Blumhouse has just secured the first major casting addition to join its upcoming Firestarter remake, but not for the film’s titular pyrokinetic tween girl. Collider reports that the studio has drafted Zac Efron to play Charlie McGee’s father, Andy, in the next big-screen take on Stephen King’s classic novel.
King originally published Firestarter in 1980. The book (which, incidentally, celebrates its 40th anniversary today) centered on Charlie, an eight-year-old girl who gained the ability to manipulate fire after her parents participated in government-sponsored experiments during their college years. These experiments also gave Andy his own power of mind control. The novel follows Charlie and her father as they go on the run from the government agency that wants to turn her into a living weapon.
Firestarter was famously adapted into a film in 1984 that starred a young Drew Barrymore as Charlie. The movie also featured a star-studded supporting cast that included David Keith, Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen, and George C. Scott. However, the film received mostly negative reviews when it hit theaters. King himself was unimpressed, and called it “one of the worst” adaptations of his work in 1986. Among other details, he took issue with the decision to have Charlie’s hair blow in the wind whenever she used her powers. In 2002, SYFY released a sequel miniseries titled Firestarter: Rekindled that focused on Charlie as an adult.
Efron currently stars on the Netflix documentary series Down to Earth, which premiered in July. Some of his recent film roles include Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, The Beach Bum, and The Greatest Showman.
Keith Thomas is directing Firestarter from a script written by Scott Teems, who also serves as an executive producer. Jason Blum is producing alongside Akiva Goldsman and executive producer Martha De Laurentiis, who was an associate producer on the 1984 film as well.
Blumhouse’s Firestarter remake is still without a release date.
What are your thoughts on Zac Efron playing Andy McGee in the movie? Who would you cast to play Charlie? Let us know in the comments down below!
Recommended Reading: Firestarter by Stephen King