heartwarming birthday wish with an unseen throwback picture to mark the special day.
Ishaan took to Instagram and posted a then and now picture with his ‘bade bhai’ to wish the birthday boy. The ‘Dhadak’ actor shared a collage of two pictures – one from their childhood that features a young Shahid holding Ishaan in his arms. Another picture showed the grown-up sibling duo posing together from their appearance in Karan Johar’s talk show ‘Koffee With Karan’.
Sharing the adorable images, Ishaan wrote a few lines the famous song ‘Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli’. He captioned the post, “Zindagiiiiii kaisi hai paheli haaye. Kabhi toh hasaaye, Kabhi yeh rulaaye. But through it all.. I’ll always love you, bade bhai. Happy birthday.”

Ace filmmaker Zoya Akhtar was among the first ones to comment on the post with a heart emoji. Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana also showered love on the sibling duo with a heart emoji.
Shahid and Ishaan are amongst the cutest brothers in the industry. They always talk fondly of each other and never stop motivating each other and appreciating one another’s performances.
Ishaan, who was recently seen in Mira Nair’s web series ‘A Suitable Boy’ has often expressed his love for his brother. On social media, they keep showering each other’s posts with witty and adorable comments.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Shahid will next be seen in ‘Jersey’, which also features Mrunal Thakur and Pankaj Kapur. The actor will be essaying the role of a cricketer in the film. It is a remake of a Telugu movie of the same name.
On the other hand, Ishaan will next be seen in ‘Phone Bhoot’ co-starring Katrina Kaif and Siddhant Chaturvedi. (ANI)

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HOW KAJOL, AJAY CELEBRATED 22 YEARS OF TOGETHERNESS

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NEW DELHI: Commemorating 22 years of blissful marriage, Kajol and Ajay Devgn on Wednesday shared adorable posts on social media to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ star hopped on to Instagram and shared a cute picture featuring her and Ajay as they can be seen embracing each other’s company on a cruise.

The photo sees a noteworthy moment between the two as Kajol sits on the floor of the deck with her heels off and romantically looks in her husband’s eyes while he reciprocates by smiling back at her. Dressed in an orange long dress, Kajol looks gorgeous in the throwback picture while Ajay looks handsome in a white printed shirt and grey pair of denims.

The much-in-love couple seems to cherish their time on a holiday over the cruise. Explaining why she is staring at her husband, Kajol wrote in the caption, “And you sir, you’re very attractive. Therefore, I will stare at you! – Anonymous & Me. #22years #stillgoing #grateful #laughingalways.”  

Ajay too shared a funny post on Instagram to celebrate his and Kajol’s 22nd wedding anniversary. The couple tied the knot in 1999, and Ajay in his post made a pun on the word ‘bottled’. The ‘Drishyam’ star shared a picture of a bottle of wine with ‘Battled in 1999, only edition’ printed on the label, besides a sketch of the couple. There was a wine glass next to the bottle. The duo was last seen together on screen in the 2020 film ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’. They are parents of 17-year-old Nysa and 10-year-old Yug. 

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