A new screen adaptation of Stephen King's novel Firestarter is on the way, with Zac Efron cast as a lead character, Andy McGee. According to a report by Collider, the new movie comes from Blumhouse Productions and will be written by Scott Teems and directed by Keith Thomas. The original novel was published in 1980, while the first screen adaptation was released in 1984.
Firestarter is one of King's most beloved novels, concerning a couple who are granted strange psychic powers when they volunteer as test subjects in a pharmaceutical experiment. Their child develops a distinct new power: pyrokinesis — the ability to create and manipulate fires. The family is soon targeted by the scientists who created them, threatening their normal life. The 1984 version starred David Keith in the role that Efron will now play, with Heather Locklear playing his wife, Vicky McGee and a young Drew Barrymore playing their daughter, Charlie.
There is no word yet on who will join Efron in this reboot, but his casting shows that this will be a major production. Jason Blum is producing for Blumhouse, while Akiva Goldsman is producing for Weed Road and Martha de Laurentiis is producing for Universal. Screenwriter Teems will also serve as an executive producer. Early in his career, Teems actually worked as an associate producer on the 1984 Firestarter.
This flick is the latest in a string of distinctive career turns for Efron. After launching his career as the wholesome hero of High School Musical, he has recently played a dramatized Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and he has had indie roles in movies like The Beach Bum and The Disaster Artist. Efron also hosts a Netflix docu-series called Down to Earth with Zac Efron.
The all-star team has their work cut out for them to live up to Firestarter, which occupies a unique place in the Stephen King pantheon — not only is the novel beloved by fans, but the screen adaptation is highly regarded as well. The book contains lots of references to King's other work and is considered important to fans who trace the subtle connective tissue to King's "literary universe."
King's work is seeing a substantial on-screen resurgence in recent years, with the success of movies like It, Pet Semetary, Doctor Sleep and more. There are at least 11 other King movies in development at the time of this writing, and his work is thriving on TV as well. A new adaptation of The Stand is coming soon to CBS All Access in December, and Castle Rock is thriving on Hulu. At least eight more productions are currently in the works.