The updated film adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘Firestarter’ has found a director, Keith Thomas, who just released his first film, the horror flick ‘The Vigil’. ‘Firestarter’ hails from Universal, Blumhouse, and Akiva Goldsman‘s Weed Road. Goldsman was expected to direct himself at one point. Last year, Turkish-German Fatih Akin (‘The Golden Glove’) was announced as taking on the job of helming ‘Firestarter’. This project was first announced as being in the works in 2010! So nearly a decade later, it seems a director has been found. The script was penned by Scott Teems (Sundance TV’s ‘Rectify’, ‘Halloween Kills’), although Akin was said to be tweaking it when he was in charge.
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King adaptations are all the rage these days, but they can be hit or miss. ‘It: Chapter One‘, directed by Andy Muschietti, was a massive success, but its sequel ‘It: Chapter Two‘ fell short both artistically and commercially. ‘Pet Semetary‘ was a low-budget failure, but ‘Doctor Sleep was a very high-budget flop. Hopefully, ‘Firestarter’ will land closer to ‘It: Chapter One’. Considering Blumhouse is behind this one, at least we know the budget won’t be astronomical.
The Department of Scientific Intelligence (aka “The Shop”) never anticipated that two participants in their research program would marry and have a child. Charlie McGee inherited pyrokinetic powers from her parents, who had been given a low-grade hallucinogen called “Lot Six” while at college. Now the government is trying to capture young Charlie and harness her powerful firestarting skills as a weapon.
‘Firestarter’ was previously adapted to a film in 1984, directed by Mark L. Lester (‘Commando’). A post-‘E.T.’ Drew Barrymore starred as Charlie, while David Keith and Heather Locklear played her parents. The cast also included Martin Sheen and George C. Scott.
That film received mostly negative reviews and King himself hates it, calling it one of the worst film adaptations of one of his works. Even so, it has a cult following among ’80s kids who grew up watching ‘Firestarter’ on TV and VHS.
Blumhouse has acquired the distribution rights to Thomas’ ‘The Vigil’, which made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Look for news on that, as it arrives.
The same goes for ‘Firestarter’. It sounds as though things are just now falling into place, so there is no production or release date set.