‘I’ll be back’: Arnold Schwarzenegger thriller 'The Running Man' set for a remake

The new adaptation will be closer to Stephen King’s novel

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Running Man. Courtesy Sony Pictures
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

A popular scene in the 1987 film The Running Man sees star Arnold Schwarzenegger comes face to face with his nemesis.

About to be torpedoed into a murderous urban jungle as part of a dystopian television programme, his character Ben Richards, promises evil host Damon Killian (Richard Dawson): "I'll be back."

Not skipping a beat, Killian replies: “only in a rerun.”

Now, more than three decades later, that reboot is in the works.

Paramount Pictures has partnered with British director, Baby Driver's Edgar Wright, to develop the new adaptation, Deadline reports, originally based on Stephen King's 1982 novel written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman.

Wright will also co-develop the story while Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and 21 Jump Street) will write the script.

The move fulfils a career ambition of Wright.

In a Twitter exchange with fans in 2017, he said the only film he had a desire to remake was The Running Man.

What do we know about the new version?

While the cast has not been selected yet, the new version is expected to stay more faithful to the novel, which sees family man Ben Richards enlist in the game show, in which contestants must escape hunters to win a cash prize, to feed his struggling family.

The Running Man: A Novel bBy Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman published by Pocket Books. Courtesy Simon & Schuster

In the film, however, Richards is police officer forcibly enlisted in the programme as punishment for trumped up charges.

At the novel's heart is a timely message on the power of media and tech companies' manipulation of viewers and users.

This leads to an intriguing question: in which year will Wright's remake will be set?

In the novel and previous film, the story was based in a bleak dystopian future in 2017 and 2025 respectively.

With media and tech corporations currently bigger than ever and 2025 fast approaching, The Running Man's new screen version could be more realistic than King could have ever imagined.

EDITOR'S PICKS