Universal Re-Lights Firestarter

Change my pitch up... no, wait...

Universal Re-Lights Firestarter

by Owen Williams |
Published on

Universal Pictures are planning some Stephen King action, with a remake of **Firestarter, his pyrokinetic horror thriller written in 1980 and filmed by Mark Lester in 1984.

Not in the top tier of King novels, Firestarter didn't make for a totally enthralling movie the first time around either, but Universal and the De Laurentiis Co. are nevertheless eyeing little Charlie McGee as the centre of a potential new franchise: "A unique, character-driven thriller with a supernatural edge, based on a timeless concept and enhanced by recent visual effects advances". Lots of 3D CGI fire then.

The first film starred Drew Barrymore as Charlie the telekinetic flamethrower, because a small girl who can blow things up and burn people at will was the obvious next move after ET. Freddie Jones, Martin Sheen, Heather Locklear and David Keith headed up the adult cast, along with a ponytailed George C. Scott, and Keith Flint gooning under a bridge. Tangerine Dream did the music. It was the 80s.

There was a belated TV sequel in 2002 in the form of Firestarter: Rekindled, but a planned series following the exploits of the adult Charlie never materialised. This time around, the script is being hammered out by Mark L. Smith, who wrote Vacancy and The Hole, and is also currently working on the English-language remake of **Martyrs.

The plan is apparently to "reinvent the main character with a little more edge". She's seven, so we're not sure quite how much edge she ought to have at that age, but Universal are confident that "Firestarter's great mythology can be extended in new and exciting directions." Maybe the new Charlie will be a filth-infatuated, fell intoxicated, self-inflicted mind detonator. Whatever that might be.

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