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Stephen King’s THE LONG WALK Inches Closer to the Big Screen

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Steph Auteri

Senior Contributor

Steph Auteri is a journalist who has written for the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Pacific Standard, VICE, and elsewhere. Her more creative work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, under the gum tree, Poets & Writers, and other publications, and she is the Essays Editor for Hippocampus Magazine. Her essay, "The Fear That Lives Next to My Heart," published in Southwest Review, was listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2021. She also writes bookish stuff here and at the Feminist Book Club, is the author of A Dirty Word, and is the founder of Guerrilla Sex Ed. When not working, she enjoys yoga, embroidery, singing, cat snuggling, and staring at the birds in her backyard feeder. You can learn more at stephauteri.com and follow her on Insta/Threads at @stephauteri.

Back in October, and despite my 25-year love affair with Stephen King books, I proposed that maybe, just maybe, there was such a thing as too many Stephen King adaptations. I then proceeded to list out all of the adaptations I still wished would happen. Because who are we kidding? I’m not going to not watch a Stephen King adaptation.

On my list was The Long Walk, the rights to which had been purchased by Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Mist, The Green Mile), who was planning a low-budget film. The film, however, was reportedly stuck in development hell.

But there is hope again! The rights recently passed away from Darabont, and New Line Cinema (which recently scored big with their adaptation of Stephen King’s It)snatched them up. James Vanderbilt has written a script, and he’ll produce the film with Bradley Fischer and William Sherak.

The Long WalkFirst published in 1979 under King’s pseudonym, Richard Bachman, The Long Walk is a dystopian tale about a society that has its young men marathon walk across the country for everyone else’s televised entertainment. The last survivor receives anything he needs from the government…but those who break the rules are shot on sight.

You may be rolling your eyes at the news of yet another Stephen King adaptation, but this one has me excited. Its exploration of society’s darkest impulses made it my favorite of The Bachman Books, and I can’t wait to see how they’ll pull it off.

What do you think? Are you all Stephen King’d out already?

More: Why The Long Walk is the best Stephen King book you haven’t read.