Edgar Wright is reportedly locking down a deal to develop a new adaptation of Stephen King’s The Running Man for Paramount Pictures. The Shaun of the Dead director will helm the new movie and help screenwriter Michael Bacall with the story, which will be “much more faithful” to King’s 1983 dystopian novel that he originally published under his Richard Bachman pen name. When asked in 2017 if he’d ever considered directing a film that wasn’t his original creation, Wright surprisingly said that he’d love a chance to remake The Running Man, and it looks like that day has arrived. Via Deadline:
Paul Michael Glaser directed the original, and Schwarzenegger starred with Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura, with the late Richard Dawson playing the over-caffeinated and manipulative game show host who narrated a battle to the death where contestants went against paid gladiators, in the backdrop of an oppressive government sending dissidents to their death for huge ratings in hi-tech gladiator matches.
Wright’s take on The Running Man is a “top priority” for Paramount as studios scramble for blockbuster hits to recoup losses from the pandemic. Of course, adapting King’s work is always a tricky proposition. While there have been recent successes with the It films and HBO’s The Outsider, the CBS All Access reboot of The Stand has led to mixed results. Adapting King’s magnum opus The Dark Tower into a feature film starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey was also a notable flop. However, given Wright’s signature style and his very selective choice of creative projects, The Running Man is looking like one of the more promising Stephen King films.