×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Kung Fu Panda 3

    Universal's Beijing Resort to Partner With Alibaba on Digitization

    Amid fierce controversy about the leverage China has over U.S. entertainment firms with significant mainland operations, Universal Beijing Resort and Alibaba announced a strategic partnership Thursday to digitize the forthcoming theme park in China’s capital. Facial recognition and the use of big data will be the norm at the new resort, which will use an [...]

  • They Shall Not Grow Old restoration

    Peter Jackson Documentary 'They Shall Not Grow Old' Nabs Limited China Release

    The Peter Jackson produced and directed World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” will hit Chinese theaters on November 11. Though it will roll out nationwide, it will do so via the China’s National Arthouse Alliance, which has limited screens. The 2018 documentary puts together interviews with WWI veterans and more than 100-year-old [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    'Zombieland: Double Tap' Hopes to Recapture Raunchy Zombie Magic, 10 Years Later

    Audiences may have a few questions about the sequel to 2009’s hit “Zombieland,” which opens Friday. Why did it take 10 years to make a second one, after the first grossed $102.4 million worldwide on a $23 million budget, making it the third-biggest zombie movie of all time (second-biggest if you don’t count “Hotel Transylvania,” [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Accused of Firing VP Who Complained of Gender Pay Gap

    A former vice president at AMC Theatres filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday, accusing the company of firing her after she complained that she was paid far less than her male peers. Tonya Mangels, who was vice president of product marketing, said that in March 2018 her supervisor inadvertently sent her a spreadsheet that included [...]

  • Sir Elton John poses for photographers

    Elton John Calls 'Lion King' Remake a 'Huge Disappointment'

    Elton John isn’t feeling the love for Disney’s latest live-action remake. In an interview with GQ U.K., the legendary musician criticized Disney’s remake of “The Lion King,” citing the film’s music as a “huge disappointment.” “The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music [...]

  • Fiddlin'

    Film Review: 'Fiddlin''

    Not many forms of music have “old-” actually built into their name as a prefix. So it’s a given that the practitioners of the 200-year-old genre known as “old-time music” will wear their antiquity proudly in “Fiddlin’,” a documentary set in and around the 80th annual Old Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Va. What may not [...]

  • Jonah Hill attends the press conference

    Jonah Hill Passes on Role in 'The Batman'

    After being offered a role in “The Batman,” Jonah Hill has moved on from the project. Why exactly Hill is passing is currently unknown, and insiders tell Variety that when the news was initially reported, it was very early in the negotiations and that a deal was far from closing. The news comes after Zoe [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content