The writer wrote the book under a pseudonym in 1982 to prove his fame wasn’t just a fluke. Will Edgar Wright be able to do the story justice?
Stephen King famously disliked Paul Michael Glaser’s 1987 adaptation of his novel The Running Man, which retained little of its plot and miscast Arnold Schwarzenegger as its weak and desperate protagonist Ben Richards. So here is Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright’s chance to do it justice.
The Running Man was first published in 1982 under King’s pseudonym Richard Bachmann. It is a dystopian sci-fi novel set in 2025 where America is run by a totalitarian government. In this dog-eat-dog world, citizens participate in a violent television show, not unlike The Hunger Games—a story as prescient as ever. King reportedly wrote the forward-looking novel in less than a week (in 72 hours in fact), a record for the prolific writer. When asked which film he’d most like to remake, Wright said he’d choose this one way back in 2017. It seems the stars finally aligned.
The new film will reportedly remain more faithful to the novel, although Wright will no doubt want to put his own stamp on it. This can only be a good thing if Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Baby Driver are anything to go by.
On this project, Wright will once again be joined by Michael Bacall who co-wrote the script for Scott Pilgrim. Cast and production dates are still in the works, with further details yet to be revealed.
The director premiered his first feature documentary The Sparks Brothers—about the art pop duo Ron and Russell Mael—at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. All in all, it’s set to be a big year for Edgar Wright.
Words by Camilla Patini
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