A new adaptation of Stephen King Fire starter playing simultaneously in theaters and on Peacock. For those unaware, the story revolves around a father trying to protect his daughter, who can set her mind on fire, from government authorities. Like many of King’s stories, the book that inspired the film features a child with powers.
The first film adaptation debuted in 1984 and starred a young Drew Barrymore as the talented Charlie. Critics and fans have drawn comparisons between the new version and the original 1984 film. Speaking to Vanity Fair, King explained why he thinks the remake is superior to the first adaptation.
Stephen King liked the dad to be more honest
King appreciated that the actor who plays the father in the remake was more honest than the one in the original. He explained:
“If you compare David Keith to Andy McGee [in the 1984 film] and Zac Efron [in the new Firestarter], I think Efron wins the battle because he seems a lot smarter and he lies a lot less to the kid too. In the original version Fire starter movie there’s a lot of, ‘Oh, Charlie, it’s going to be okay.’ There’s nothing that makes me cringe like lying to a child. This character, this iteration of Andy McGee, doesn’t do that. I think Zac Efron did a terrific job. It’s a very grown-up part. And he succeeded. »
Unlike the first film, Efron’s character does not lie to his child. King enjoyed the actor’s performance very much. Additionally, the writer liked the casting of Michael Greyeyes for the character Rainbird. King said:
“I read the script ahead of time and I was like, okay, what they’ve done here is they’ve focused the story and made it a family story. And I love that. They kept the major beats from the story and thank God they found a real Native American to play John Rainbird. It was a step in the right direction. He’s pretty good. There is a lot more authenticity in this performance. It is an inner and powerful performance.
Additionally, King noted that he was pleasantly surprised by Andy’s use of powers to positive impact. King referred to a violent scene in the book that he would have liked to see in the film. He discussed:
“Sometimes movie people imagine things and you’re like, ‘I wish I had done that. In this film Andy becomes a kind of counselor trying to talk people out of their bad habits. And he does this by “pushing” them. There’s a woman at the start who smokes, and he talks her out of it. It was a very good trick on his part. On the other hand, there was a scene in the book that isn’t in the movie where he made a guy stick his hand in a trash can and light it up. It would have been awesome. »
There was a heartwarming aspect to Efron’s character. He has helped other people who have faced bad situations in their lives. It was something King could appreciate.
Fire starter is playing in theaters and on Peacock now.
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