It’s time to start running!
As reported in Deadline, Edgar Wright will direct a new adaptation of The Running Man, the dystopian novel writen by Stephen King under the nom de guerre Richard Bachman.
A 1987 film version directed by Paul Michael Glaser that was heavy on the neon and spandex featured a wild cast of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Dawson, Yaphet Kotto, María Conchita Alonso, Jesse Ventura, Mick Fleetwood, Dweezil Zappa, and Professor Toru Tanaka as Sub-Zero (now plain zero!)
Wright’s update, which will be produced by Simon Kinberg for Paramount, will be more faithful to the original book, according to Deadline.
The Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver director will develop the story with Michael Bacall, who will write the script. The two previously collaborated on the adaptation of Brian Lee O’Malley‘s comic Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
The project is reportedly a “top priority” for Paramount, and comes as Wright is preparing his spring release of the time traveling Last Night In Soho, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, Matt Smith, Rita Tushingham, Terence Stamp, and Diana Rigg with Focus. This year’s Sundance saw the premiere of his first documentary feature, The Sparks Brothers, a detailed celebration of the cult band Sparks.
King’s novel is set in the future (the year 2025! In the movie 2017!) in which America is a totalitarian state enraptured by a violent survivalist television game show not unlike The Hunger Games. Supposedly King-as-Bachman wrote the first and only draft of the novel in less than a week. Its conclusion, not used for the Schwarzenegger film, mirrors the methods of destruction used by the 9/11 terrorists. It remains to be seen if Wright will go that route.
The film offers many pleasures, but at the time was most notable for seeing Richard Dawson as a villain. In 1987, the smooch-happy host of Family Feud was a ubiquitous television presence, but had not done any film acting in nearly two decades. Casting for this project ought to be a hoot.
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