Frank Darabont Talks ‘Long Walk’, Braugher on ‘Strain’

With Frank Darabont’s The Mist (review) arriving in theaters November 21, we had the chance to sit down and chat with the director about the film and his forthcoming projects. We also scored a little nugget of info from star Andre Braugher on his role in the new “Andromeda Strain” miniseries on A&E.

Kara Warner chimed in with some details from Frank Darabont on the next Stephen King book he’d like to do, “Well, I do have the rights to The Long Walk, which is terrific and would probably be even more low-budget than this. It’s a bit on the back burner, like The Mist has been on the back burner, so as soon as the day comes…

She also chatted with Andre Braugher on his role in the new “Andromeda Strain” miniseries on A&E, “It’s coming out in February. I play a military man who is the head of the division that is taking on this Andromeda Strain and this virus that’s taking over. Benjamin Bratt plays the mercurial, hot-headed scientist who’s responsible for tracking down this thing and destroying it.

Is it different from the original book and feature film? Braugher tells us, “Very different. Crichton’s book doesn’t hold up to the test of time and so not much happens. When you go back to 1968 and read that book it’s anti-climactic, period, so this is a re-telling of the story with the same premise, but an entirely new re-telling,” he conntinues, “The virus ultimately proves deadly, the virus escapes and it mutates and it’s on the loose and we have to discover a response to it. There’s elements of that film Sphere, in terms of the involvement of another power in the creation of the virus, but ultimately it just updates it. It brings it to a present-day realm where instead of there being this wonderful deus ex machina. where the virus just mysteriously happens to come benign, now, it’s not mysteriously benign. It’s malignant and it’s on the loose

In the Michael Crichton book, The United States government is given a warning by the pre-eminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. Two years later, seventeen satellites are sent into the outer fringes of space to “collect organisms and dust for study.” One of them falls to earth, landing in a desolate area of Arizona. Twelve miles from the landing site, in the town of Piedmont, a shocking discovery is made: the streets are littered with the dead bodies of the town’s inhabitants, as if they dropped dead in their tracks.