So we’ve all head by now that there will be a second reboot of the Friday the 13th franchise. While I’m not convinced it’s necessary, and there has been a certain amount of backlash, we’re going to take a look at what we know so far, and what we’d like to see next for Jason. As ever, we want to hear your views, so please comment and tell us what you make of the idea.
On July 12th 2013, it was leaked that New Line Cinema had picked up “an untitled and top-secret horror pitch” from Damian Shannon and Mark Swi, best known as writers for the 2009 reboot, and Freddy vs Jason. At this point, all that was revealed was, “It is described as a potential franchise starter. It is not part of the micro-budget and found-footage trend.” and that Chris Bender, J.C. Spink and Jake Weiner of New Line-based BenderSpink would be producing. However, New Line Cinema (which is owned by Warner Bros.) relinquished their film rights to the Friday the 13th series back to Paramount as part of a deal that allows Warner Bros. to co-produce Interstellar. One week later, Derek Mears revealed that Paramount is working with Platinum Dunes to make a new instalment “as fast as possible”.
The original creator of the franchise Sean Cunningham gave a little more information later in the year. He confirmed that “There will be another Friday the 13th, which will probably get shot in the spring. If it all goes as I would like, it would then be released at the beginning of 2015.” At the same time, he confirmed that the 2015 reboot would not tie into the Freddy vs. Jason universe in any way, but did express an interest in reviving the showdown. “I think the chances are good,” he explains for an eventual Freddy vs. Jason sequel, “for a couple of reasons, but I think it will ultimately be a marketing concept. Right now, I think the audience would have to start getting bored with the Friday… movie by itself or the Freddy movie by itself. I don’t think it’s going to happen in the next short period of time.
For those of you who want to see the slashers battle once again, he expanded, explaining – “The other reason that I think it’s a possibility is that we spent so much effort in trying to find a way to get the two of them together in a movie that was action-packed and unpredictable that we had lots of material that was unused, It becomes possible to use it, or at least basic ideas or structural ideas that are already in place. We don’t have to start from scratch.”
At this point, plans for a new Jason Voorhees centred TV show were also confirmed. In September 2003, during a panel session at the Maniafest convention, Sean Cunningham had spoken about the possibility of bringing Friday the 13th to television, with the series focusing on a group of teenagers living in the Crystal Lake area. On October 22, 2005, Cunningham discussed the potential series further. He explained that the idea was to call the series Crystal Lake Chronicles, and “set [it] in a town with all this Jason history”. The series would focus more on “coming-of-age issues”, in a similar style to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek, and Smallville, with Jason as more of a recurring “background” character. When discussing the reboot, and possibilities for Freddy vs Jason, he also covered this ongoing project saying – “We’ve been on-again off-again with that for years and there are a bunch of great stories to be told, but I think the way that it’s finally going to get delivered is not through a conventional television network, but through the Internet.”
Sean Cunningham also managed to excite fans with the statement “I think we even have an idea for a terrific Friday the 13thvideo game.” Jason doesn’t exactly have a great history with video games, his most famous effort being a decidedly ‘meh…’ attempt back on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Other efforts include a Nokia game named Road to Hell, and a couple of decent fan games. But fans have been wanting a genuinely scary game for decades, and it finally sounds like a real possibility.
A few months ago, an initial release date of March 13, 2015 was announced. It’s also been revealed that a found footage style has not been ruled out, and that a script has not been entirely decided on. Dunes production company is run by Brad Fuller, who discussed the possibility of a found footage reboot – “It’s something that we’re looking at, yeah. I never know because it depends on the story and what the story is. It’s been reported, that’s something that we’re looking into but I can’t tell you definitively that that’s what the movie is… I’m well acquainted with some very loud members of the audience who hate found footage and I understand that. I think for us it’s more about what the story is and what’s the best way to tell it. Until we figure out exactly what the story is for the next Friday the 13th movie, I can’t tell you what it’s going to be.”
Perhaps most shockingly, he also hinted that Jason may not be present at all in the reboot. When questioned over who would be playing the iconic villain, he explained – “Again, I don’t know because I don’t know if we’re going to have Jason, I don’t know which Jason we’re going to have. I can tell you this: I love Derek Mears, I love working with him and he’s a dream so we’d be lucky to have him.”
Here’s just a few things I would like to see from the decision to reboot the franchise –
1. A genuine horror game
The last time I was really freaked out by a video game was Half Life 2, so a genuinely scary video game accompaniment to the reboot would be awesome. Yes, Jason doesn’t have a great history with video games, and movie tie-ins tend to suck, but we can hope, right? The ability to play as Jason, and stalk teenagers, as well as play as the teenagers in a stealth type mission would be great.
2. A return to Camp Crystal Lake
The recent remake did feature the infamous summer camp, but it wasn’t the primary setting. We’ve seen Jason in the big city, and in space, and it’s time for a return to his roots. The summer camp setup allows for some great, creative kills, and is so synonymous with the character it has to at least feature.
3. Creative Kills
Jason has never been quite as slick or imaginative as Freddy in his killings, but I think he could be. Each entry in the franchise so far has one or two good murder scenes, but it would be great if they could get a handful of solid ones into the reboot. Again, the summer camp setting would allow for many pieces of sport, kitchen and heavy equipment laying around – so I have faith we can see some really satisfying kills this time around.
4. Freddy cameo
Okay, the image above is cute, but I’m not suggesting these guys become the best of buddies. A simple little bit of fan service – maybe a young Jason dreaming about Freddy, or his hat positioned somewhere in the backdrop. Just something for the horror nerds in the audience to have the delight of spotting. Please?