The Stanley Film Festival kicked off at the Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, Oregon last night, with producer Jason Blum and director Akiva Goldsman debuting their new thriller Stephanie as the opening night screening. The producer and director also used the event to break some news, announcing that they are both collaborating on a new remake of Firestarter, the 1984 horror classic starring Drew Barrymore. Universal Pictures is also involved in the development, but it hasn't been said when production may begin.
Deadline reports that Scott Teems (Rectify) has come aboard to write the screenplay, with Akiva Goldsman set to direct and Jason Blum producing. Universal previously tried to put together a Firestarter reboot back in 2010, with the studio bringing on Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) to write the screenplay, but that incarnation never moved forward. Martha de Laurentiis, who made her producing debut as an associate producer on the original movie, will serve as an executive producer on the reboot.
The original Firestarter is based on the iconic Stephen King book, which follows a young girl who was born with pyrokinetic abilities, meaning she can control fire. She was born after her parents took part in a new medical experiment, where they both gained telekinetic powers. The original movie starred Drew Barrymore as young Charlie McGee, with David Keith and Heather Locklear playing her parents. The cast also included Martin Sheen, Freddie Jones, George C. Scott, Art Carney and Louise Fletcher.
The original thriller, directed by Mark L. Lester and written by Stanley Mann, based on Stephen King's book, wasn't a huge hit at the box office, taking in just $17 million during its 1984 theatrical run, but it did gain quite a big following upon its release on home video. It was fitting that the news was announced at the Stanley Film Festival, which is held every year at the Timberline Lodge, which was used for the exterior shots of the iconic Stanley Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's iconic Stephen King adaptation The Shining, the first of the iconic author's books to be adapted for the big screen. Firestarter also spawned a 2002 TV movie Firestarter 2: Rekindled, which starred Marguerite Moreau as Charlie McGee, with a supporting cast that included Malcolm McDowell and Dennis Hopper.
While the year isn't even half over, it has already been a huge year for producer Jason Blum. He produced the low-budget horror hits Split and Get Out, which have earned nearly $500 million worldwide, from a combined production budget of just $15 million. His next film, Amityville: The Awakening hits theaters on June 30, and he also has a new Purge sequel hitting theaters next summer. Akiva Goldsman's Stephanie doesn't have a release date lined up yet, but he wrote the screenplays for two of this summer's biggest movies, Transformers: The Last Knight (June 23) and The Dark Tower (July 28). Hopefully we'll have more on Firestarter very soon.