The Long Walk is the latest Stephen King novel to get the big screen treatment. There are few names in entertainment as desirable as that of King's right now. Much of that has to do with the success of IT in 2017, which went on to become the highest-grossing horror movie of all time. So, various studios are doing their best to emulate that success through the author's other works. Now, at long last, someone is going to be brave enough to tackle this exceedingly dark story.
According to a new report, New Line Cinema has closed a deal to turn The Long Walk into a movie, with Andre Ovredal set to direct. Ovredal is known for his work on movies such as The Autopsy of Jane Doe and the upcoming adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which is being produced by Guillermo del Toro. The script was penned by James Vanderbilt who, rather encouragingly as it relates to this adaptation specifically, also wrote the screenplay for David Fincher's Zodiac. Vanderbilt's other credits include, less encouragingly, Independence Day: Resurgence and White House Down. Vanderbilt is also on board to produce, alongside Bradley Fischer and William Sherak.
For those who may not be familiar, The Long Walk was one of Stephen King's earliest novels; It was initially published in 1979 and was actually released under King's early pen name Richard Bachman. The story takes place in the near future, in which, America has become a police state. Every year, one hundred boys are selected to enter an annual contest. The winner of said contest is awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life. Sounds nice, right? The contest is simple; the boys must maintain a steady walking pace of at least four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings, and they're out. Out, meaning shot dead on the spot, in this case. Hence, very dark.
The novel has been praised over the years for its dystopian themes and world. While many of the works from Stephen King can be rich and complicated, like The Dark Tower, this is on the other end of the spectrum. It's also proved to be a tough one to crack for Hollywood in the past. Others, such as Night of the Living Dead filmmaker George A. Romero and The Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont, flirted with adapting it previously, but nothing ever materialized.
Warner Bros.' New Line Cinema have has a lot of luck with horror in recent years, with The Conjuring universe firing on all cylinders. They also have IT: Chapter Two coming down the pipeline this fall. It's clear they don't want to get out of the Stephen King business once Pennywise wraps up his story. For now, there is no word on how soon production could get underway, nor has the studio locked down a release date, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This news was previously reported by Deadline.