COLLIDER – Today marks the 40th anniversary of Stephen King‘s classic novel Firestarter, so it’s fitting that Collider can exclusively report that Zac Efron has signed on to star in a new adaptation of the sci-fi thriller from Universal, Blumhouse and Weed Road.
Up-and-coming filmmaker Keith Thomas will direct from a script by Blumhouse favorite Scott Teems (Halloween Kills). King’s 1980 novel followed a young girl who develops pyrokinetic abilities and is abducted by a secret government agency that wants to harness her powerful gift as a weapon.
Efron will play the girl’s father, Andy McGee, and given the fact that he turns 33 next month and Drew Barrymore was only eight years old when she filmed the original Firestarter, there’s no question he could conceivably play the parent of a young child. In fact, Efron just signed on to star in a Three Men and a Baby remake for Disney+.
Jason Blum is producing for Blumhouse alongside Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman and his Weed Road banner, while Martha De Laurentiis will executive produce alongside Teems, having served as an associate producer on the original 1984 movie.
That fiery film starred a young Barrymore alongside David Keith and Heather Locklear as her parents. The film also featured a top-notch supporting cast that included Martin Sheen, George C. Scott, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher. Of course, any Firestarter remake will come down to the little girl at its center, and I already floated the name of one young actress when this project was first announced.
Efron is coming off the best reviews of his career for his turn as Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and I’ve enjoyed his recent turns in hip indies such as The Beach Bum and The Disaster Artist. He also hosted the successful Netflix docuseries Down to Earth with Zac Efron. The actor is represented by CAA and Alchemy Entertainment and and Felker, Toczek, Suddleson, Abramson.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Gordon Gray, who last made the Ben Affleck-starring drama ‘The Way Back,’ is producing.
Zac Efron is getting in touch with his paternal side.
Efron is on board to star in Three Men and a Baby, a remake of the 1987 comedy being made by Disney.
The remake is intended for Disney+ with Disney’s live-action division running point. Gordon Gray, best known for his inspirational sports dramas such as The Rookie and this year’s Ben Affleck-starring The Way Back, is producing.
Initially a remake of a French film, Three Men brought together a trio of 1980s stars – Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson – as New York bachelors who find themselves caring, and subsequently, falling for, an infant. Drug dealers who threatened the child also figured into the plot.
The movie was directed by Leonard Nimoy and proved to be a major hit, becoming the first live-action Disney film to cross the $100 million mark domestically. It was followed by Three Men and a Little Lady in 1990 that reunited the cast but not Nimoy.
Will Reichel wrote the script for the remake. It is unclear how the material will be updated.
A search for a director is underway.
Efron’s boarding of Three Men marks a return to Disney for the actor, who became a star thanks for his breakout turns in the High School Musical movies over a decade ago.
He has spent that time in a wide-range of movies and last year earned raves for starring in indie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, in which he portrayed serial killer Ted Bundy, and opposite Matthew McConaughey in comedy The Beach Bum. He can currently be seen in Down to Earth, a documentary series he also executive produced via his Ninjas Runnin Wild Productions and released on Netflix in July. The show features Efron roaming the world exploring sustainability.
Efron is repped by CAA, Alchemy Entertainment and Felker Toczek.