Thanks to the unprecedented success of IT last year, Stephen King's horror properties have never been hotter for cinematic adaptation, and objectively none of the author's works is hotter than Firestarter. The novel was first adapted for the big screen with a 1984 film starring a young Drew Barrymore. A remake of Firestarter has been discussed for years now, but things really began to gain some traction last year when the project was officially announced. There hasn't been much news on Firestarter since then, but now the remake is finally moving forward with Fatih Akin being tapped to direct.
Fatih Akin most recently directed In the Fade, which took home a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. When the remake was announced last year at the Overlook Film Festival, Akiva Goldsman, who wrote the script for The Dark Tower, was set to direct the film. While that has obviously changed, Akiva Goldsman is still onboard as producer alongside Blumhouse Productions' Jason Blum. Scott Teems, who wrote and directed episodes of the acclaimed TV series Rectify, will adapt the script for the Universal and Blumhouse.
As Variety notes in the director report, the success of IT has studios fast-tracking their Stephen King properties and for Universal, Firestarter has been in development for a while and was the most ready get started. For those who never saw the 1984 original or read the book, Firestarter tells the story of a young girl named Charlie who develops pyrokinetic abilities and is pursued by a secret government agency, called The Shop that wants to use her as a weapon. If you think that sounds similar to Stranger Things, Charlie's parents also participated in The Shop's experiments with LSD and gained powers that caused nosebleeds. So yeah, you can definitely see where the Netflix series mined some of its nostalgic story from. It also makes sense with the popularity of that series and the resurgence in Stephen King properties of late,how Firestarter might seem especially appealing for audiences in the current marketplace.
The original Firestarter is not considered to be one of the better Stephen King adaptations, so this remake provides a great opportunity to do the sci-fi thriller justice. As demonstrated with IT last year and many titles in the ongoing horror renaissance, when the material is taken seriously, horror can provide wins both critically and commercially. Differentiating itself from other similar stories about kids with powers and shadowy government agencies is where Firestarter will have to be creative.
A release date for the remake of Firestarter has not been set, but we'll keep you updated when we hear more and casting gets underway. To see all of the upcoming Stephen King movies, check out our guide. For all the latest in movie news and why you shouldn't play with fire, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.