Nat Wolff is a talented young man whom you can see this month in Gia Coppola's excellent directorial debut Palo Alto*, but he also appears in Josh Boone's upcoming adaptation of John Green's Young Adult novel The Fault in Our Stars, also known as a good excuse to sit somewhere in the dark and cry for two hours but at least you're not crying alone this time, okay.
Boone is also the latest director tasked by Warner Bros. to adapt Stephen King's The Stand, which has been on WB's to-do list for a long time now. Ben Affleck was previously attached, but he's a busy guy with approximately eight other movies he says he's going to direct at any given time, and also he's going to be playing Batman until WB says he can stop. Playing Batman is like being the President - you age ten years for every four you serve.
Boone has already cast the first actor for his adaptation of The Stand, and he didn't look far, choosing Nat Wolff, who will also appear in Boone's adaptation of John Green's Paper Towns. Wolff told THR that Boone has written a part specifically for the young actor, which could mean a couple of things: Boone as invented a new role either by combing existing characters into a single role or by simply inventing a new character, or he's done a little tinkering with an existing character to tailor the role to Wolff's specifications. Now this is the fun part: who will Nat Wolff play?
He couldn't possibly play the heroic Stu Redman because Stu is an older Texas gentleman, and they'd have to age him down quite a bit -- which they might do if they were trying to put Stu and Frannie's ages closer together.
Wolff could possibly play Larry Underwood, the womanizing rock star with the hit single who squandered all his cash on drugs just before the virus wiped everyone out -- Underwood would be an easier character to age down, as the more cruel and cocky aspects of his personality tend to read as juvenile and regressive. I could easily see Wolff taking that part, especially after his performance in Palo Alto.
It would be a major bummer if they cast Wolff as Harold Lauder, Frannie's overweight and pimply neighbor who harbors an unrequited crush on her. Harold's arc is very dark, as his affection turns to obsession, which breeds intense resentment, and his insecurities are a huge part of that, as is his physical appearance, which does change over the course of the story. Wolff is too conventionally handsome to play Harold.
If I had to guess at any existing character, I'd say Wolff could play the deaf-mute drifter Nick Andros, who is 22 when the outbreak begins. Wolff is 19 now, so the age difference isn't that huge of a deal and could be easily dealt with. Rob Lowe played Andros in the TV miniseries version, and it's easy to imagine Wolff slipping into the role if he's up for it.
But there is always the possibility that Boone has taken existing characters and merged them into one for the sake of simplicity, which is fair, given that The Stand is packed with characters, and perhaps Wolff is playing a new hybrid character. Who knows?! But it's fun to speculate! For what it's worth, when I was reading the book, I envisioned Brie Larson as Frannie and Brian Cox as Glen Bateman.
*Is there like a pagan cycle happening in the Coppola family? Like, do they hit a certain age in that family where they become drained, or is there a blood pact where the youngest member of the family becomes blessed with all the talent previously granted to their elders? I bet if we went into their house, we'd find a super gnarly sacrificial room with an ancient tome and stone pillars and tons of candles.