Stephen King Starts Universal's Fire. Get It?

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In the grand lexicon of universal fears, fire is right up there somewhere between spiders and clowns. So it's no wonder that Stephen King, who has of course made a living writing about everything terrible in this world (including both spiders and clowns), was able to turn "Firestarter" into a cult hit starring Drew Barrymore back in 1984. No, the real wonder is that it has taken over a quarter of a century for Hollywood to decide they needed to do a remake.

Well, that wait is finally over, as Variety is reporting that Universal Studios and the De Laurentiis production company have given the greenlight to a new version of "Firestarter" -- and this time they're hoping to turn it into a franchise.

"We see this as a unique, character-driven thriller with a supernatural edge, based on a timeless concept and enhanced by recent visual effects advances," production head Martha De Laurentiis said in a press release.

We're not sure just how timeless this concept is -- prior to King's 1980 novel, the only notable woman on fire in history would seem to be Joan of Arc -- but there's no doubt that King's stories have proven to be a nearly endless source of material for Hollywood.

Still, even as enduring as "Firestarter" has proven to be over the years -- besides being a horror favorite, a made-for-TV sequel aired earlier this decade -- Universal is planning to tweak the formula for modern audiences by reinventing the main character with "more edge."

"'Firestarter' has a great mythology," Universal president of production Debbie Liebling said. "We believe the franchise can be extended in a new and exciting direction."

And that's not just blowing smoke.