Exclusive: Why Stephen King's "The Stand" Miniseries Likely Won't See a Blu-ray Release

Director Mick Garris says there is a very good reason why we are unlikely to see this kind of release happen anytime soon.

By Ray Morse

It has been 25 years since the television adaptation of Stephen King’s magnum opus, The Stand, first aired. Directed by genre filmmaker Mick Garris and based on a screenplay penned by King himself, the miniseries took on a life of its own during an era of television that was a far cry from the quality we’ve come to expect from modern day programming.

The Stand was not only a national success as far as ratings were concerned, but the four-episode ABC event was also, without question, one of the hottest topics wherever conversations were had. It was truly must-watch TV and if you happened to be one of the unfortunate individuals out-of-the-loop or not tuning in, it honestly felt as though you were missing out on something substantial, especially if you were a die-hard fan of Stephen King’s work.

In the years since the opening-riff of Blue Oyster Cult’s infamous song, “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” first set the tone for the apocalypse that Mick Garris was composing in his adaption of the King classic, the world of television and film has evolved in significant ways. The differences in filmmaking methodology alone are vast and can be debated at length, almost endlessly. Home video has also taken a considerable leap over the last few decades, going from video home cassettes of your favorite films to being able to instantaneously access and view nearly anything at the click of a button.

Despite the strides made with technology, there are far too many classic films and television series, like The Stand, that remain relics of the past and stuck on outdated formats. With streaming, Blu-Ray, and 4K Ultra HD, one might wonder why King and Garris’ massive television epic has not been bestowed with the glorious high-definition treatment that so many other efforts have long since received.

While in attendance at the “Special Night with Mick Garris” panel at the New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival in Atlantic City, we learned straight from the source the reason why The Stand has yet to receive an upgraded Blu-Ray release and what the likeliness might be of this happening in the near future.

I think there's a zero percent chance of Blu-Ray. Well, The Stand was shot on 16mm film - most television and films were shot on 35mm - and it was edited and finalized on standard definition video. So, it was never cut on film and it was never transferred to HD, because there was no such thing as HD in 1994. So, the cost of going back to the negative and conforming it and making an HD output of it would be prohibitive, especially because physical media is something that people are not particularly interested [in] anymore. It would be very expensive to go back and do an HD master. If they do, that might change everything, but I just can't imagine it happening.

While this will undoubtedly be disappointing news for fans who have remained optimistic about the miniseries finally making its way to high definition, hope is not all lost.

As we reported back in January, CBS All Access has green-lit a ten-episode, straight-to-series order for an all-new adaption of The Stand, which is being helmed by Josh Boone (The Fault of Our Stars, The New Mutants) and fellow writer/producer Ben Cavell (Justified, Homeland).

With this announcement dropping rather unexpectedly, the excitement for the new project was quick to set both the horror world and Stephen King fandom ablaze, setting the stage for this epic, post-apocalyptic tale to once again become a primary topic of discussion.

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With the recently-renewed interest in Stephen King, this novel, its original miniseries, and the upcoming reboot in mind, this writer feels as though Paramount Pictures will be plenty motivated to spend a little extra money on restoring and upgrading the miniseries to today’s standards in order to capitalize on the aforementioned demand, probably moreso than Mick Garris might assume. One could hope, anyway!

For the time being, however, fans must continue holding out hope for the release they’ve dedicated their lives to. Bump-dee-bump! The Stand on Blu-Ray! Our life for you!

About the Author

Ray Morse

Filmmaker. Podcaster. Writer. Geek. "A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die." Raised in the wastelands of New Jersey, Ray Morse is a passionate film enthusiast/maker and aspiring creative. When he is not embodying the essence of the Mungus on his weekly live podcast or consuming mass amounts of cinema/television, he can be found re-writing his Dead Entertainment bio, avoiding general responsibility, and talking at length about the things he plans to do instead of doing them.

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