Young filmmaker Keith Thomas is entering with firm steps into the Blumhouse team. First, we learned that the production and distribution firm owned by Jason Blum purchased the distribution rights for Thomas’ debut movie The Vigil (2019) [read our review here], which was part of several international film festivals this year including TIFF and Sitges Film Festival, for future theatrical release. But more breaking news indicates that Blumhouse has chosen the director to be ahead of a new adaptation of Stephen King’s Firestarter.
It was announced that announced a couple years ago that Blumhouse and Akiva Goldsman, writer of a extended bunch of hit movies like Batman Forever (1995) and its follow-up Batman & Robin (1997), Lost in Space (1998), I, Robot (2004), The 5th Wave (2016) and Rings (2017), were developing a new adaptation of 1980’s Stephen King novel. Goldsman is not a foreigner in adapting the texts of the popular horror author since he was also part of the screenplay team for The Dark Tower (2017). Martha de Laurentiis is also participating in the project as the executive producer. Production, filming and release dates are still unknown since this is fresh news, as well as who is going to integrate the main cast of the film.
This is not the first time the popular Stephen King novel is adapted for the big screen. A young post-E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Drew Barrymore starred in a first adaptation back in the 1980s together with David Keith, Freddie Jones, Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen and Art Carney in Firestarter (1984), written by the late Stanley Mann (Omen II: Damien (1978), Meteor (1979), Conan the Destroyer (1984)) and directed by Mark L. Lester (Class of 1984 (1982) and its follow-up cult classic Class of 1999 (1990), Commando (1985)).
In the novel, Andy and Charlene “Charlie” McGee are a father/daughter pair on the run from a government agency known as The Shop. During his college years, Andy had participated in a Shop experiment dealing with “Lot 6“, a drug with hallucinogenic effects similar to LSD. The drug gave his future wife, Victoria Tomlinson, minor telekinetic abilities and him a telepathic form of mind control he refers to as “the push“. They both also developed telepathic abilities. Andy’s and Vicky’s powers were physiologically limited; in his case, overuse of the push gives him crippling migraine headaches and minute brain hemorrhages, but their daughter Charlie developed frightening pyrokinetic ability.
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