'The Long Walk' - New American Library

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New Line Cinema created a box office monster with their big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s IT, and are now back for seconds to adapt his 1979 novel The Long Walk. King originally wrote the book under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, and THR reports James Vanderbilt (Truth, Zodiac) has been tapped to provide the script for the upcoming project.

Vanderbilt is said to also be producing alongside Bradley Fischer and William Sherak.  Mythology Entertainment is handling production with their very own Tracey Nyberg as executive producer. Mythology Entertainment is also producing the horror films Slender Man, The House With a Clock in Its Walls, and the Suspiria remake, which will all release later this year.

The Long Walk is set in a totalitarian future dystopia where 100 teenage boys must take part in an annual walking contest where only one contestant is allowed to finish alive. The story focuses on 16-year-old Raymond Garraty, and the teenage allies and enemies he’s competing with to survive.

The project was apparently in development hell for over a decade with Vanderbilt and Fisher trying to make the film a reality. They were finally able to acquire the screen rights for the adaptation and bring the film to New Line after director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist) lost the rights.

Stephen King is one of the most lucrative names on the big and small screen right now, with film studios fighting tooth and nail to snatch up the rights to adapt his classic novels. IT (2017) was a massive box office success for New Line Cinema, which seems to be one of the biggest reasons King adaptations have gained momentum in the past few months. IT: Chapter Two is already in the works with Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader in talks to take on the roles of the grown up members of The Losers Club.

If you haven’t read the The Long Walk yet, the buzz for the novel is it’s incredibly intense, and a timely story given the current social climate. Vanderbilt and Fisher are reportedly huge fans, and have been trying to get the project off the ground for years. That’s the kind of passion fans love to see behind the scenes.

Have you read The Long Walk? Are you excited to see it being adapted for the screen? Be sure to check back for more updates on this and other Stephen King projects!