The wave of movies and television shows based on Stephen King properties shows no sign of ending, and it seems that this will include even more reboots as after Pet Sematary back in the spring, we could now be getting a new version of The Running Man. The 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle represented a loose adaptation of King’s original book, which was written under his pseudonym of Richard Bachman, and according to sources close to We Got This Covered – the same ones who told us the leads in Ghostbusters 3 would be young teens, and that Jonah Hill would be starring in The Batman – a remake is now in the early stages development.
Unfortunately, we weren’t told which studio is handling it and domestic and international rights for the pic are heavily segmented. You see, TriStar Pictures (now Sony) had a theatrical release in 1987, but Lionsgate were behind a Blu-ray release in the 2010s. Whether or not the decision to remake the movie has anything to do with the copyright issue for 1980s properties we recently reported on is also unclear, at least at this early stage.
For those not in the know, The Running Man is set between 2017 and 2019 and offers a (scarily) accurate future where a police state censors culture and runs brutal reality game shows to punish convicted criminals. Schwarzenegger played Ben Richards, a helicopter pilot framed for murder, who after capture is placed into “The Running Man” contest. There, he has to fight for a pardon by fending off costumed “stalkers” in a deserted area of Los Angeles. This being Schwarzenegger, though, things don’t go well for the state-backed game show.
The timely subject matter and the game show plot gives whoever takes on the project a lot of space to update the material and if handled well, a remake could turn out to be pretty interesting in our current cinematic climate. Of course, there was talk of a new take on the property back in 2011 and 2014, which would have either been a reboot or a sequel to the 1980s movie. And although that didn’t make it past the development stage, the popularity of King and possibly the chance to exploit the rights make a fresh take on The Running Man a plausible idea.
As always, we’ll be keeping an eye out for further news about the project, including whether Schwarzenegger will be involved, so be sure to stay tuned for more details as we get them.