The Stephen King brand has been red hot ever since Andy Muschietti's IT became a massive blockbuster when it launched into theaters a couple years ago, and it's been incredibly exciting to watch the development of various adaptations get the green light and go on the fast track. The latest to apparently make this move is the upcoming remake of Firestarter that Blumhouse has had in the works for a few years now, as the film has found one of its main stars: Zac Efron.
Per a press release from Universal Pictures, Zac Efron has signed on to star in Firestarter, and while his specific role in the movie isn't mentioned, he will presumably be playing Andrew McGee, a young father who is forced to go on the run with his gifted daughter when they are hunted by a government agency known as "The Shop." The new adaptation is being directed by Keith Thomas, and the screenplay is being written by Halloween Kills co-writer Scott Teems.
In Stephen King's novel, the story begins when Andrew McGee meets his future wife, Vicky, as college students who are enrolled in an experiment involving a chemical called LOT-6. While most of those involved with the trial experience horrific side effects, both Andrew and Vicky develop psychic abilities: the latter can read people's minds, and the former has the ability to bend people to his will (what he calls "a push"). Years after the experiment they have a daughter named Charlie who turns out to have a power of her own, as she can telepathically make objects she focuses on so hot that they catch on fire (a.k.a. pyrokinesis). Andrew and Vicky do their best to hide Charlie's gifts, but there's only so long they can keep her a secret.
Director Mark L. Lester previously helmed an extremely faithful adaptation of Firestarter back in 1984, which was at the time just four years after the book was first published. The film stars David Keith in the role of Andrew McGee and Heather Locklear as Vicky (her feature film debut), but most notably features Drew Barrymore as young Charlie – meaning that there exists a tremendously high bar for the upcoming remake to clear when it comes to finding someone for the role. Now that the ball has started rolling for the casting department, it wouldn't be too surprising if we learn about the production's choice in the coming weeks.
If the thought of Zac Efron starring in a 1980s remake sounds familiar, that's because this is the second development of this ilk that we've seen in the last few months. Back in early August it was reported that he is now developing a reboot of Three Men And A Baby. At present it's not clear which project is moving faster through development or which Efron will be working on first.
Hopefully this is just the start of a flow of stories regarding the making of the new Firestarter, so be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the latest updates, and tell us what you think about the casting by hitting the comments section. To see what other Stephen King adaptations are currently in the works, be sure to check out our full guide to developing films, miniseries, and television shows.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.