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The Truth About How Marilyn Manson Was Almost Cast In The Stand

This isn't the first time someone has attempted to adapt Stephen King's sprawling, post-apocalyptic epic The Stand, but it's certainly the most ... on-the-nose.

King's novel tells the story of a super flu known as "Captain Trips," which escapes from a military installation and causes a global pandemic, killing roughly 99% of the world's population. The few survivors in the U.S. gather themselves into two diametrically opposed camps under Mother Abagail and Randall Flagg, as they prepare for the ultimate battle of good versus evil. Sound intense? It really is. And at well over 1000 pages in paperback, it's a real commitment.

The fresh attempt to bring The Stand to the screen in a time of actual pandemic includes a truly stellar cast. James Marsden (Westworld), Joven Adepo (Watchmen), Whoopi Goldberg (The View), Amber Heard (Aquaman), Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood), and Daniel Sunjata (Extraction) are all onboard in leading roles, but they aren't the only stars attached to the project. According to Entertainment Weekly, Ezra Miller of Justice League and Fantastic Beasts fame will portray the Trashcan Man, a smaller but crucially important role to the plot.

This confirmation puts to rest once-and-for-all speculation that goth rocker Marilyn Manson would appear in the role, though the rumors weren't entirely unfounded.

Manson almost landed a different role on The Stand

Although it was always the plan to place Miller in the Trashcan Man role, The Stand showrunner Benjamin Cavell does admit that Manson was under serious consideration for a different part.

"We were talking to [Manson] early on about playing The Kid, who drives Trashcan Man to Vegas," Cavell told EW. "We thought we were going to be able to restore the character of The Kid, but there really isn't a lot of reason for The Kid to exist."

The Kid is a relatively ancillary role if an interesting one, bestowed with some colorful scenes and dialogue by King's latter-day restoration of his work. He has a fair amount to do in King's "director's cut" of The Stand, which includes several scenes and expanded material that didn't make it into the original edit. The Kid does not appear in previous adaptations, and Cavell must have ultimately acceded to the reality that the character just doesn't suit a lean telling of the story — hence his original exclusion from the book and reintroduction years later.

If The Kid had made it into the new miniseries, it sounds like Manson would have, as well. That would have certainly been a sight to see. The Stand premieres December 17 on CBS All Access.