Why did casting Arnold Schwarzenegger force the screenwriter of The Running Man to deviate from Stephen King’s book?

Anyone who has read Stephen King’s novel The running Man it is almost certain that he is aware that the The 1987 film adaptation starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is far from faithful. Both are dystopian stories centering around a protagonist named Ben Richards who takes part in a killer TV game show, but the book and movie take that idea in very different directions.

Reflecting on King’s work, one can see multiple reasons why it would be difficult to bring it to the big screen, but according to screenwriter Steven de Souza, it was really the project being planned as a Schwarzenegger vehicle that prevented greater fidelity. Why? Because Ben Richards in the novel is a sickly, desperate, unemployed individual, and de Souza doesn’t think any audience will buy the idea that a person who looks like The predator star would ever be out of a job.

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