Frank Darabont recently let it slip that he owns the rights to The Long Walk, which was a short story included in Stephen King's The Bachman Books back in 1979. It's an extremely dark tale set in the near future about a new form of entertainment that has the whole country held in rapt attention, and serves as a strangely fitting commentary on the current state of reality television. A pool of 100 "walkers" are selected to participate in a forced walk where they have to maintain at least a four mile-per-hour pace, or else they "buy their ticket," which isn't exactly a prize. The story follows 16-year-old Ray Garraty, and we see the horrific reality of the walk through his eyes. Garabont has been something of a filmmaking dynamo recently.
Not only has he directed the upcoming The Mist, but he's also been a tad busy writing Fahrenheit 451, which he plans to direct, and doing things like penning part of Indiana Jones IV and producing the Andromeda Strain miniseries. He also some time last year to direct two episodes of The Shield, so when is he going to find the time, and what does he have planned for The Long Walk?
According to Darabont, it's a project that's been on the back burner for awhile, but so was The Mist, and you can go see that in theaters in just a few days. It sounds like his back burner is a bit more active than most people's furnaces.