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U, De Laurentiis to reignite ‘Firestarter’

Duo hope to turn reboot into franchise

Universal is looking to reignite the “Firestarter” flame.

The studio and Dino De Laurentiis Co. have teamed to reboot the 1984 horror pic, with Mark L. Smith onboard to pen the script.

Although there were no sequels to the original feature, based on the Stephen King tome, the studio aims to turn the reboot into a franchise property.

The 1984 pic starred Drew Barrymore as a girl able to start fires at will. It grossed $17 million at the domestic B.O. and was also produced through U and De Laurentiis’ Co.

Plot details for the reboot are being kept under wraps. It’s expected to be loosely based on the original King book, but the main character is to be reinvented with a little more edge.

De Laurentiis Co. chairman Martha De Laurentiis and prexy of production Lorenzo De Maio will produce through the De Laurentiis Co. along with Steven Schneider through his Room 101 banner.

“We see this as a unique, character-driven thriller with a supernatural edge, based on a timeless concept and enhanced by recent visual effects advances,” Martha De Laurentiis said.

Deal for “Firestarter” extends the longstanding relationship between U and De Laurentiis Co. The reboot was among the last projects the prolific Dino De Laurentiis worked on before his death in November at age 91.

“‘Firestarter’ has a great mythology and with Martha and Lorenzo’s vision we believe the franchise can be extended in a new and exciting direction,” said Debbie Liebling, U’s prexy of production.

De Laurentiis Co. has a slew of projects in various stages of development, including a reboot of the cult classic “Barbarella,” a remake of another King adaptation, “Maximum Overdrive” and a new spin on 1980s TV actioner “MacGyver.”

Smith is now working on the “Firestarter” script. U hopes to get the pic into production next year, but has yet to take the project out to directors.

Besides the 1984 pic, cabler Syfy fielded a telepic in 2002 dubbed “Firestarter 2: Rekindled.”

Smith’s past credits include 2007’s “Vacancy” and 2009’s “The Hole.”

Smith is repped by ICM and Management 360.

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