Stephen King Reveals Why He Prefers Firestarter Remake Over Original

Posted 2022/05/14 3 0

A new adaptation of Stephen King’s Firestarter is playing simultaneously in theaters and on Peacock. For those who are unaware, the story revolves around a father who tries to protect his daughter, who can set things on fire with her mind, from government authorities. Like many King stories, the book that inspired the movie features a child with powers.

The first film adaptation debuted in 1984 and starred a young Drew Barrymore in the role of the gifted Charlie. Critics and fans have made comparisons between the new version and the original 1984 movie. While speaking to Vanity Fair, King talked about reasons why he thinks the remake is superior to the first adaptation.

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Stephen King Liked That the Father Was More Honest

King appreciated that the actor who plays the father in the remake is more honest than the one in the original. He explained:

“If you compare David Keith as Andy McGee [in the 1984 film] and Zac Efron [in the new Firestarter], I think Efron wins the battle because he seems a lot more intelligent, and he does a lot less lying to the kid, too. In the original Firestarter movie there’s a lot of, ‘Oh, Charlie, everything’s going to be all right.’ There’s nothing that raises my hackle so much as lying to a child. This character, this iteration of Andy McGee, doesn’t do that. I think Zac Efron did a wonderful job. It’s a very grown up part. And he pulled it off.”

Unlike the first motion picture, Efron’s character does not lie to his kid. King thought highly of the actor’s performance. Additionally, the writer liked the casting of Michael Greyeyes for the character Rainbird. King said:

“I read the script beforehand and I thought to myself, okay, what they’ve done here is they have concentrated the story and made it a family story. And I love that. They’ve kept the major beats in the story and thank God they got a real Native American to play John Rainbird. That was a step in the right direction. He’s pretty good. There’s a lot more authenticity to that performance. It’s an inward, powerful performance.”

Also, King noted that he was pleasantly surprised by the use of Andy’s powers for a positive impact. King brought up a violent scene in the book that he would have liked to see in the movie. He discussed:

“Sometimes movie people think up things, and you say, ‘I wish I had done that.’ In this movie, Andy becomes a kind of a counselor to try to talk people out of their bad habits. And he does it by ‘pushing’ them. There’s a woman at the beginning who’s a smoker, and he’s talking her out of it. That was a pretty good turn on him. On the other hand, there was a scene in the book that’s not in the movie where he pushed a guy into putting his hand in a garbage disposal and turning it on. That would’ve been great.”

There was a comforting aspect to Efron’s character. He helped others who dealt with bad situations in their lives. It was something King could appreciate.

Firestarter is playing in theaters and on Peacock now.


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