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John Rainbird is the central antagonist of the 1980 Stephen King book Firestarter and it's 1984 film adaptation as well as in the 2022 remake.
He is also the main antagonist in the 2002 two-part TV-miniseries Firestarter 2: Rekindled
2002 sequel, he was portrayed by British character-actor Malcolm McDowell who also played villains like Dr. Soran in Star Trek: Generations, Caligula in the scandalous 1979 film of the same name or Alex in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwerk Orange.
In the 2022 remake, he was played by Canadian actor Michael Greyeyes.
John Rainbird is a killer in the service of Captain Hollister, the leader of The Shop. He murders Doctor Joseph Wanless when he becomes a threat to Hollister.
Later Hollister sends Rainbird to capture Andy and Charlie and to end the release of information. Rainbird successfully captures Andy and Charlie and takes on the role of pretending to be an orderly so he can get Charlie's trust, friendship, and get her to submit to the tests. He also tells her a false story that he was a POW in the Vietnam War (he was in the war, but was never captured).
Rainbird is also scared of the dark because he loses his focus.
When Charlie gets a note from Andy, she tells Rainbird about their escape. He had wanted to kill both her and Andy so he hides in the barn. He almost gets Charlie to climb the ladder to him but his plan fails when Andy enters the barn. She asks her dad if they can take Rainbird with them, but discovers the truth that Rainbird planned on killing both of them in the first place.
Rainbird tells Charlie if she comes to him then he will spare Andy's life. When Hollister enters, Rainbird kills him. Andy then influences Rainbird to jump down from the loft, breaking his leg. Rainbird then fatally shoots Andy, before trying to kill Charlie. He is then killed by Charlie and he along with the rest of the villains is burned and destroyed.
- In the 2022 film adaptation, unlike in the novel and its movies, Rainbird survived. He also redeemed himself at the end by saving Charlie from the Shop agents.
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Secret Window, Secret Garden
The Dark Half
Storm of the Century
Lunch at the Gotham Café
From a Buick 8
A Good Marriage
Gwendy's Button Box
In The Tall Grass
Locke & Key
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer
The Gingerbread Girl
The Night Flier
Why We're In Vietnam