Blumhouse Productions took to Twitter to confirm that production on Universal Pictures’ upcoming Firestarter remake has finally begun after 37 years since the theatrical release of 1984’s Drew Barrymore-led version. Based on Stephen King’s classic horror sci-fi thriller novel of the same name, the project will be led by Zac Efron (The Greatest Showman) and Michael Greyeyes (Fear the Walking Dead).
The filming start also came with the release of the first behind-the-scenes footage from the Firestarter remake set which you can check out below, featuring an unidentified person walking while he’s on fire.
Firestarter centers on an organization called the Department of Scientific Intelligence, aka “The Shop.” Two participants in their mysterious research program end up getting married and having a child. Their offspring, Charlie McGee, inherited pyrokinetic powers from her parents, who were given a low-grade hallucinogen called “Lot Six” during their college years. Now the government is trying to apprehend the young Charlie in order to harness her powerful and unique skills as a weapon.
The remake will see Zac Efron portraying the role of Andy McGee, a character previously portrayed by Golden Globe nominee David Keith. While, Michael Greyeyes has been cast to play John Rainbird, described as a relentless and powerful man who has been pushed into a violent life. The character was previously portrayed by George C. Scott in the first adaptation of the novel.
The Firestarter remake will be directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Keith Thomas (The Vigil) from a screenplay written by Scott Teems. It hails from Universal Pictures, Blumhouse, and Weed Road Productions, with Jason Blun and Akiva Goldsman set as producers. It will be executive produced by the original film’s associate producer Martha De Laurentiis.
Drew Barrymore previously played Charlie in Mark L. Lester’s 1984 adaptation that also starred David Keith as Charlie’s father Andy. Written by Stanley Mann, the movie earned $17.1 million at the box office from a $12 million budget. The novel was also adapted into the small screen in 2002 with a miniseries titled Firestarter: Rekindled starring Marguerite Moreau, Malcolm McDowell, and Dennis Hopper.