Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Stephen King's The Long Walk Being Adapted For Film

It's another great day in Derry, Maine for Stephen King.

Another classic story from the venerable American horror writer is making its way to the big screen, courtesy of the studio that made It such a smash hit in 2017.

New Line Cinema is moving forward on an adaptation of King's The Long Walk, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with a screenplay for the project set to be written by Zodiac, Truth, and White House Down writer James Vanderbilt.

Originally published in 1979 under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, The Long Walk is the first novel that King ever wrote, with work on the story beginning when he was an 18-year-old college freshman in 1966. 

The story of The Long Walk is atypical for King, focusing not on supernatural horror, but rather the horrors human beings can inflict on each other. 

Set in a dystopian future United States in which youth from around the country compete in an annual, last-man-standing walking contest, the story focuses on 16-year-old Raymond, one of many contestants joining the race to seek an unknown, life-changing prize. 

The dictatorial government that runs the race stages it as entertainment, with a cruel twist. As part of the race's rules, only one contestant gets to walk away alive. Anyone who falls below a certain speed, collapses from fatigue, or strays from the path is promptly shot by the race's guards, in full view of the bystanders and other walkers, too helpless, powerless, or apathetic to intervene. 

As the story continues, Raymond's resolve is increasingly tested, with the horror coming from the fact that, even in the best case scenario that sees him win, everyone he's walking with will die.

It's great news for fans of the unique novel by King, which lacks many of the elements more typical of his other writing. A film adaptation was previously in the works from The Shawshank Redemption writer-director Frank Darabont, languishing for many years in development hell before his hold on the rights expired. 

The Long Walk is one of a handful of King adaptations that have been pushed toward production in the wake of the record-breaking success of It. In addition to The Long Walk from New Line, new adaptations are also being made of Pet Sematary, which will come from Paramount, and The Tommyknockers, which is being prepared by James Wan for Universal. 

Other projects in various stages of development based on King works include a film adaptation of The Talisman, a film adaptation of the short story "Suffer the Little Children"and a TV series based on King's narrative poem "The Bone Church".

Stephen King's work will next be brought to life on screen with Hulu's grab-bag series Castle Rock, with a ten-episode first season set for release sometime this summer. In addition to The Long Walk, New Line is also working on the It followup It: Chapter Two, which is slated to arrive in theaters on September 6, 2019.