Deadline is reporting that Edgar Wright is set to direct a new/faithful version of Stephen King’s The Running Man for Paramount Pictures, taking more cues from the original King story than the 1987 film that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film took liberties with the source material to make it conform into a Schwarzenegger action pic.
Wright will co-write the story with Scott Pilgrim collaborator Michael Becall, who will ultimately write the script. The novel published under the faux name Richard Bachman had elements that weren’t used in the film including Ben’s sick daughter and how he signs up for the game show to pay her medical bills.
The Running Man is set within a dystopian future in which the poor are seen more by the government as worrisome rodents than actual human beings. The protagonist of The Running Man, Ben Richards, is quick to realize this as he watches his daughter, Cathy, grow more sick by the day and tread closer and closer to death. Desperate for money to pay Cathy’s medical bills, Ben enlists himself in a true reality style game show where the objective is to merely stay alive.
Given how well Wright handles action I’m sure it will be a substantial modern upgrade.
The original film version became a bit of a cult hit and one of the better Arnold flicks that aged reasonably well given it’s rocky production and a few problematic scenes.
THE RUNNING MAN – In the year 2019, America is a totalitarian state where the favorite television program is “The Running Man” — a game show in which prisoners must run to freedom to avoid a brutal death. Having been made a scapegoat by the government, an imprisoned Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has the opportunity to make it back to the outside again by being a contestant on the deadly show, although the twisted host, Damon Killian (Richard Dawson), has no intention of letting him escape.