Wasn't long ago that some associates and I were talking about various Stephen King adaptations that were all but guaranteed never to happen, and the general consensus was that there are very few Stephen King properties that Hollywood might not want to touch. Rose Madder would be one. Rage would be another. And then there's The Long Walk.
For those unfamiliar with the story, The Long Walk takes place in a dystopian future where, every year, 100 teenage boys compete in the titular event, the rules of which are simple: you start walking, you maintain a pace of at least four miles per hour, and you keep doing that until only one contestant remains. Dropping below the agreed-upon walking speed or pausing gets you a warning. Get three warnings within an hour and you get shot. Last person standing gets whatever they want for the rest of their life. Very simple. Very brutal. Very Richard Bachman.
Over the years, several filmmakers have flirted with the idea of bringing The Long Walk to the silver screen, but until now none of them (including George A. Romero and Frank Darabont) were able to get the project off the ground. According to Deadline, that honor belongs to director André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe, the forthcoming Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark), who'll direct an adaptation of King's novel for New Line, from a script written by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac).
We're pretty shocked to hear this adaptation's actually happening, but man: we are thrilled to learn that it's happening with Øvredal and Vanderbilt at the controls. If adapted faithfully, The Long Walk could be a pitch-black ass-kicker of an experience. It's hard to imagine this story playing out on theater screens all over the country, and we're dying to see what Øvredal and Vanderbilt do with it. Very exciting stuff.
Stay tuned for further updates on The Long Walk as they roll in.