Stephen King adaptations are announced with such frequency that it's easy to lose track of what projects are still moving forward and which have been pushed to the wayside, with the attached director of The Long Walk, André Øvredal, confirming that the project is still alive and well. The project was first announced back in 2018 and one of the most recent updates came last summer, so getting any confirmation that the movie is still moving forward bodes well for its future. Understandably, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted virtually all movie and TV productions around the world, with the filmmaker citing the COVID-19 has been one of the factors complicating New Line Cinema's progress on the picture.
When speaking with ComingSoon, Øvredal confessed that "COVID is just wrecking everything" but that the project is "alive and well and moving along."
The Long Walk is one of many stories that King published under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, which also includes The Running Man, Thinner, and Blaze.
The novel was originally released in 1979 and Frank Darabont, who directed the King adaptations The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist, had been attempting to develop the film and held exclusive rights to an adaptation. James 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.
"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," Øvredal wondered of the situation. "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."
The story is set in a future dystopian America ruled by an authoritarian. The country holds an annual walking contest in which 100 teens must journey, non-stop and under strict rules, until only one of them is still standing alive to receive the prize. The story told of a 16-year-old walker named Raymond Garraty and the teens — some good, some bad, some mysterious — in his orbit.
Stay tuned for updates on The Long Walk adaptation.
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