The C&I reader favorite will find himself in a hot spot when the thriller based on Stephen King’s novel opens May 13.
Michael Greyeyes looms large as a relentless special op on the trail of a young girl with pyrotechnical abilities in Firestarter, a new thriller based on Stephen King’s 1980 novel set for release May 13 in theaters and on Peacock.
This is the second time King’s best-seller has been brought to the screen: Back in 1984, director Mark L. Lester (Class of 1984, Commando) gave us an adaptation starring Drew Barrymore as the girl whose abilities to control heat and fire are of grave concern to a government agency known as The Shop, and George C. Scott — yes, that George C. Scott — as John Rainbird, the assassin searching for her.
Rainbird is identified as Cherokee in King’s original novel, but in the 1984 movie he was — well, the dude who won (and refused) an Academy Award for playing the title role in Patton. In the new film directed by Keith Thomas (The Vigil), however, Rainbird is back to being a Native American. Even so, he’s still not Mr. Nice Guy.
During our August/September 2021 cover-story profile of Greyeyes, we chatted briefly about his casting in Firestarter.
C&I: As a young man — well, as a younger man — I’m sure you had certain goals, certain ambitions as an actor. But did you ever think you’d be playing a role originally played by George C. Scott?
Greyeyes: [Laughs.] No, no. Actually, we just started production today on Firestarter and I’m a huge fan of George C. Scott. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched his performance in Dr. Strangelove, but it is simply one of the greatest film performances ever — ever — by any actor. But when he was cast in the role of Rainbird in the original film, it was an era in Hollywood where Indigenous actors were simply not considered for these kinds of significant roles. Things have changed considerably. And when this project first came onto our radar, and they were talking about the role of Rainbird, George C. Scott sort of always was looming in the conversation. But my reps and I have always looked at it in a simple way: It’s like, look, I’m not competing with George C. Scott. But we are taking the role back.