The long-awaited remake of Stephen King’s Firestarter has made its first casting choice, selecting Zac Efron for the lead role of Andrew McGee.
The Blumhouse remake of Stephen King’s Firestarter has cast Zac Efron in the film’s lead role. Originally released in 1984, the film was an adaptation of King’s 1981 novel of the same name, about a young girl with frighteningly powerful pyrokinetic abilities. Newcomer Keith Thomas (The Vigil) will direct, with a script from Scott Teems (Halloween Kills).
The remake has reportedly been in the works since 2017, with progress quite slow up to this point. The original film wasn’t much of a hit, though it did star a then very young Drew Barrymore just two years after she gained acclaim for her role in Steven Spielberg’s mega-hit, E.T. In addition to not making much of a mark the first time around, the Firestarter adaption also failed to impress King. This has sometimes been the case over the years with big-screen adaptations of the prolific writer’s work. Most notable in this regard was Stanley Kubrick’s take on King’s The Shining.
Though hailed by critics and many fans as an absolute masterpiece, King couldn’t stand it, and the film was later remade in a 1997 TV miniseries, which King wrote and produced himself. As things currently stand with the Firestarter remake, however, King will not be involved as a screenwriter.
The first casting choice has now been made public on the upcoming horror/sci-fi remake, and it comes via a press release from Blumhouse. Efron will play the lead role in the film, which, if the story stays true to the novel, means he will be playing Andrew McGee. The character is the father of Charlie, the little girl with the pyrokinetic abilities who is abducted by a secret government organization.
Efron is an interesting choice for the lead, though some King purists may feel that he lacks the ability to pull off the role of a father with kinetic powers. But Efron has been working hard as of late to push his career into new directions, away from the cutesy teen roles and ab flaunting that once made him a household name. His work in the Ted Bundy biopic, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, in which he played Bundy was a major change of pace for the star, prompting much critical acclaim.
Efron has also taken to exploring the food we eat and the possibilities of sustainable living in his new Netflix series, Down to Earth With Zac Efron. Certainly, there’s room at this point for more diversity with Firestarter.
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However, at this point, what most fans of King’s Firestarter are likely more interested in than who plays Andrew is who’s going to play his daughter, Charlie. The film is elevated beyond one of the kinetic powers by placing the story’s most thrilling powers within a young girl. Hopefully, news of this casting will come soon, but until it does, it’s good to know that things are moving forward on a remake that has been taking quite some time to get started.