EntertainmentFrom tough guy on-screen to another adaptation in progress

From tough guy on‑screen to another adaptation in progress

Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie "The Running Man" from 1987.
Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie "The Running Man" from 1987.
Images source: © Getty Images | Collection Christophel 2022 ftp
1:41 PM EST, December 2, 2023

Stephen King's novels are frequently adapted for the screen. Currently, another adaptation of his novel "The Running Man," which he published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman in 1979, is in progress. This isn't the first encounter with this title, though. Over 35 years ago, the lead character was portrayed by the popular action movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Paul Michael Glaser directed the first adaptation. It featured Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in leading roles in the film "It's better late than never." The plot was set in the year 2019 when a wrongfully accused police officer was imprisoned for a staged massacre in the streets of Los Angeles. From prison, the protagonist ends up in the titular television program, where professional killers pursue contestants. A death in the game signifies a real-life demise.

Latest adaptation

Noted director Edgar Wright, known for films like "Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz – The Serious Boys," "Baby Driver," and "Last Night in Soho," is now working on another adaptation of the renowned American writer's novel. On the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, Wright disclosed this project and a remake of "Barbarella – Queen of the Galaxy," Roger Vadim's influential film from 1968, starring Jane Fonda.

Wright shared his thoughts about reviving past productions and reinventing them creatively, given the technological advancements. He opined, "The problem with remakes these days is that they often resemble exact replicas of the original films, which I find quite uninspiring. To me, they are akin to karaoke versions of the originals."

The Running Man (1987) Trailer Remastered HD

Unfaithful to the book

Wright saw Glaser's "The Running Man" as a teenager and acknowledged that he felt the film didn't align with King's book. "I don't think anyone has faithfully adapted this book. So when [film producer] Simon Kinberg proposed 'The Running Man,' I felt that the time was ripe for a genuine adaptation. It's not going to be straightforward, but we're working on it," recounted Wright.

Related content