While speaking with Business Insider, Francis Lawrence, director of “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” revealed that he’s now set to helm a film adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Long Walk.” “I’m now attached to ‘The Long Walk,’ the Stephen King book. Very excited about that,” Lawrence said. Since “The Long Walk” is about teens being forced to participate in a deadly competition, getting Lawrence to direct makes a certain amount of sense — he’s helmed four of the five “Hunger Games” films, after all.
Then again, Lawrence is just the latest name to be attached to a potential “Long Walk” movie. George A. Romero, Frank Darabont, and “Last Voyage of the Demeter” helmer André Øvredal were all involved with the adaptation at one point or another. Will Lawrence finally be the one to get the film made? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I have my doubts. “The Long Walk” is one of the few King books that has yet to be adapted to the screen, and perhaps the material is just too dark to translate. Here’s the book’s synopsis:
Against the wishes of his mother, sixteen-year-old Ray Garraty is about to compete in the annual grueling match of stamina and wits known as the Long Walk. One hundred boys must keep a steady pace of four miles per hour without ever stopping…with the winner being awarded “The Prize”—anything he wants for the rest of his life. But, as part of this national tournament that sweeps through a dystopian America year after year, there are some harsh rules that Garraty and ninety-nine others must adhere to in order to beat out the rest. There is no finish line—the winner is the last man standing. Contestants cannot receive any outside aid whatsoever. Slow down under the speed limit and you’re given a warning. Three warnings and you’re out of the game—permanently…
Fun fact! “The Long Walk” was actually the first novel King wrote, although it would not be the first novel he published — that honor would fall to his now-classic “Carrie.” “The Long Walk” is a somewhat simple story, so it shouldn’t be too hard to adapt. The key would be to keep things lean and mean. Can Lawrence do that? Time will tell.