• The Running Man remake will have to update the original movie’s timeline due to the futuristic setting being too close to reality now.
  • Setting the new film in 2068 or later would preserve the story’s dystopian atmosphere and maintain the futuristic theme.
  • The 2025 release date is a nod to the original book, but the setting must be shifted to keep The Running Man feeling truly futuristic.


The recently-announced remake of The Running Man needs to change a detail that was an important aspect of the original version. The original adaptated sci-fi action movie came out in 1987 and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as Ben Richards, a former cop who was forced to compete in a deadly game show against other criminals, each of whom is fighting for survival. The movie was based on a story Stephen King wrote under the pen name Richard Bachmann and took place in what was then the distant future.

The Running Man remake recently cast Glen Powell in the title role. The new film reportedly will be more faithful to the original story than the 1987 version in many respects, including depicting Ben Richards as more of an everyday man rather than a muscular action hero. The film will likely also restore the settings of the book and its dystopian outlook These changes to The Running Man remake fixes Stephen King’s problem with the original. However, there is another change from the original movie the remake needs to adopt to truly be a stand-out film.


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Edgar Wright’s The Running Man Remake Will Have To Change The Original Movie’s Timeline

The Future The Movie Originally Took Place In Is Already Here

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Ben Richards and Yaphet Kotto as Laughlin in The Running Man

The original story took place in 2025. In 1987, that was the far-distant future, making it believable that society had advanced technologically but been stripped of its humanity to the point that it was forcing people to compete in deadly game shows. The Schwarzenegger version of The Running Man took place between 2017 and 2019, which were also so far in the future in 1987 that they seemed like they would never get here. However, the new film is first being cast in 2024, so 2017 is now the past and 2025 is just around the corner.

2025 could be the perfect Running Man release date because of the tie-in with the date of the original book. This would be a clever nod to the story, but it still wouldn’t work as the setting of a movie that is supposed to be set in a far-off dystopian future. A movie set in 2025 that comes out in 2025 is a contemporary film, not a sci-fi dystopian future movie, so keeping this date intact would change the atmosphere of the story.

Keeping the 2025 production date would be a fun Easter egg for super-fans who are aware of the setting of the original book.

Which Year Could Edgar Wright’s The Running Man Remake Be Set?

It Could Follow The Formula Of The Book

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Running Man with Gary King looking scared in The World's End

The original story was written in 1982, which was 43 years before TheRunning Man‘s setting. 43 years is close enough to half a century away to allow the movie writers to create a plausible future society, which is why King used such a far-off date in the first place. Thus, the most logical thing to do is to set the new version of the movie a full 43 years in the future from the production date, which would make the story set in 2068 or 2069.

The Running Man is a dystopian story set in a bleak future, so it needs a setting that is appropriately far away from the year of production. The production team should still aim for a 2025 release date in honor of the book’s original setting, but should move the story’s setting to 2068 or later to preserve the story’s futuristic setting. Since the remake has already committed to other changes from the original, it should not be a big deal to change this aspect of the story.

The original version of
The Running Man
streams on Paramount+ and MGM+.

The Running Man

Directed by Paul Michael Glaser, The Running Man is a sci-fi action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Captain Ben Richards, a former cop who’s forced to compete in a deadly game show where criminals fight for their lives. The 1987 movie is based on a Stephen King novel under his pen name Richard Bachman.

Paul Michael Glaser
Release Date
November 13, 1987
101 minutes

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