Without a doubt, my favorite of King’s Bachman books is The Running Man. It’s by far the most propulsive and lead protagonist Ben Richards is somewhat of an erstwhile anti-hero. I was never that big a fan of the movie adaptation of the same name. The 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was more of an a-typical vehicle for Arnie’s signature one-liners.
For those who don’t know, the book follows Richards as he participates in a game show where he can go anywhere in the world he chooses but is pursued by bloodthirsty hunters. Survive and he wins his freedom and the golden goose. The 1987 film changed things up a bit with Richard’s and his fellow contestants being contained to a specific area while comic book-ish hunters, each with their own special ability, sought to take them out.
Early word has it that Edgar Wright’s new take on The Running Man will stick closer to King/Bachman’s book with more of an open-world approach. It’s also notable that while the first movie’s Richards was a more or less squeaky clean dude framed by the system, the book’s Richards wasn’t exactly a law-abiding citizen; not so much a true baddie, but more a victim of bad choices made in dire circumstances. Certainly a more compelling character.