Lionsgate is in final talks with “Hunger Games” director Francis Lawrence to develop Stephen King’s “The Long Walk,” according to an insider with knowledge of the project.
JT Mollner is writing the script based on King’s novel.
Originally published in 1979 under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, the plot focuses on a dystopian America that is entertained by the Long Walk – a competition in which 100 teenage boys walk without rest along US Route 1. Each competitor must keep walking faster than 4 miles per hour – or risk being eliminated.
“When you have enjoyed the strong creative collaboration and success that we have had working with Francis, you want to repeat that experience as much as possible,” Joe Drake, chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement to TheWrap. “We couldn’t be more excited about reuniting with him on ‘The Long Walk.’ He is a truly unparalleled talent.”
The project had previously been set up at New Line. Lionsgate will now begin development anew.
Meredith Wieck and Erin Jones-Wesley will oversee for Lionsgate. Phil Strina negotiated the deals on behalf of the studio.
The adaptation continues Lawrence’s relationship with Lionsgate, where he most recently directed the prequel film “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” – currently in theaters after amassing over $200 million at the worldwide box office to date. Lawrence is repped by CAA, 3 Arts, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox.
Mollner previously wrote and directed the feature films “Outlaws” and “Angels” and “Strange Darling.” Each year, he joins his family to operate Freakling Brothers, one of Las Vegas’s prime haunted house attractions. Mollner is repped by UTA, World Builder Entertainment, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.