36 Years Later, Forgotten Stephen King Adaptation Gets a Reboot with Top Gun: Maverick Star

36 Years Later, Forgotten Stephen King Adaptation Gets a Reboot with Top Gun: Maverick Star
Image credit: Paramount Pictures, Legion-Media

It’s about time the OG 1987 adaptation with Arnold Schwarzenegger was replaced.


  • Stephen King ’s 1982 novel The Running Man received its first live-action adaptation starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987.
  • The story shows a dystopian future American society that has its own Hunger Games where victims are being killed by ruthless hunters.
  • The Running Man reboot will star Top Gun: Maverick’s Glen Powell and will be created by Scott Pilgrim alums Edgar Wright and writer Michael Bacall

No other book author in the history of forever can boast as many movie adaptations of his works as Stephen King. Throughout his career, this prolific author has written dozens of novels and hundreds of short stories, and many of them were at one point or another deemed worthy of getting a live-action version. Some of King’s biggest hits were adapted more than once, too — add one more to their number.

The Running Man Invented a Genre

While Stephen King typically wrote one book per year, sometimes, his inspiration took the better of him, and he published under a fake name to avoid blatantly breaking his own rule. The Running Man was one of the novels he released as one Richard Bachman, his alter ego. The 1982 book impressed the audience so much that it only took five years for it to receive its live-action adaptation.

The Running Man shows a dystopian future of the US (2019 in the movie & 2025 in the book) where the most popular form of entertainment is a titular reality show. Millions of people watched eagerly how helpless victims tried to escape from cruel hunters; Arnold Schwarzenegger, the lead star of the 1987 movie, portrayed a police officer who became one of the “participants” and decided to end the show.

So, Hunger Games 26 years before Hunger Games. That’s quite an achievement!

The Running Man to Get a Reboot

While a good movie (67% Tomatometer to this day!), the first adaptation is severely outdated now, and it’s about time The Running Man received a second life. In 2021, the intention was announced as well as the reboot’s director — it’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Shaun of the Dead’s Edgar Wright who’ll take over the wheel.

36 Years Later, Forgotten Stephen King Adaptation Gets a Reboot with Top Gun: Maverick Star - image 1

At the recent CinemaCon, it was revealed that Top Gun: Maverick star Glen Powell will fill in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shoes in the new version of The Running Man, but this time around, it’s unlikely to be a downright action thriller. Both director Edgar Wright and writer Michael Bacall are primarily known for their comedy, so there might be a little something meta going on there.

Have you watched 1987’s The Running Man?