The Legendary John Carpenter Is Doing The Musical Score For The Firestarter Remake

"I don't want to hurt anyone, but it feels kind of good." Baby kicks some tires and lights some fires in the new adaptation of Stephen King's 1980 sci-fi/horror novel "Firestarter," updating it from the 1984 Mark L. Lester adaptation of a generation past. Universal Pictures just dropped an official trailer, and the hottest new revelation is the attachment of John Carpenter to handle the musical score, joining his fellow "Halloween" (2018) composers Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. There's a slight irony here: Carpenter was originally hired to helm the 1984 "Firestarter" adaptation. But when his film "The Thing" flopped at the box office, the studio replaced Carpenter with Lester. 

This new iteration of King's incendiary classic thriller comes via the producers of Leigh Whannell's "The Invisible Man," and aims to channel a similar feminine perseverance over patriarchal powers-that-be. The synopsis, per Universal:

A young girl with extraordinary pyrokinetic powers fights to protect her family and herself from sinister forces that seek to capture and control her. For more than a decade, parents Andy (Zac Efron) and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon) have been on the run, desperate to hide their daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) from a shadowy federal agency that wants to harness her unprecedented gift for creating fire into a weapon of mass destruction.

Andy 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. After an incident reveals the family's location, a mysterious operative (Michael Greyeyes) is deployed to hunt down the family and seize Charlie once and for all. Charlie has other plans.

The film also stars Kurtwood Smith, who has played some of cinema's great sons-of-bitches like Clarence Boddicker of "Robocop." Joining Smith are John Beasley ("The Purge: Anarchy"), and Gloria Reuben ("Mr. Robot"). "Firestarter" is directed by Keith Thomas, whose religious-horror festival darling "The Vigil" made /Film's list of creepy movies you should be streaming. The adapted screenplay is penned by "Halloween Kills" scribe Scott Teems. Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum produces alongside Oscar-winner Akiva Goldsman, who produces for Weed Road Pictures. Executive producers include Ryan Turek, Gregory Lessans, Scott Teems, Martha De Laurentiis, J.D. Lifshitz, and Raphael Margules.

I'm the Firestarter, Twisted Firestarter

Tangerine Dream provided the music for the 1984 adaptation, and for anyone else those might be big shoes to fill, but not only are John Carpenter's scores among the most recognizable in horror outside of Harry Manfredini's jarring strings or prog-rockers Goblin, the "Assault on Precinct 13" director has handled a King adaptation once before, delivering the pulsing, unrelenting outlaw beats of "Christine," which he also directed. 

But "Firestarter" is a tale of fury and abandon — King himself dedicated the novel to horror author Shirley Jackson, "who never needed to raise her voice." So it tracks that the score would refract the emotional turmoil of a young girl told, like Elsa of "Frozen" to conceal and control her emotions at a time when that's truly the last thing one can realistically expect of an adolescent. It'll be a treat to see Carpenters Sr. and Jr., along with Davies, translate rage against the machine through the synthesizer and onto the big screen.

"Firestarter" will arrive in theaters and be available to stream only on Peacock May 13, 2021.