Books

Stephen King’s ‘Firestarter’ remake hits the big screen

Firestarter, the 1980 novel by Stephen King sees its second reincarnation on the big screen.

We love a good Stephen King adaptation. Think, The Shining, Carrie, Pet Sematary, and The Dead Zone, you catch my drift. So it’s always with joy, that another of King’s books has been adapted to the screen.

First adapted to film in 1984 with a super cute and young Drew Barrymore, Fire Starter has just been released by The Vigil director Keith Thomas. Starring Zac Efron, the film has been catching a fair bit of mixed reviews, but one underlying song of praise being sung in the media is for Efron’s performance, which by all accounts, carries the film all the way.  

Firestarter movie
Credit: Universal Pictures

Efron takes on the role of Andy, the father of  Charleen “Charlie” who along with his daughter is on the run from the government. Why? Well, Charlie has pyrokinetic abilities. All thanks to her parents, who participated in government experiments that lead to her father’s telepathic mind control abilities, and Charlie’s mother developing her own set of telekinetic skills. Needless to say, the government wants their ‘assets’ back and will stop at nothing to obtain them.

Stranger Things unabashedly takes its cues from the same themes, weaponising extraordinary children who have supernatural capabilities, who are on the run from the government and are pushing to have their voices heard. And if they aren’t heard, well, pretty much representative of any child that feels that they aren’t being seen or heard, they will rebel, and they will have a tantrum. Stephen King’s very sage message/advice for any parent. Listen to your kids. 

King contributes his own three kids in helping to inspire some of his characters. In the author’s note at the end of Firestarter, he writes “to my daughter Naomi, who brightens up everything and helped me to understand—as much as any man can—what it is to be a young, intelligent girl approaching the age of 10. She’s not Charlie, but she helped me to help Charlie be herself.”

Starring Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, and Sydney Lemmon. Firestarter is out now at all good cinemas.