Stephen King stories have been an integral component of pop culture for decades, and while his novel Firestarter was previously brought to life for a movie in 1984, there are enough adaptations of his works out there that new filmmakers can reimagine the material, with producer of a new Firestarter movie Akiva Goldsman recently teasing that this take will be more faithful to the source material. As proven with 2017's IT and 2019's Pet Sematary, it's entirely possible to find success with a new take on a King story that has already earned an adaptation, with this new take possibly appealing more to King aficionados.
"Firestarter is one of the last great, either unmade or un-remade, Stephen King novels that have become classics," Goldsman shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "There are things I will never forget from the original movie. But it diverged from the book significantly. So Scott Teems — who is a really wonderful writer — wrote this terrific script which is much closer to the novel in both incident and tone. We start shooting, I want to say, in 12 weeks. Firestarter was always some of Stephen's most intimate and affective horror, and I think pyrokinesis is a really fascinating idea when it comes to the expression of hidden feelings."
Director of the new film Keith Thomas previously made similar claims about honoring King's original movie more explicitly.
"It's something I've thought a lot about," Thomas shared with ComicBook.com. "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."
Stay tuned for details on the new Firestarter.
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