To be honest, you had me at Øvredal…
André Øvredal — director of Trollhunter (2010), The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016), and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) — is quickly becoming one of my favorite genre helmsmen. So when news like this comes down the pike, I’ve just gotta share it!
Way back in 1979 when novels were still being distributed using dead trees and mechanical printing machines, Stephen King was writing a few things under the pen name “Richard Bachman”. One of these stories, The Long Walk, takes place in a dystopian future where there’s an annual competition involving 100 teenage boys and a lot of walking.
Unsurprisingly, the competition is known as “The Long Walk” and there are only a couple rules: keep your walking speed above 4 miles per hour and, if you receive three warnings in a single hour, they shoot you dead. The last one still breathing is given whatever he wants for the rest of his life.
The movie rights to the story were tied up for years “in development” with writer/director Frank Darabont who was Stephen King’s go-to-guy for several of his other stories. Namely, The Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Green Mile (1999), and The Mist (2007). Darabont finally lost the rights giving rise to this new Øvredal-led project.
James Vanderbilt will be adapting the novel into a screenplay as well as acting as co-producer for the film with Bradley J. Fischer and William Sherak. Vanderbilt, Fischer, and Sherak were previously co-producers of Suspiria (2018) which may be good news for The Long Walk.
However, the trio also had a hand in making Slenderman (2018), so I’m still pinning my hopes on Øvredal to make this new venture worth seeing.
The Long Walk is still in the very early stages of development so nothing is known about casting let alone release dates, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground and let you know as soon as we come up with anything new.
And whatever you do, keep walkin’!