The Stand, David Yates

Signet; Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros.

David Yates can apparently go darker.

The director of the final four Harry Potter films—the über-successful Deathly Hallows: Part 2 being the fiercest and darkest of them all—is in talks to helm a multi-installment adaptation of the Stephen King epic The Stand for Warner Bros.

Let's just say, the onscreen body count would increase exponentially.

In the 1,152-page King novel—already helpfully divided into three parts—approximately 99.4 percent of the world's population is wiped out by a nasty man-made superflu. The trials and tribulations of the remaining folks of alternating heroic, villainous and average-Joe stature make up the meat of the story.

Suddenly, a demolished Hogwarts is looking like small potatoes.

Per, Steve Kloves, who adapted all of the Harry Potter books for the big screen, will be working his magic on The Stand. (And While Yates took the Potter series to uncharted depths, maybe he should pull casting wiz Chris Columbus—he only discovered Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, no big deal—into the mix, too.)

So, it looks as if the Dark Man will have his day after all.

A pivotal character in The Stand, the shape-shifting Dark Man (who goes by the human name Randall Flagg, or R.F.) also shows up in King's Dark Tower series, which, due to budget issues, will not be brought to vivid, epic life by Ron Howard for Universal Pictures anytime soon.

The Stand, meanwhile, has risen before. Molly Ringwald, Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe and Corin Nemec (yeah, Parker Lewis Can't Lose!) starred in the four-part 1994 miniseries, which aired on ABC.

But now it's the 21st century, so who would you like to see leading the remaining 0.6 percent of humanity to salvation? Or, in some cases, a fate worse than death? (Got to love Stephen King.)

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