André Øvredal is set to direct an adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel The Long Walk for New Line Cinema, EW has confirmed. The story centers on an annual walking competition in which teenage boys must maintain a speed above four miles per hour or be shot to death. King originally published the novel in 1979 under the pseudonym “Richard Bachman.”
Øvredal’s directing credits include 2016’s horror film The Autopsy of Jane Doe and the Guillermo del Toro-produced Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (out Aug. 9). The film is written by James Vanderbilt and produced by Vanderbilt, Bradley Fischer, and William Sherak.
“Two years ago, two people tweeted about The Autopsy of Jane Doe,” Øvredal wrote on Facebook earlier today. “The awe-inspiring Guillermo Del Toro, whom I have insanely enough gotten to spend the last year working with. And a week before him, Stephen King. I have been an obsessive fan of King since my teen years and now I am going to be directing a film based on the first book he ever wrote – The Long Walk. Humbled, in awe and in absolute fear of failure… But I have amazing collaborators in producers Brad Fischer, (writer-producer) James Vanderbilt and William Sherak, as well as the fantastic people at New Line Cinema, so it cannot end up as a total wreck even in my hands…”
New Line enjoyed huge success in 2017 with It, the first half of the company’s adaptation of King’s book. It: Chapter Two is released, Sept. 6. James Wan is also adapting King’s vampire novel Salem’s Lot for New Line.