Ezra Miller has kept his fiery new role a secret for a while now, but Entertainment Weekly finally broke the news today: Miller is set to play Trashcan Man in The Stand, CBS All Access‘ take on Stephen King‘s classic 1978 novel. Trash plays a central role in the book and the series as an unstable pyromaniac who travels to Las Vegas to join a dark, violent society led by the villainous Dark Man, Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgard).
The Stand takes place in 1990, after a deadly virus infects one man who’s escaped from a Department of Defense laboratory with his family. Soon enough, the highly contagious disease has infected millions, wiping out nearly the entire human population. Left behind are the survivors who split into two camps: the peaceful and well-meaning followers of Mother Abigail (Whoopi Goldberg) in Colorado, and the evil, destructive crew of New Vegas who are lured there by Flagg.
Miller’s character, who’s endured an abusive childhood and finds comfort in the risks and destruction of setting fires, sets off on a journey across the country to reach Flagg and New Vegas, setting the ground behind him ablaze on the way. “It’s so different from any way that anyone has seen Erza before, and he’s so committed to it,” The Stand showrunner Benjamin Cavell told EW. “He’s a huge fan of the book and had fallen in love with this character and wanted to play it for a long time. On our first call, he described Trash as ‘the embodiment of pyromania.’ The only thing this guy was capable of, and the only area in life he was comfortable, were with the explosives and instruments of fire and destruction.”
The Stand’s Trashcan Man wears very little, but is equipped with “tactical gear,” in keeping with his pyromaniac tendencies. “He [is] just kind of in underwear and combat boots,” Cavell said. “The character has to be right on the edge of over-the-top.”
Miller told EW in an email that he sees his character as “underestimated” and “misinterpreted.” He was deeply involved in the development of Trash, right down to his wardrobe. “‘Fireproof underwear’ were two of the first words out of my mouth in the first conceptual meeting,” Miller wrote. “I was very interested in working directly with the wardrobe department in creating a look based entirely on the practical demands of the characters pyromania. Trash wears nothing but what is necessary to craft incendiaries, ignite them, and get as close to the flames as possible — in order to revel in the fire.”
Aside from Goldberg, Miller and Skarsgard, the cast features James Marsden as Stu Redman, Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, Jovan Adepo as Larry Underwood, Amber Heard as Nadine Cross, and Owen Teague as Harold Lauder. The Stand also stars Henry Zaga as Nick Andros, Brad William Henke as Tom Cullen, Irene Bedard as Ray Bretner, Nat Wolff as Lloyd Henreid, Eion Bailey as Weizak, Heather Graham as Rita Blakemoor, Katherine McNamara as Julie Lawry, Fiona Dourif as Rat Woman, Natalie Martinez as Dayna Jurgens, Hamish Linklater as Dr. Jim Ellis, Daniel Sunjata as Cobb, and Greg Kinnear as Glen Bateman.
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