Stephen King fans are currently enjoying an embarrassment of riches, as so many of his stories are being adapted into live-action projects that it's easy to lose track of what's on the horizon. While a Pet Sematary adaptation already landed in theaters earlier this year, fans are also looking forward to IT CHAPTER TWO landing in theaters this fall. One adaptation that was announced last year is The Long Walk, based on King's novel of the same name, which was published under his pen name of Richard Bachman. After a year of speculation, the project has landed André Øvredal as its director.
Deadline describes the events of the story as taking 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 4 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."
Øvredal first rose to fame with his faux-documentary TrollHunter before delivering audiences the supernatural thriller The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Landing in theaters later this year is his adaptation Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which was co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro.
The Long Walk was originally released in 1979 and Frank Darabont, who directed the adaptations The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist, had been attempting to develop the film and held exclusive rights to an adaptation. Vanderbilt had previously written drafts of an adaptation, even without the actual rights, so when Darabont lost the rights, the project was revived with New Line Cinema.
Over the course of his 40-year career, King has been a staple of the horror genre. Thanks to the rise of streaming services and the success of his adaptations, King is currently experiencing one of the biggest periods of his career. The author has previously revealed that, when it comes to adaptations of his works, he enjoys them more when they stick closely to what he chronicled in the original stories.
"I think that they’re the best when they stick close to the books because, I don’t know, I feel a proprietary interest in that," King revealed to the Associated Press. "I always think that some of the adaptations that don’t work that well are ones where they buy the concept, the basic concept, but then say well yes but we’ll do this, that and the other thing to it. So I always feel a little bit like they bought my launching pad and put their own rocket up, and sometimes the rocket explodes... The ones that I like the best are the ones where they stick close to the story and where I see changes and things that have been altered and I say to myself, 'I wish I’d thought of that.'"
Stay tuned for details on the adaptation of The Long Walk.
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