James Vanderbilt tapped to pen adaptation of Stephen King’s The Long Walk

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Going back as far as the early 1980s, we've had a Stephen King adaptation of some form or another just about every year, but thanks to the monstrous success of IT last year, we've seen even more Stephen King projects enter development. According to THR, we can add another one to the pot, as the outlet reports that New Line Cinema has tapped James Vanderbilt (ZODIAC) to pen an adaptation of Stephen King's "The Long Walk."

The novel, which Stephen King wrote under his Richard Bachman pseudonym in 1979, is set in a future dystopian America ruled over by a militaristic dictator, and the "Long Walk" is an annual contest in which 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 "The Prize": anything they want for the rest of their life. "The Long Walk" follows Raymond Garraty, a 16-year-old Pownal, Maine, as well as a group of other teenagers with good, bad, and mysterious intentions. There have been several attempts to adapt "The Long Walk" for the big-screen over the decades, one of which would have seen Frank Darabont giving it a shot. The writer/director, who helmed THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE, and THE MIST, later lost the rights, leaving them to be scooped up by New Line. James Vanderbilt has long been a fan of the novel, even writing his initial drafts on spec several years ago, so it should be exciting for him to finally see the project officially move forward.

There are a great many Stephen King projects in the works, including adaptations of PET SEMETARY, THE TOMMYKNOCKERS, DOCTOR SLEEP, and, of course, the much anticipated IT: CHAPTER TWO which is set for a September 6, 2019 release.

A synopsis of "The Long Walk" via Amazon:

Against the wishes of his mother, sixteen-year-old Ray Garraty is about to compete in the annual grueling match of stamina and wits known as The Long Walk. One hundred boys must keep a steady pace of four miles per hour without ever stopping…with the winner being awarded “The Prize”—anything he wants for the rest of his life. But, as part of this national tournament that sweeps through a dystopian America year after year, there are some harsh rules that Garraty and ninety-nine others must adhere to in order to beat out the rest. There is no finish line—the winner is the last man standing. Contestants cannot receive any outside aid whatsoever. Slow down under the speed limit and you’re given a warning. Three warnings and you’re out of the game—permanently….

Anyone looking forward to "The Long Walk" hitting the big-screen?

Source: THR

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.