John Carpenter is a significant part of Stephen King adaptation history, as 1983’s Christine remains one of the best King movies of all time – but had things gone differently, it would have been a different novel from the beloved author that the director brought to the big screen. The filmmaker was initially going to make a big screen version of the 1980 book Firestarter, but he ran into two issues: the version he was concocting would have cost $20 million to make, and he was coming off of The Thing, which was a big box office flop. That project fell apart (leaving Mark L. Lester to develop the version released in 1984), but it was shortly thereafter that Carpenter got his hands on a manuscript of Christine.
In that sense, his involvement with the brand new version of Firestarter is him coming full circle. While he’s not directing the movie, he has composed the score along with his son, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel A. Davies. It’s a cool Easter egg for Stephen King fans – so I naturally felt compelled to ask director Keith Thomas about John Carpenter’s history with the source material when I interviewed him late last month during the film’s virtual press day.
As captured in the video at the top of this article, I asked Thomas if he talked with John Carpenter at all about the original version of Firestarter that he was going to make back in the early 1980s. The director explained that he briefly considered asking if there was any music Carpenter had planned for the project before it got scrapped… but it never actually ended up being a part of the conversations that he had with the legendary filmmaker. Said Thomas,
Because it’s not something Keith Thomas ever brought up, it’s unclear if John Carpenter did use any score ideas from his first go-round with the source material – but either way what he has created is fantastic. You can listen to the end titles track from the new Firestarter, which has been released by Back Lot Music on YouTube.
Continuing, Keith Thomas discussed what it was like working with John Carpenter, who has spent most of his career as a composer only making scores for films he himself has directed (the notable exceptions being Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween II, Tommy Lee Wallace’s Halloween III: Season Of The Witch, and David Gordon Green’s Halloween). The Firestarter director commended Carpenter for his dedication, and added that Carpenter’s different relationship with the movie had an impact on the way he worked:
Unsurprisingly, Keith Thomas is a big fan of John Carpenter’s, and he makes it sound like the scoring sessions for Firestarter were basically a surreal experience. He added,
Fans will be able to listen to John Carpenter’s full Firestarter soundtrack when the movie premieres this weekend, set to both hit theaters and stream exclusively on Peacock. The film stars Zac Efron, Sydney Lemmon, Gloria Reuben, Michael Greyeyes, Kurtwood Smith, and Ryan Kiera Armstrong (who thinks she’d do quite well in a rematch with Pennywise The Clown from IT). You can also pre-order the soundtrack now and keep track of all Stephen King adaptations in development with our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.