Last year saw production wrap on a new adaptation of Stephen King's Firestarter, and while audiences are still waiting to get an official look at the project, FilmRatings.com has confirmed that the film has made some serious progress, having officially earned a rating. The site notes that the MPA has certified the film with an R rating, which is due to "violent content." As far as horror films go, this distinction is relatively vague and ambiguous, as other genre films often get more details in regards to the severity of the violence, leaving fans to wonder if this rating is due to the general thematic nature of the unsettling concept.
The new film focuses on a young girl with pyrokinetic abilities, as the government pursues her in hopes of unlocking the key to her powers. Firestarter stars Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon, Michael Greyeyes, and Gloria Reuben. The novel was previously adapted into a film in 1984, which starred Drew Barrymore, George C. Scott, and David Keith.
Firestarter was produced by Blumhouse Studios and comes from director Keith Thomas, who previously delivered audiences the horror film The Vigil. Given that the novel was already adapted into a film, Thomas pointed out what makes his new approach to the material different from its predecessor.
"It's something I've thought a lot about," Thomas explained to ComicBook.com in 2020. "And, certainly, when the project first came to me, I was very lucky in that the script by Scott Teems, who wrote the upcoming Halloween Kills, was just very, very good, and very rich. The material itself isn't different, right? I mean, it's the same book that this film is drawing from, the one the earlier film did. But what we're leaning into from the book is different. That's the angle where you can do something. So, for me, it was really leaning into more emotional aspects. It was leaning into parenthood and what that looks like, and then, how do you raise a child, especially a child with abilities like this. That was the place the script went and I thought that it was something that's a little different than the original film."
He added, "Also, the book's super rich. There's a lot of stuff that's in the book that isn't in the original film. There's stuff in there that we're using, that we're going into. At the same time, I feel like, just for me, in terms of the films I'm interested in, I feel like there's a visceral quality to the story that I didn't see in the '80s version, a rawness that I think is there in the book, that I certainly felt, that I'm really interested in diving into. And, luckily, I think everybody else involved feels the same way, that this is going to be ... not only will it have the effects and you're going to get to see all the stuff Charlie can do, which is fun, and cool, and exciting, but if we do it right, it's not so much as dark as The Vigil, but you should come out of it emotional. If you do it right, it's going to really hit that way."
The new Firestarter does not yet have a release date.
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