Stephen King Sends Some Love To Zac Efron And Company As The Firestarter Remake Preps To Start Filming

Stephen King cameo in Kingdom Hospital on televsion

It's taken a few years to happen, but the gears are finally turning on the upcoming remake of Stephen King's Firestarter. The project has been in the hands of Blumhouse since 2017, and while it has cycled through a few directors in that time, the movie is now getting set to start principal photography with filmmaker Keith Thomas at the helm and Zac Efron attached to star. It should be an exciting production that is forced to face and solve multiple challenges (like any film), but the project got a nice boost of positivity today from the man behind the source material, as King publicly sent a quick, cute message of support to everyone involved.

With the news breaking this week that Firestarter will start filming in Hamilton, Ontario late next month, Stephen King took to his well-utilized Twitter page today to fire off some well-wishes to the project. Referencing an oh-so-appropriate Elvis Presley track, King wrote,

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First published in 1980, Firestarter tells the story of Andy and Charlie McGee, a father and daughter who are forced to go on the run from a government agency known as The Shop. Both of them possess remarkable psychic gifts, as he is able to mentally "push" people to do his bidding by changing their perception, and she has pyrokinesis (hence the title of the book). Both fearing the potential of their powers, and also wanting to harness them, the shot-callers at The Shop make the decision to call in a psychopathic gun-for-hire named John Rainbird who, unbeknownst to them, has his own intentions for the girl. The novel was previously adapted by director Mark L. Lester in 1986, with Drew Barrymore as Charlie, David Keith as Andy, and George C. Scott as Rainbird.

According to the report retweeted by Stephen King, the new version of Firestarter is set to start filming in Canada late next month, and it will be shooting until late July. What's particularly interesting about that timeframe, however, is that the movie still has a large number of roles to fill. Zac Efron will be playing Andy McGee in the adaptation, and Michael Greyeyes came aboard a couple months ago to play John Rainbird, but they are presently the only two announced members of the ensemble. This means that the project not only still has to find its Charlie, but also cast roles like Captain Hollister (the commanding officer at The Shop), Vicky McGee (Andy's wife/Charlie's mom), and more. Presumably we're going to be getting a lot of news about more actors signing on to the project in the coming weeks.

Firestarter is all set for distribution thanks to the existing deal between Blumhouse and Universal Pictures, but a release date has not yet been announced. I'm constantly on a vigilante lookout for announcements about the movie, so stay tuned for all of the latest updates here on CinemaBlend, and to learn about all of the other adaptations in the works based on books and stories by the Master of Horror, check out our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

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.