With the long-awaited cinematic version of The Dark Tower looming this summer and an It adaptation following in September, the race to bring other Stephen King books to the big screen for the first (or second) time is starting to…um, heat up. Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman seized the spotlight at The Overlook Film Festival — held, appropriately enough, at Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, which doubles as the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick‘s widely loved (except by King himself) take on The Shining — to announce that he’d be writing and directing a new version of the author’s 1980 bestseller, Firestarter.
Previously translated from the page to the screen in 1984 as a star vehicle for 9-year-old Drew Barrymore, Firestarter follows pint-sized pyrokinetic Charlie McGee on a perpetual road trip with her father Andy (David Keith) in order to stay one step ahead of government goons. Despite largely withering reviews, the film — and the more well-received book — remain popular in the King canon, a made-for-TV sequel hit the airwaves in 2002. Standing alongside his producing partner, Jason Blum, proprietor of the blockbuster horror label Blumhouse, at the Timberline, though, Goldsman said that this new version was going back to the source. “We’re going to be looking back to the book to do it well,” Goldsman said. “We have tremendous love for the original object.”
While he has a lengthy career as a screenwriter and producer, Firestarter will only be Goldsman’s third feature as a director, following 2014’s Winter’s Tale and the Blumhouse-backed, Stephanie, which premiered at the Overlook Film Festival. If he gets this one right, there’s plenty more King adaptations in need of a more authentic do-over. May we suggest The Lawnmower Man?
‘Firestarter’: Watch a clip featuring Drew Barrymore and Martin Sheen:
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