Hollywood Finally Gets it Right with The Runner Film

Adapting the story of a KPU student publication is Tinseltown’s first good idea in years.

Danielle George / The Runner

The Runner has never been one to shy away from the limelight. We’ve been breaking stories at KPU for nearly eight years now: When the student government was deceiving and defrauding Kwantlen students, we were there to report it. When the administration signed a controversial MOU with Oil Giant Kinder Morgan, we were there to cover it. And when Grumpy Cat released her long-awaited holiday special, we were there to help you make desperate sense of this grim madness we call reality.

But now we must finally look inward as the newspaper itself becomes the focus of the summer’s sure to be blockbuster classic, The Runner.

No more will Kwantlen students be forced to stare longingly into the pages of our beloved newsmag and wonder blithely to themselves, “What’s it like to work at The Runner?” Now that question will be answered in glorious technicolour by a host of Hollywood’s most talented. All the adventure of taking a pitch at a contributor meeting, the tragedy of having an interview subject not return your call, the exquisite glory of copy editing!

Student journalism at KPU will finally receive its big screen premiere, and frankly we here at the paper couldn’t be more excited. Few details have surfaced about the movie, but we’ve been able to compile a basic run-down of the plot based on the YouTube trailer and a few poorly spelled reviews on IMDB.

Nicholas Cage, of course, stars as our intrepid Coordinating Editor, Tristan Johnston, as he daringly helms a team of courageous and surprisingly marketable editors. Only Cage’s dynamic range, his raw intensity could properly convey Johnston’s passion for journalism. Cage spoke to us in a phone interview from his Hollywood home.

“It was a REAL PLEASURE getting to tell Mr. Johnston’s STORY,” claims Cage, wildly articulating nouns and adjectives with seemingly inexplainable abandon. “I lived in his mother’s house for THREE MONTHS just trying to capture his-his-his-HIS UN-ABIDING LOVE of Kwantlen Polytechnic University.”

The rest of the cast is rounded out by a who’s-who of Hollywood royalty. Street-smart Executive Editor Sam Thompson, who teaches the staff how to believe in themselves, is played marvellously by Connie Nielsen. Wise old Kier Christer-Junos, The Runner’s resident Staff Writer, is brought to life by the great Peter Fonda. And Operations Manager Scott Boux is portrayed, in devastatingly honest fashion, by the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

But what was it about The Runner that made Hollywood superstars want to tell this story?

“I truly RELISHED THE CHANCE to inhabit Mr. Johnston’s mind,” says Cage. “I saw things in there that NO MORTAL MAN could EVER RECTIFY with a just and caring God.”

Cage went on to explain, “The BEES! They’ve FOUND ME!” before emitting an uninterrupted three and-a-half minute scream. The line then went dead.

Executives at the newspaper are hoping the film exposes The Runner to a wider audience, and gets the word out that we are actively seeking Kwantlen students to contribute writing, photography and illustrations to the publication. If you’re interested in taking part in Kwantlen’s news and culture leader, just make your way to our offices on the third floor of the Surrey Library, behind the elevators. Stop by our contributor meetings every Monday at 1p.m., or email managing@runnermag.ca if you can’t make that time. We pay all contributors for their work!

Also be sure to keep an eye out for the sequel, The Maze Runner, which I’m assuming is about that one time Scott got lost in the Richmond Campus and had to start a fire to get people to come and rescue him.