This film is based VERY loosely on the novel of the same name. Specific differences include: The novel takes place in the year 2025. This film takes place in 2019, according to the DVD cover, two years after the collapse of world economy in 2017 advertised following the film title sequence. While this film takes place in California, the novel takes place on the Northeastern Coast of the United States, tracing Richards from Co-Op City, New York to Boston, Massachusetts; from Boston to Manchester, New Hampshire; and from Manchester to Portland and Derry, Maine (the former being Stephen King's hometown, the latter being the fictional primary setting for King's novels It, Dreamcatcher, "Insomnia," and "Bag of Bones"); then from Derry back to New York. Richards enters the game willingly as opposed to being forced to, in order to acquire money for his ailing infant daughter. He is deemed an enemy of the state and receives a hundred dollars for every hour he stays alive over a period of thirty days, an additional hundred for every law enforcement officer or "Hunter" (not "Stalker") he kills, and one billion in "New Dollars" (worth far more than original American dollars). As opposed to being confined to the site of an earthquake in California in the film, Richards can travel anywhere in the world to evade the Hunters, but must videotape two messages per day and courier them to the Games Network or forfeit his money. Richards, a Caucasian male, shows signs of racism early on in the novel, but is taken in by the Throckmortons, an African American family in Boston, and after he is told of the situations the government forces them to live in, decides to help them. Laughlin is a Caucasian, and enters the tournament willingly as does Richards. Laughlin eventually meets his end in Topeka, Kansas, where police burn the shed he hides in. Dan Killian (called Damon Killian in the film) is an African American. Killian is also the producer of "The Running Man," not the host. Unlike in the film, the only Hunter mentioned by name in the novel is Evan McCone, the chief Hunter, who is eventually shot dead by Richards. While in Boston, Richards escapes his pursuers by setting fire to a YMCA he is hiding in and narrowly escapes through a sewer pipe. The resulting fire kills five police officers. The ending is far more dire in the novel than in the film. In Derry, Maine, Richards carjacks a woman named Amelia Williams and makes his way to Derry's airport, hijacking a plane, where he also takes McCone hostage. As with in the film, Richards is given the chance to become leader Hunter (much to McCone's chagrin) by Killian, though unlike in the film, he accepts. He is later given the terrible news that both his wife and daughter had been killed even before he had even first appeared on "The Running Man," giving him time to ponder the offer more. Feeling he has nothing left to lose, Richards overpowers the flight crew and kills McCone, but is mortally wounded in the process. Setting Williams free via a parachute, Richards makes a suicide run on the Games Building in New York, killing Killian and everybody inside.