The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It concerns the accidental release of a strain of influenza modified for biological warfare from a top-secret government laboratory in rural California. A guard escapes the lab and begins traveling across the country to his family home in East Texas, unintentionally spreading the virus along the way. he crashes his car into a gas station in the town of Arnette, where Stu Redman (Gary Sinise) and some friends have gathered. As the man lays dying, he warns Redman that he had been pursued by a “Dark Man.” The next day, the U.S. military arrives to quarantine the town.
The townspeople are taken to a CDC facility in Vermont. All but Stu succumb to the superflu, which kills 99.4% of the world’s population in two weeks. The scattered survivors include would-be rock star Larry Underwood (Adam Storke); deaf mute Nick Andros (Rob Lowe); Frannie Goldsmith (Molly Ringwald); her teenaged neighbor Harold Lauder (Corin Nemec); imprisoned criminal Lloyd Henreid (Miguel Ferrer); and “Trashcan Man” (Matt Frewer), a mentally ill arsonist and scavenger.The survivors soon begin having visions, either from kindly Mother Abagail (Ruby Dee) or from the demonic Randall Flagg (Jamey Sheridan). The two sets of survivors travel to either Nebraska to meet Abagail, or to Las Vegas to join Flagg.
Lloyd is freed from prison by Flagg, Trashcan Man, a pyromaniac, destroys fuel tanks across the Midwest. Larry escapes New York City with a mysterious woman named Nadine Cross (Laura San Giacomo). However she leaves Larry to join Flagg. After escaping the CDC facility. The survivors Stu Frannie, Harold, and Glen Bateman (Ray Walston are also joined by various other immune survivors. As the group travels toward Nebraska, Harold, Stu and Frannie fall out. Meanwhile, Nick makes his way across the Midwest, eventually meeting Tom Cullen (Bill Fagerbakke), a mentally challenged man. The two men also encounter Julie Lawry (Shawnee Smith), before reaching Abagail’s farm in Hemingford Home, Nebraska. Abagail warns that a great conflict is imminent and they must all travel on to Boulder, Colorado. There, the survivors form a new community called the Boulder Free Zone, where they begin restoring civilization.
Meanwhile Flagg sets up an autocratic regime in Las Vegas, with the intent of defeating the Boulder survivors using salvaged nuclear weapons and Harold join forces with Flagg. Three Boulder survivors decide to infiltrate Las Vegas: Tom, Dayna Jurgens (Kellie Overbey), and Judge Farris (Ossie Davis). Meanwhile Harold and Nadine plant a bomb in Frannie and Stu’s home, planning to detonate it during a meeting of the Free Zone council. Luckily Abagail warns the council members and most of them escape the explosion, but Nick is killed. Abagail tells Stu, Larry, Glen, Frannie and fellow council member Ralph Brentner that they must travel to Las Vegas. Meanwhile Flagg captures Nadine. Upon returning to Las Vegas, Flagg also finds Dayna and Farris and Tom leaves Las Vegas. Elsewhere Stu, Larry, Glen, and Ralph leave Boulder to confront Flagg, Lloyd, Trashcan Man and his followers in Las Vegas.