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It's a very good time for Stephen King fans, and it feels like it has been for a while now. After the final years of the 2010s brought us everything from a blockbuster two-part adaptation of IT to a Castle Rock series to a Doctor Sleep film that took us back to the Overlook Hotel, the 2020s are already promising things like the upcoming Lisey's Story, another new Pet Sematary film, and of course a new vision of Firestarter, King's ever-popular early novel about a young girl with frightening pyrokinetic gifts.
First announced in 2017, the adaptation directed by Keith Thomas (The Vigil) started to really spark last year as casting got underway, and now horror production company extraordinaire Blumhouse has revealed that production on the project has finally kicked off. So, how do you celebrate your first day making a new Firestarter movie? You light something — or someone — on fire, of course. Check out the first behind-the-scenes clip from the set, posted to the Blumhouse Twitter account Tuesday morning.
Published in 1980 and still counted among King's most-read novels, Firestarter tells the story of Charlie McGee, a young girl who developed pyrokinetic powers as a result of her parents volunteering for a government experiment hosted by a secretive body known as "The Shop." As Charlie ages and her powers grow, The Shop comes to claim her and turn her power into a weapon. So, Charlie goes on the run with her father Andy (who has the ability to compel or "push" people to do things with his mind) as The Shop sends a ruthless and deadly fixer named John Rainbird to track them down by any means necessary.
The original 1984 adaptation starred Drew Barrymore as Charlie, George C. Scott as Rainbird, Martin Sheen as the head of The Shop, and David Keith as Andy. The new Firestarter is set to star Zac Efron as Andy and Michael Greyeyes (Blood Quantum) as Rainbird. The role of Charlie has not yet been cast, or at least the casting has not yet been announced.
As for what sets this new adaptation apart from the old one, here's what Thomas told SYFY WIRE earlier this year about the story he's developed alongside screenwriter Scott Teems (Halloween Kills).
“When I came on board, we dug into the characters more, spending more time with Charlie and Andy and [Andy's wife] Vicki," Thomas says, before he begins to ruminate on some of the more grounded aspects of the story. "How do you parent when you’ve got a little girl who can melt someone’s face off when she gets angry? How do you parent on the run, when there is a company called The Shop after you, that wants to vivisect you, experiment on you?"
Firestarter, produced by Jason Blum and Akiva Goldsman and executive produced by Martha De Laurentiis, does not yet have a release date.