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6 Stephen King Easter Eggs You May Have Missed in the Firestarter Remake
How many Stephen King Easter eggs did you catch in the new Firestarter movie?
It’s been a little over a year since Universal Pictures and Blumhouse unveiled their contemporary adaptation of Stephen King’s eighth novel, Firestarter.
Written by Scott Teems (Halloween Kills) and helmed by Keith Thomas (The Vigil), the film centers around Andy and Vicky McGee (Zac Efron and Sidney Lemmon, respectively), two young college students gifted with supernatural abilities by a top-secret government experiment overseen by an agency known simply as “The Shop.”
The duo have since gone on the run from these shady operators to raise their daughter, a young pyrokinetic named Charlie (Ryan Kiara Armstrong). But when The Shop catches up with them, the family’s hope for a normal life literally goes up in smoke.
Stephen King Easter Eggs in the 2022 Firestarter Movie
John Carpenter's score
Like he did on David Gordon Green’s Halloween reboot trilogy, John Carpenter composed the score for this movie alongside his son, Cody Carpenter, and godson, Daniel Davies. The decision to hire an indisputable genre legend for this new take on the Stephen King source material represented a reconstruction of the burnt bridge between Carpenter and Universal Pictures. He was originally supposed to direct a film adaptation of Firestarter in the 1980s before The Thing flopped both critically and financially. The studio ended up getting cold feet and replaced him with Mark L. Lester. Thankfully, Carpenter still got to take a crack at King with 1983’s Christine.
Rainbird's back tattoo
Credit where credit is due: this particular Easter egg was brought to our attention by Reddit user chapj. When we are first introduced to the character of Rainbird (a ruthless agent of The Shop played by Michael Greyeyes), you can clearly see a tattoo on his back depicting the image of the “Hanged Man” tarot card. This is a reference to the moment in The Gunslinger (the first book in King's Dark Tower series) where the Man in Black reads Roland Deschain’s fortune.
Herman Pynchot Veterans Hospital
When The Shop's head honcho — Captain Jane Hollister (Gloria Reuben) — attempts to convince Doctor Wanless (Kurtwood Smith) to come out of retirement, she finds the gifted creator of Lot Six wasting away in the Herman Pynchot Veterans Hospital. Doctor Pynchot, of course, plays a much larger role in the book as a leading member of the secret government program that experimented on Andy and Vicky McGee. The character did appear in the 1984 adaptation — played by Moses Gunn.
Joyland Waste Removal
Keep an eye out during the scene in which Charlie accidentally sets a feral cat on fire around the 39-minute mark. In the background, you’ll see a dumpster bearing the name of a garbage collection company known as “Joyland Waste Disposal. This bit of set dressing serves as a little tip of the hat to Joyland (2013), King’s second novel published by the Hard Case Crime imprint after The Colorado Kid.
Irv Manders (John Beasley), the kind man who gives Andy and Charlie a lift to his farmstead, is a veteran beer drinker. His preferred brand? An ice-cold Ayuh. Any King fan worth their salt has come across more than a few "Ayuh"s over the years throughout his books, short stories, and novellas. It’s an iconic New England-ism and a favorite of lifelong Mainer Stephen King. Well played, props team!
We might be reaching with this one, but bear with us for a moment. After Irv calls the cops on Andy, a number of officers from the Swithen County Sheriff’s Department show up at the farm to apprehend the wanted fugitive. This may be a super deep-cut reference to the fact that the alias-prone Stephen King (aka Richard Bachman, aka Beryl Evans) published his 1972 short story “The Fifth Quarter” under the pseudonym of “John Swithen” two years before his debut novel — Carrie.