Now that we know he isn’t directing The Justice League movie, playing Batman, and probably is one of the million directors not directing the new Star Wars film, fans of Ben Affleck’s excellent directorial work are curious about what he’ll tackle next (his latest film, Argo, is one of the best of 2012).  Currently, he has the option to develop Stephen King’s massive, 1,000-plus page apocalyptic novel, The Stand, into a trilogy of films.  But don’t expect it anytime soon, as Affleck is having “a very hard time” with it.  Read on for more.

The gargantuan novel—which, across its 1152 pages, begins with an America in which 99% dies of a accidentally-leaked man-made plague known as the ‘superflu,’ finds the survivors grouping into two camps of good and evil, and a final showdown in Las Vegas that borrows liberally from the Book of Revelation (except, you know, the Vegas part—is regarded as one of King’s best novels, and was adapted once before in a meh 1994 TV miniseries.  Affleck’s goal is reportedly to break the book (which is structured in three sections) into a trilogy that will mirror The Lord of the Rings in its epic scale and grandeur.

Unfortunately, it’s that grand scale that is halting the development of the project, according to Affleck:

“Right now we’re having a very hard time…But I like the idea – it’s like The Lord Of The Rings in America. And it’s about how we would reinvent ourselves as a society. If we started all over again, what would we do?”

As Total Film notes, The Stand does feature a seemingly endless amount of characters walking from one point to another, has its own Gollum-like character, and has an incredibly old and power wizard-like person bossing all the good guys around, so hey, maybe this is our Lord of the Rings after all.  Just, please, no little people with hairy feet.  Please, no more.

What do you think of The Stand news?