Zac Efron has been tapped to star in a remake of Firestarter, based on the 1980 novel from prolific genre author Stephen King and made into a 1984 film starring a young Drew Barrymore. As of this writing, it has not been announced what character Efron will be playing in the new version of Firestarter.
If we were going to place any money on who we expect Zac Efron to be playing in this new take on Firestarter, our bet would be on Andy, the father to young pyrokinetic wonder Charlie. Andy and Charlie are on the run from a mysterious and clandestine organization known as The Shop, a government agency that involves itself in strange experiments. It turns out that Andy was the recipient of a drug that ended up giving him telepathy and mind control powers. He passed this on to his daughter, Charlie, who was born with the ability to read minds and to create fires out of thin air.
Zac Efron seems like a perfect choice for the sympathetic parent role in Firestarter. He has a natural charm and charisma about him that would lend itself to the role Andy has to play in the story. And if this new adaptation follows the same trajectory as Andy’s fate in the original novel, Efron could have some real gravitas to play with in the role.
Of course, we are only speculating that Zac Efron will be playing Andy in this new version of Firestarter. There are certainly other characters he could be portraying. There are two main antagonists in Firestarter: the director of The Shop, Captain James “Cap” Hollister, and a chilling hitman named John Rainbird who tricks Charlie into befriending him. Efron recently played real-life serial killer Ted Bundy in the Netflix film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. He is no stranger to taking on villainous roles, so either of these could be a possibility but we still think he is playing Andy.
Firestarter was not warmly received when it was made into a feature film in 1984, and a later sequel attempt in 2002 with the miniseries Firestarter: Rekindled also did not take off with fans or critics. In recent years, Stranger Things took a lot of inspiration from Firestarter for its story about a young girl with psychic powers trying to escape from a shadowy government outfit. Will the allure of Zac Efron and Stephen King’s name be enough to get people on board for this go-around with the property?
This new Firestarter will not only star Zac Efron but will be Scott Teems (Halloween Kills) and directed by newcomer Keith Thomas (The Vigil). No other casting announcements have been made. We also do not yet have a release date for this new iteration of Firestarter. Exactly when it will head into production is also unknown at this time. We assume that casting Zac Efron will be the first in a wave of announcements regarding this project. Once we hear anything new about Firestarter, we will be sure to update you.