So, they’re remaking Stephen King’s Firestarter.

Which leads to an interesting question: Is Hollywood’s intellectually bankrupt habit of recycling old films as bad when the original movie sucked?  Because I remember the original Firestarter.  It wasn’t very good.  A lot of early adaptions of Stephen King books weren’t very good.  So I’m kind of curious to see whether this is a problem with the movies, or Stephen King’s earlier works*.

Moe Lane

*This is not a criticism of Stephen King’s earlier works.  For example, I liked the Firestarter book for what it was, which was a page-turning science fiction / horror novel that wasn’t too full of itself.  But not all books make for good movies. God knows the first Firestarter flick wasn’t.

10 thoughts on “So, they’re remaking Stephen King’s Firestarter.”

  1. Yes. The reason is that they aren’t necessarily interested in making good films. They are interested in making profitable films. Stephen King has widespread name recognition. With the return of Pennywise and the first installment of the Dark Tower, King’s name is going to have a prominent place in the minds of moviegoers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spate of hastily made King-inspired films in the near future.

  2. The problem is that Stephen King doesn’t write books that are an appropriate length to turn into movies. 60K word novellas are about optimal for the longest length that works out, and even short stories can work well. But novel-length works really generally need to be miniseries to be done correctly. The better movies from his works have tended to be from the shorter novels, or his short fiction.
    Now, as to firestarter, I don’t recall ever actually seeing the movie version, and I think the last time I read the novel was maybe 1985? But I think that the problem definitely isn’t with his early works. I mean, Stand By Me was good, and I think it’s pretty arguable that Carrie and The Shining are among the top few of his movies. Those three are just about the only ones that are still watchable today.

    1. Apt Pupil is still outstanding.
      Granted, they changed the hell out of the story. It would have sucked if they hadn’t.

  3. Going to disagree with you. Firestarter was a good movie, especially compared to some other King films I could name.

      1. I have yet to forgive Hollywood for butchering The Running Man. And Pet Sematary or Sleepwalkers compared to Firestarter?

        1. I have to defend The Running Man on one thing: Richard Dawson. I forget whether it was King or Harlan Ellison who said that he deserved an Oscar for that role, but it was true nonetheless.

          1. Agreed.
            Yes, Running Man the movie drew more from the zaniness of professional wrestling than from the gritty reality of the book, but .. so what?
            Dawson was *insanely* good at that role, and while too much of the anti-system screed hit the cutting room floor, the movie definitely had the right tone of comedic cheese to balance the violent and creepy .. and it *worked* as a movie.
            p.s. for purists, option the thing again and make a “gritty reboot” .. D.C. can contribute the color scheme.

          2. Running Man was a good movie, just not what you’d expect if you knew it was a King story going in.
            But Dawson was brilliant.

          3. That was the role he was born to play for Richard Dawson. His performance made that movie. Very conservative.. Hell, one of the guys was jailed for teaching his students about the US Constitution!

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