Author Stephen King has delivered audiences all manner of horrifying stories over the decades, featuring ghosts, murderers, and otherworldly presences. One of his more dystopic novels, The Long Walk focuses on a group of 100 teenagers who are forced on a march until only one boy is left standing and is deemed the winner. The novel, which was released under his pen name of Richard Bachman, is being adapted into a film by Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark director Andre Ovredal. The filmmaker recently revealed what audiences can expect from the adaptation and how it differs from other King projects.
“It’ll be very claustrophobic, because we never leave that road,” Ovredal shared with Rue Morgue. “I think the studio and producers really liked my work on The Autopsy of Jane Doe, and compared it to this, because it’s very intimate. You’re walking right there with these kids; the fact that it has an expansive nature around it, as opposed to just walls, is a variation, but it’s going to be an extremely claustrophobic movie.”
The Autopsy of Jane Doe explored a father and son team of morticians who began to investigate a woman’s body in their morgue, only for supernatural occurrences to begin to unfold. With his film Trollhunter, a group of documentary filmmakers chronicled a man who was tasked with vanquishing the fantastical creatures, creating another intimate experience.
Despite the dystopic premise, the story unfolds in a relatively grounded way. Ovredal detailed what he feels the story truly represents, which will likely be reflected in his vision.
“In a way, the book is about the long walk of life,” the director noted. “You watch your family and friends die around you as you go through life, and there’s a human connection there to the horror these kids are experiencing that goes way beyond the smaller story going on right in front of you. As a director, it’s extremely inspiring to be able to tell a story that is so human and so gruesome at the same time. It’s like man vs. the machine in a way, and about the innocence of these boys and how they don’t really grasp what they’ve gotten themselves into until it’s way too late.”
He added, “I’m in awe of Stephen King for having understood so much about humanity at the age of 18 or 19 when he wrote this. It’s an adult story, but written with a young person’s perspective, probably of the Vietnam War; it’s kind of an allegory, I’m guessing, for his fears of being sent to Vietnam at the time.”
Stay tuned for details on the adaptation of The Long Walk.
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