As completely demonstrated by cinematic historical past, the overwhelming majority of Stephen King novels make terrific fodder for giant and small display variations… however it’s not universally true. Some titles, like The Stand, IT, and the installments of the Darkish Tower sequence, have been seen as too large for Hollywood to understand, leading to tasks spending years in growth hell, however there are others that create extra sensible points (just like the expansive timeline of occasions that transpire in Revival). The Lengthy Stroll, initially revealed underneath King’s pseudonym Richard Bachman, is a e-book that falls into the latter class, and whereas there was cause to have hope for a live-action model in the previous few years, plainly hope has been dashed.
Director André Øvredal signed on to direct an adaptation of The Lengthy Stroll all the best way again in 2019, and he offered an optimistic replace concerning the venture in late 2020, however the newest growth isn’t wherever close to as constructive. Talking with the filmmaker final month throughout the digital press day for his new film, The Final Voyage Of The Demeter (in theaters August 18), I requested if there have been any updates about his in-the-works Stephen King venture, and he offered the unhappy information:
Whereas it’s doable that issues are nonetheless being labored on behind the scenes, André Øvredal’s The Lengthy Stroll isn’t a film that’s being made, and with that downer of an replace, my concern rises that we’ll by no means get to see an adaptation made – which is just too unhealthy as a result of the e-book is good.
First revealed in 1979, The Lengthy Stroll is the primary novel that Stephen King ever wrote, and it’s set in a dystopian model of America the place one of the vital widespread types of leisure is watching the eponymous competitors. Members are teenage boys from across the nation, and the principles are easy: it’s important to keep a strolling pace of 4 miles per hour, and the final individual standing wins cash and a prize of their selecting. The stakes are excessive, nevertheless, as slowing down or stopping means getting a warning, and getting too many warnings (or making an attempt to flee) means getting shot and killed.
The e-book begins with an introduction to the characters at a pre-competition gathering, however as soon as The Lengthy Stroll begins, it doesn’t cease, and the main focus is completely maintained on younger protagonist Ray Garraty. It’s because of this that making an adaptation is hard… if not downright not possible. Consider all of the poor actors who wouldn’t simply should continuously be strolling in nearly each single scene, however in each single take of each single shot. I’m unsure how a movie manufacturing does that with out totally exhausting the performers.
If The Lengthy Stroll had been to be was a film, it will be solely the third title from Stephen King’s run as Richard Bachman to get the Hollywood remedy. 1987’s The Working Man starring Arnold Schwarzenegger could be very loosely based mostly on the Bachman e-book of the identical title from 1982, and director Tom Holland’s Thinner relies Bachman’s novel from 1984. There have been stories in the previous few years a couple of function movie model of The Regulators and an Edgar Wright-directed remake of The Working Man, however neither venture has taken large steps ahead within the time since they had been introduced.
For now, Stephen King’s Fixed Readers can solely preserve fingers crossed hoping that The Lengthy Stroll sometime will get a correct adaptation. You possibly can keep updated with the entire newest developments in Hollywood’s relationship with King’s work through our Upcoming Stephen King Films and TV information, or study concerning the full historical past of the movies and exhibits with my Adapting Stephen King column. And to find my picks in the case of the very best of the very best, take a look at my Stephen King Films rating and my collection of the very best Stephen King TV tasks.