When it comes to movie adaptations of Stephen King novels, one name that often gets ignored is 1984’s Firestarter starring David Keith and Drew Barrymore, based on King’s 1980 novel of the same name. Now, Universal is teaming up with Blumhouse to make a fresh adaptation of Firestarter starring Zac Efron in the lead role. The project is to be helmed by director Keith Thomas, who recently told CinemaBlend that he respects the manner in which the original Firestarter stuck close to the source material.
“I look at [the original] film as it’s a great example of filmmaking at the time in terms of adapting this book. It’s very, very close to the book in terms of kind of the way it unfolds, and the way the characters are introduced and come into it and come out of it. For me, it’s great that it exists and people who love it, I think, will still love it after this one. But I hope that they will love this one as well.”
Firestarter tells the story of two college students, Andy and Vicky, who are subjected to a series of experiments that unlock their mental powers, giving them the ability to read minds and control other people. The two get together to start a family, and have a daughter named Charlene with even more advanced powers than them, including pyrokinesis and being able to see into the future.
When a government agency murders Vicky and abducts Charlene, Andy embarks on a desperate quest to find her. The 1984 movie took most of its cues from the novel, making it a fairly faithful adaptation. Unfortunately, adapting King’s wordy writing so closely for the big screen did not make for a very exciting movie, and it sank at the box-office while being largely dismissed by critics. According to Thomas, his aim with the reboot is to include some aspects of the novel that were missing from the original film, while updating the story’s mythology for modern times.
“It certainly sets it up, as I’m excited about doing a different, a new adaptation of the book, and getting into some things that the original film didn’t – some things that I think are kind of core to what the book is. And at the same time it’s both true to the story and true to the heart of the book, but at the same time we’re living in a different era than the early ’80s, and I think there’s a lot of stuff to explore in it that that King obviously is hinting at throughout the book that I don’t see as much in the original film that I think we can really dive into.”
It will be interesting to see whether theFirestarter reboot will be able to fare better with audiences and critics than the original film did and join the ranks of Stand By Me, The Shining, IT, and The Shawshank Redemption as all-time great adaptations of Stephen King novels. This news originated from Cinemablend.