Stephen King’s best-selling novel, Firestarter, returns to the screen in an all-new adaptation from horror specialists Blumhouse Productions.
Stepping into the role previously played by nine-year-old Drew Barrymore in the 1984 adaptation of Stephen King’s best-seller, Firestarter, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, 11, could easily have been intimidated. But buoyed by the support of her co-star Zac Efron – himself a former child star – she instead felt confident in portraying Charlie, a young girl who possesses extraordinary pyrokinetic powers.
Directed by Keith Thomas (The Vigil), this reboot pairs Efron with Sydney Lemmon as parents whose lives were turned upside down following exposure to an experimental drug called Lot 6 during their college years.
After their daughter inherits their powers – to a much higher degree – they have been on the run for more than a decade, desperate to hide Charlie from a shadowy federal agency that wants to harness her unprecedented gift for creating fire into a weapon of mass destruction.
A relative newcomer to moviemaking, Thomas has a unique, and unexpected, connection to the story of Firestarter.
“I had a career in drug research before I started filmmaking, and I did clinical research programs just like the one in the story,” he reveals. “So, I know that world, and it was fun to bring the knowledge that I had from it into the film. But none of the patients in any of my studies developed any telekinetic powers, though,” he laughs.
Making his horror movie debut, Efron admits he’s a huge fan of the genre. “I was so excited about this opportunity when it came about. I remember seeing Firestarter as a kid and absolutely loved it! It was so much fun working with the cast and crew to bring this Stephen King classic to a younger generation,” he says.
Producer Jason Blum also hopes to reignite renewed passion for the Firestarter story. “There’s a new generation of horror movie fans who have maybe heard of the first film, but they haven’t seen it,” he says. “We thought it was a great opportunity to make the story a bit more contemporary and discover new faces.”