The absurd amount of new Stephen King adaptations continues to rise. With IT: Chapter Two arriving later this year, studios continue to mine King’s oeuvre for content. This time it’s The Long Walk, King’s dystopian novel which follows 100 teenage boys embarking in an annual competition of wits and stamina.
André Øvredal, director of the upcoming Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, will direct the film for New Line. The studio has multiple other King adaptations in the works, including Salem’s Lot. Zodiac screenwriter James Vanderbilt will pen the screenplay.
King wrote The Long Walk under his Richard Bachman pseudonym in 1979. It’s set in a dystopian America ruled by a militaristic dictator, and the titular walk is an annual contest where 100 teenagers must keep a steady pace of at least four miles an hour under strict rules until only one of them is left alive. The winner receives anything they want for the rest of their lives.
Basic odds dictate that some of these King adaptations will fail either critically or commercially. The trick is figuring out which one. The Long Walk has a Hunger Games-esque quality to it which could mean it does well, although it will be aiming for a different audience than that franchise.
We’ll get a chance to see what Øvredal can do with horror when his Guillermo Del Toro-produced Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, an adaptation of the Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell series of short-stories, hits cinemas on Friday, August 9.