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New Line teams with Zodiac writer for Stephen King's The Long Walk

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For years, the movie rights to the Stephen King novel THE LONG WALK (which was credited to King's pseudonym Richard Bachman when it was published in 1979) were held by Frank Darabont, the filmmaker behind the King adaptations THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE, and THE MIST. Darabont intended to make THE LONG WALK at some point, but never got around to it, and said that it would be a tough sell to a studio because it's about "a bunch of kids walking and talking". He eventually let the rights lapse... leaving the door open for ZODIAC / THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN / INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE writer James Vanderbilt and producer Bradley Fischer to step in and get the rights for themselves.

Vanderbilt and Fischer had been hoping to acquire the rights to THE LONG WALK for a decade, and Vanderbilt was so passionate about the project that he even wrote a screenplay adaptation on spec, before the rights had been secured. The rights are firmly theirs now, Vanderbilt was written the script, and he and Fischer will be producing the film with William Sherak. Tracey Nyberg of Mythology Entertainment will serve as executive producer.

And as it turns out, THE LONG WALK isn't such a hard sell when a company has just had a massive hit with another King property. The adaptation is set up at New Line Cinema, which released IT (pictured above) last year.

THE LONG WALK 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.

IT's $700 million success had made everyone overlook the underwhelming performance of last year's other widely released King adaptation, THE DARK TOWER. While New Line develops IT: CHAPTER 2 and THE LONG WALK, Paramount is remaking PET SEMATARY and Universal is working with James Wan on a new version of THE TOMMYKNOCKERS.

I know there are a lot of fans out there who have been wanting to see an adaptation of THE LONG WALK, so I hope this film will live up to the source material for them.

Extra Tidbit: Are you a fan of THE LONG WALK?
Source: THRMTV

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