A few weeks back we passed along the news that Stephen King’s much-beloved novel The Long Walk (which King wrote under his pseudonym Richard Bachman) will be heading to the big screen soon. It’s coming our way via New Line Cinema and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and The Autopsy of Jane Doe director Andre Ovredal. The filmmaker will be helming the adaptation from a screenplay written by James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man, Zodiac). And the filmmaker recently revealed that King evidently loves Vanderbilt’s adaptation and that his script honors what King wrote in a beautiful way. Specifically, he says this.
“Vanderbilt wrote the script on spec because he loved the book so much, even though he didn’t have the rights to it. When Frank Darabont’s rights expired, he and his producing partner Brad Fischer immediately snapped it up. King, from what I gather, already loved his adaptation, and then they spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get the movie made. It went through various directors, I think; I’m not quite familiar with the whole process. Then New Line took it on, and suddenly, it’s got momentum.”
He then says the script is “so close to the book” and that “it really honors what Stephen King wrote in a beautiful way,” comparing The Long Walk to a short film he made three years ago called The Tunnel, saying this.
“When I read the script, which is so close to the book – it really honors what King wrote in a beautiful way – I felt like I had told the story, but in a different way, which connected to the idea of being on a journey you cannot stop. It’s an unstoppable journey, and the only way out is death, really.”
Ovredal goes on to say that his film will be “an extremely claustrophobic movie” that never leaves the road, adding this.
“It will be very claustrophobic because we never leave that road. I think the studio and producers really liked my work on The Autopsy of Jane Doe and compared it to this because it’s very intimate. You’re walking right there with these kids; the fact that it has an expansive nature around it, as opposed to just walls, is a variation, but it’s going to be an extremely claustrophobic movie.”
For those unfamiliar with King’s 1979 novel, The Long Walk is said to be the first book King ever finished writing while he was a freshman at the University of Maine. It’s said King began writing it in 1966-67, a whopping eight years before jotting down Carrie, which is his first published novel in 1974.
Set in a future dystopian America ruled by a totalitarian and militaristic dictator, King’s psychological horror novel tells the tale of a grueling, annual walking contest, and a group of teenagers forced to be contestants. Think of it as The Hunger Games but instead of killing each other the teens must, you know, walk a lot. Vanderbilt will produce the film with Bradley Fischer and William Sherak of the Mythology Entertainment production company. This story comes to us via (http://rue-morgue.com/exclusive-interview-director-andre-ovredal-on-his-stephen-king-film-the-long-walk/|Rue Morgue).