“Promise me that you’ll never use your gifts to hurt people,” says Andy (Zac Efron) in the freshly-released trailer for Firestarter, an upcoming film based on Stephen King’s popular novel of the same name. The High School Musical star is talking to his young daughter, Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), a child with pyrokinetic capabilities who he hopes will use her powers in a responsible manner. For her part, Charlie seems to oblige. Like many otherworldly power-possessing individuals before her, Charlie takes a solemn oath. “I’ll only hurt bad people,” she tells him. “I promise.”
The latest installment in a long line of recent reboots and remakes, the upcoming Firestarter film follows in the footsteps of the 1984 film of the same name (which famously starred a young Drew Barrymore in the titular role) and its 2002 spinoff Sci-Fi miniseries Firestarter: Rekindled. Directed by rising star Keith Thomas (who was hand-selected by Blumhouse based on the strength of his feature debut, The Vigil, which the horror studio acquired after its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in 2019), this new Firestarter will hopefully introduce a new generation to the thrilling story of Charlie and her very supportive parents.
According to a press release, the film follows Andy and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon), who, “for more than a decade…have been on the run, desperate to hide their daughter Charlie from a shadowy federal agency that wants to harness her unprecedented gift for creating fire into a weapon of mass destruction.” Andy, ever the caring parent, “has taught Charlie how to defuse her power, which is triggered by anger or pain. But as Charlie turns 11, the fire becomes harder and harder to control.”
The action picks up “after an incident reveals the family’s location,” exposing them to “a mysterious operative [who] is deployed to hunt down the family and seize Charlie once and for all.” But his schemes might be harder to execute than he imagines. After all, the powerful Charlie “has other plans.”
In addition to Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, and Sydney Lemmon, Firestarter also stars Wild Indian’s Michael Greyeyes, Hitchcock’s Kurtwood Smith, The Purge: Anarchy’s John Beasley, and Lincoln’s Gloria Reuben. The film features a score by celebrated Halloween composer John Carpenter.
Watch the high-energy trailer below.
Firestarter hits theaters and Peacock on May 13.