Lionsgate has picked up the rights to Stephen King’s 1979 dystopian novel The Long Walk, with The Hunger Games franchise’s Francis Lawrence in final talks to direct, THR writes.

JT Mollner (Outlaws and Angels) will pen the script, with Lawrence and Roy Lee producing. New Line was previously developing the project with Norwegian director André Øvredal (Troll Hunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) and a script from James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man, Scream) before the rights lapsed in the summer of 2022. Now Lionsgate will start again from scratch with its own take on the King story.

“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,” said Joe Drake, chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “We couldn’t be more excited about reuniting with him on The Long Walk.  He is a truly unparalleled talent.” Lionsgate and Lawrence recently collaborated on The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

First published under the Stephen King’s pseudonym Richard Bachman, The Long Walk centres on a yearly competition in which 100 teenage boys embark on the titular journey that involves abiding by a strict set of rules and ends with only one survivor. We can definitely see why Lawrence would be the right choice to helm such a project.

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