It’s been over a year since it was announced that director André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) was going to helm a film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1979 novel The Long Walk. While I’m sure many of you may have forgotten about the project, King fans will be happy to learn that the project is still alive and well.
During a recent interview with ComingSoon, the filmmaker said that while “COVID is just wrecking everything,” this film project is “alive and well and moving along.”
The Long Walk takes place in the future “in which 100 teenage boys embark on an annual competition known as ‘The Long Walk.’ The rules are simple: maintain a speed above four miles per hour. Receive three warnings in an hour and you’re shot dead. The last one walking gets whatever he wants for the rest of his life. Under these grim circumstances the boys develop deep friendships despite knowing that each of their friends’ survival is a threat to their own.”
This is great story, and its dystopian setting has inspired several other YA dystopian books over the years like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner.
Before Øvredal was attached to the project, Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist) held exclusive rights to an adaptation and was trying to get it off the ground. After he lost the rights, James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) wrote a script, and New Line Cinema ended up picking it up. When talking about that and how he got involved, Øvredal said:
“I guess in the end, he just didn’t choose to do it, I actually don’t even know if he ever had a script. This script was written on spec by James Vanderbilt when he did not even have the rights to it, he just wrote it out of pure love for the book and in the end, suddenly the rights were open and he was able to go to King with his script and say, ‘Can we do this?’ Then New Line bought it and somehow I got involved.”
This is a great story and it’s one I’ve been excited about seeing brought to life on the big screen, so I’m happy to learn that it’s still moving forward.