Originally published by King under the pseudonym Richard Bachman in 1979, The Long Walk takes place in the future in which 100 teenage boys embark on an annual competition known as “The Long Walk.” The rules are simple: maintain a speed above 4 miles per hour. Receive three warnings in an hour and you’re shot dead. The last one walking gets whatever he wants for the rest of his life. Under these grim circumstances the boys develop deep friendships despite knowing that each of their friends’ survival is a threat to their own.
The novel since its publication has become a classic in its dystopian vision, the echoes of which can be found throughout popular culture (e.g. The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner). The book is quintessential King in its coming-of-age themes, zeroing in on the humanity of boys who prevail amid hardship and despair akin to the protagonists in Stand by Me and It.
James Vanderbilt wrote the screenplay and is also producing with Bradley Fischer and William Sherak.
Øvredal is the critically acclaimed, award-winning director of the mystery thriller The Autopsy of Jane Doe. His horror pic,Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro, opens August 9 from CBS Films.
The Long Walk is one of three King adaptations in the works at New Line. The others include Salem’s Lot and It: Chapter Two, the sequel to 2017’s $700.3 million global blockbuster It which became the highest-grossing horror film of all time. It: Chapter Two opens September 6.
Øvredal is repped by WME, Industry Entertainment, and Adam Kaller & Duncan Hedges. Vanderbilt is repped by WME, UFUSE Management and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.