Darabont Still Planning For A ‘Long Walk’ With Stephen King

Tell most directors to take a long walk and they’ll most likely tell you to get lost. Tell Frank Darabont to take a long walk and he’ll tell you how he’s wanted to for nearly 30 years.

“That is one of the stories that I have been keeping in my hip pocket. One of Steve [King’s] weirdest and most provocative stories. I really love it, and I am going to make that in the next few years,” Darabont said of “The Long Walk,” a Stephen King classic originally published in 1979. “It is one that stays with you.”

King’s story takes place in a dystopian alternate America, where 100 random teenagers are chosen every year to walk from Maine down the East Coast. Each “contestant” has to keep up a constant speed of at least 4 miles per hour, and the last one standing wins. First prize? First prize is you get whatever you want. Second through Hundredth prize? Second through hundredth prize is you’re dead.

A wicked concept, but one that’s not inherently cinematic, says Darabont.

“It’s a hard story to pitch to a studio. Because they say ’well what’s it about?’ Well it is about a bunch of kids walking and talking – uh okay,” Darabont laughed.

But emboldened by his approach on “The Mist,” where he utilized a less “polished” style than he’s typically known for, Darabont says he’s already got an idea on how to film “The Long Walk.”

“The thing I keep thinking about is that these guys never stop moving. So, I how do you get a really good close up. It would be an interesting challenge to not have people get just sick of watching the image because of all the movements. So, I think that there are certain rigs that stabilize the image even more so than a steady cam,” he revealed. “But [overall] I think a lot of run and gun, a lot of the guerrilla approach that I applied on ’The Mist.’ It will again be letting those ragged edges show.

“It doesn’t really require a $50 million budget,” he added.