We have a little update on the status of the Firestarter remake. Stephen King is one of the hottest brands in all of entertainment right now, in no small part thanks to the massive success of both IT and IT Chapter Two. King's 1980 novel has been on Universal's to-do list for some time now. As revealed to us by screenwriter Scott Teems, the movie is, or at least was, eyed to begin production sometime this year.
I recently had the chance to speak with Scott Teems in honor of his new movie The Quarry being released digitally. During our conversation, I asked about the status of Firestarter. According to Teems, Universal and Blumhouse Productions are eager to get this one going. Here's what he had to say about it.
"I'm still the writer. We just got a new director named Keith Thomas and he made a great film called The Vigil coming up this year, and Universal and Blumhouse, they want to make Firestarter. It has always been an important project to them. I think we're making active steps toward that happening this year. You know, the industry shut down notwithstanding, and that may change things, but right now, I'm really hopeful that it might happen this year."
Currently Hollywood is at a standstill until social distancing orders are lifted and productions can find a way to resume safely. That will unquestionably impact whatever plans studios had, but it seems safe to assume Firestarter isn't something they are going to scrap, as it has a great deal of potential. As Scott Teems mentions, Keith Thomas was brought on board to direct the Stephen King adaptation in December of last year, signaling the project had gained some new steam. The remake was initially announced in April 2017.
Firestarter centers on an organization called the Department of Scientific Intelligence, aka "The Shop." Two participants in their mysterious research program end up getting married and having a child. Their offspring, Charlie McGee, inherited pyrokinetic powers from her parents, who were given a low-grade hallucinogen called "Lot Six" during their college years. Now the government is trying to apprehend the young Charlie in order to harness her powerful and unique skills as a weapon. There is no word on casting currently and the big question is who will be tapped to play Charlie this time around.
Mark L. Lester previously helmed an adaptation of the novel which was released in 1984 which starred Drew Barrymore as Charlie. It proved to be modestly successful, though far from a runaway hit. A TV miniseries titled Firestarter: Rekindled was also released in 2002. Universal has not yet set a release date for the new adaptation, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as any further information is made available. In the meantime, Scott Teems' new movie The Quarry is available via On Demand now from Lionsgate.