Today marks the 40th anniversary of Stephen King‘s classic novel Firestarter, so it’s fitting that Collider can exclusively report that Zac Efron has signed on to star in a new adaptation of the sci-fi thriller from Universal, Blumhouse and Weed Road.
Up-and-coming filmmaker Keith Thomas will direct from a script by Blumhouse favorite Scott Teems (Halloween Kills). King’s 1980 novel followed a young girl who develops pyrokinetic abilities and is abducted by a secret government agency that wants to harness her powerful gift as a weapon.
Efron will play the girl’s father, Andy McGee, and given the fact that he turns 33 next month and Drew Barrymore was only eight years old when she filmed the original Firestarter, there’s no question he could conceivably play the parent of a young child. In fact, Efron just signed on to star in a Three Men and a Baby remake for Disney+.
Jason Blum is producing for Blumhouse alongside Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman and his Weed Road banner, while Martha De Laurentiis will executive produce alongside Teems, having served as an associate producer on the original 1984 movie.
That fiery film starred a young Barrymore alongside David Keith and Heather Locklear as her parents. The film also featured a top-notch supporting cast that included Martin Sheen, George C. Scott, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher. Of course, any Firestarter remake will come down to the little girl at its center, and I already floated the name of one young actress when this project was first announced.
Efron is coming off the best reviews of his career for his turn as Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and I’ve enjoyed his recent turns in hip indies such as The Beach Bum and The Disaster Artist. He also hosted the successful Netflix docuseries Down to Earth with Zac Efron. The actor is represented by CAA and Alchemy Entertainment and and Felker, Toczek, Suddleson, Abramson. Click here to read about his upcoming Quibi survival series Killing Zac Efron.