Edgar Wright and Stephen King: those are two names that just sound fantastic together, don’t they? The man who brought us Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver, meets the man who gave us The Shining and Maximum Overdrive. Were they to collide on the right project, the results could be absolutely mind-blowing; and Paramount Pictures is about to put that theory to the test. C’mon down, Mr. Wright, you’re the next contestant on The Running Man.
In a fit of genius and madness reported by Deadline, Edgar Wright has been drafted to co-write the story to, as well as direct, a more faithful adaptation of the 1982 novel, which was published under Stephen King’s infamous Richard Bachman pseudonym. As if this wasn’t enough of a joyful event on that news alone, The Running Man will see Edgar Wright reunite with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World writer Michael Bacall, who will co-write the story and draft the script. However if you’re a fan of the original 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, we’ve got some bad news for you. This new version is not going to reimagine that delightful, but off target adapting of the original text.
While the basic concept of The Running Man’s story of “Hunters” chasing protagonist Ben Richards, in the name of death and ratings, is reflected in the Schwarzenegger film, that version of the story is more of a Robocop style satire. Meanwhile, Stephen King’s source novel is less restricted in its scope, as Richards, who volunteers for the games in the book, is given a 30 day window to stay alive. The novel almost sounds like an espionage thriller, mixed with a bleak dystopia, and with an ending that’ll never fly in today’s context.
It’s a recipe that sounds perfect for Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright to tool around with, and it’s another win for Paramount, if the project gets off the ground. The Running Man has always been a classic title when it comes to the Arnold Schwarzenegger version, so brand recognition is already built in. Plus, with the promise of a more faithful version based in Stephen King’s text, your constant readers of the world will be ready to give this one another shot.
Though don’t get too excited just yet, as Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho still needs to be released into theaters. Also, there’s a slew of other in-development projects like Baby Driver 2 that will compete for attention, once that film is wrapped and Wright is looking for his next gig. Given the choice though, fans just might choose to start hyping this movie up over that previously mentioned sequel, and if anyone knows how to give the fans what they want, it’s surely Wright.