Firestarter, Stephen King‘s tale of a pyrokinetic young girl being pursued by a shadowy government agency, is getting a reboot from the folks at Blumhouse, Universal Pictures, and Weed Road Productions. Keith Tomas (The Vigil) is helming the latest take on the material, and the announced cast so far features Zac Efron and Michael Greyeyes. Firestarter began production today in Canada, and to kick things off, Blumhouse has released a fiery behind-the-scenes video, which you can see below.
Behold – some guy on fire! That’s an appropriate first image from the new Firestarter, which I guess we can confirm will be using at least some real fire instead of CGI fire. Good for them! This new take on Stephen King’s 1980 novel comes from director Keith Tomas (The Vigil), with a script by Scott Teems (Halloween Kills). In the film, “A young girl develops pyrokinetic abilities and is abducted by a secret government agency that wants to harness her powerful gift as a weapon.”
That sounds like a faithful adaptation of King’s novel, which has the following synopsis:
Andy McGee and Vicky Tomlinson were once college students looking to make some extra cash, volunteering as test subjects for an experiment orchestrated by the clandestine government organization known as The Shop. But the outcome unlocked exceptional latent psychic talents for the two of them—manifesting in even more terrifying ways when they fell in love and had a child. Their daughter, Charlie, has been gifted with the most extraordinary and uncontrollable power ever seen—pyrokinesis, the ability to create fire with her mind. Now the merciless agents of The Shop are in hot pursuit to apprehend this unexpected genetic anomaly for their own diabolical ends by any means necessary…including violent actions that may well ignite the entire world around them as Charlie retaliates with a fury of her own….
Zac Efron is playing the Andy McGee role, while Michael Greyeyes is playing John Rainbird, an assassin who works for The Shop and pretends to be friendly toward Charlie in order to get close to her. As for Charlie the Firestarter herself, Blumhouse has yet to announce who is playing that role. I’ve emailed them to try to get an answer, but I’m guessing they’re not ready to reveal that bit of casting just yet. Drew Barrymore played the role in the 1980 film adaptation.
Speaking of that 1980 adaptation – it’s not very good! I recently revisited it when Scream Factory gave it a Blu-ray release and was taken aback at how poorly it’s aged. It’s just a lackluster film all around, and even Barrymore is quite bad in the title role. With that said, there’s a lot of room for improvement here. I liked the moody atmosphere of Tomas’s The Vigil, so I’m interested in seeing what he does with this material.
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