Stephen King has been leaving an impact on the world of horror for such a long time, that stories that have previously been brought to life for movies are getting updated adaptations, with director of the new Firestarter movie Keith Thomas weighing on what will make his take on the material different from the 1984 film. While King's stories often embrace unsettling subject matter, another key component of his works is the emotional connection he establishes between the readers and the characters, with Thomas teasing his film will carry a heavier dramatic punch. Thomas' latest film, The Vigil, hits select theaters, digital platforms, and VOD on February 26th.
"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."
The new Firestarter does not yet have a release date, but Zac Efron is slated to star.
In the meantime, fans can get a taste of what's in store with The Vigil.
Steeped in ancient Jewish lore and demonology, The Vigil is a supernatural horror film set over the course of a single evening in Brooklyn's Hasidic Borough Park neighborhood. Low on funds and having recently left his insular religious community, Yakov (Dave Davis) reluctantly accepts an offer from his former rabbi and confidante (Menashe Lustig) to take on the responsibility of an overnight "shomer," fulfilling the Jewish practice of watching over the body of a deceased community member. Shortly after arriving at the recently departed's dilapidated house to sit the vigil, Yakov begins to realize that something is very, very wrong.
Stay tuned for details on Firestarter. You can check out The Vigil when it hits select theaters, digital platforms, and VOD on February 26th.
Are you looking forward to the new film? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars.