That’s not a bad question really, but it’s one that might have a few different answers. For one, the original story didn’t make it onto the screen if anyone’s keeping track. The Running Man, which was written by Stephen King as Richard Bachman, featured a very different story that wasn’t anything like a psychotic, American Gladiators death match. But the movie we did get wasn’t too horrible for the time despite some of the cheesy dialogue and a couple of the characters. Considering the quality of movies we’re getting today it could work to be fair since the characters that were introduced were kind of interesting in their own way and in a world such as the one that was featured in the movie it’s reasonable to think that this idea would be accepted. Think about the whole reason that Ben Richards, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, was sent to prison and then, when captured, placed on the Running Man show. He was accused of firing on innocent civilians that were in the midst of a food riot because they were hungry and trying to rebel against those that were keeping the food from them. Imagine how that would work in the current era and you might be able to come up with a few different ways that it could really hit the audience in the feels.
The outfits are a bit much to be sure but perhaps if they were fitted with tracking devices or some sort of device that would hamper the contestants in some way it could be called good sport by the game designers and make it just unfair enough that the stalkers, those individuals that were actively hunting the contestants, could bring them down or at least give them a tough fight. Some of the stalkers didn’t even get that much screen time while others were just flat out ridiculous and should definitely be reworked. Sub Zero was kind of interesting as his arena was definitely counted as treacherous terrain and his weapon, a blade fashioned in the shape of a hockey stick, should have been insanely deadly. Dynamo would need a serious rework since not only is his design kind of funky-looking even for the original movie, but his serious weakness is that he was a big fat guy that shot lightning bolts from his suit. Yeah, not that effective since he got killed by electrocution when a sprinkler went off and fried him in his suit. We didn’t get to see a whole lot of Fireball or Captain Freedom, apart from the computer-generated fight between Freedom and Richards. Buzzsaw was kind of an interesting character until Richards neutered him the hard way, while the only one that might have given Richards any problems, the security guard Sven, just walked away at the end of it since he’d taken enough of Killian’s, the main antagonist, garbage. Simon Brew from Den of Geek had more to say about this movie a while back.
Being serious, the idea isn’t that bad, but it does feel as if the movie was to get a reboot it would likely come in the form of the book, which also wouldn’t be bad since the book was an easy read and one that made a person want to keep reading until the end. Instead of being a convict though Richards was a man that had no other options but to go on the game show to obtain the kind of money he needed for his ailing daughter’s treatment. At the end of the book he plows a plane into a skyscraper, killing himself and Killian. It’s less of a happy ending than the movie, but it still has the revenge angle that works for the whole story. The trouble is that one has to wonder if it’s marketable at the moment since this is more of an action story whereas the books the kind of King stories that have been seeing a lot of exposure lately are those that have more of the horror/supernatural lean to them such as IT and even Mr. Mercedes and The Outsider. King has been known as the master of horror for a while now and to be fair his action stories almost feel a bit unfinished at times, kind of like a lot of his endings. Oh yes, like so many others, I said it.
But the idea of bringing this story to the big screen is a lot better than trying to make a series out of it since that series would need to be extremely limited and not more than a season. If more than one season did occur it would be best to delve a little deeper into the rebellion that Killian was facing and how it came to be, and why. But keeping it simple would be a lot more enticing since this movie was good for its time, and could be better for the current era.