When it was announced late last month that the remake of Stephen King's Firestarter was going into production, it generated a lot of excitement... but also a fair amount of confusion. After all, cameras were starting to roll despite the fact that the film had only announced two actors as part of its cast: Zac Efron as protagonist Andy McGee and Michael Greyeyes as the villainous John Rainbird. As of today that continues to be a big question mark lingering over the project – but at the very least we do now know who is playing the titular pyrokinetic, and we also have our first look at her in character.
Blumhouse has officially announced today that Ryan Kiera Armstrong has landed the role of Charlie McGee in the Firestarter remake, and you can scope out what she will look like playing the part via the image below:
If you're a Stephen King fan and Ryan Kiera Armstrong looks oddly familiar, that's probably because you've watched IT: Chapter Two more than a few times. That's right: Firestarter will already be the young actor's second time starring in a King adaptation. In the Andy Muschietti-directed sequel, Armstrong played Victoria Fuller – the girl with a birthmark on her face who meets a grisly end when Pennywise The Dancing Clown lures her underneath the bleachers at a little league game. It's one of the best sequences in the film, and one of the scariest.
What's even funnier from a trivia perspective is that it means that she is walking in the footsteps of Drew Barrymore in more ways than one. Barrymore was the first actor to play the role of Charlie McGee on the big screen, starring in director Mark L. Lester's 1984 adaptation of Firestarter, but that wasn't her only experience with Stephen King adaptations as a child star. In 1985 she also starred in the horror anthology film Cat's Eye, which features two of King's short stories brought to live-action: "Quitters Inc." and "The Ledge".
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 when they start being hunted by a government agency known as The Shop. Because of a drug trial he was in as a college student, Andy has the power to "push" people, which is to say that he can alter a person's perspective of reality to suit his purposes. His wife, Vicky, was also in the experiment (becoming telepathic as a result) and they wind up passing their psychic powers down to their child. The gift that Charlie possesses, however, is the ability to start fires with her mind, and with enough concentration she could potentially crack the world in half.
Keith Thomas is directing the new big screen version of Firestarter based on a screenplay by Scott Teems. While the movie is in production now, and Universal Pictures is set to release the movie in theaters, the film does not yet have an official release date.