The road to getting Jason Voorhees back on the big screen has been a bumpy one.
At this point, it’s been over 7 years (!) since Platinum Dunes attempted to reboot and reintroduce the horror titan in Marcus Nispel’s 2009 movie. While not great by any means, that entry in the franchise has its strengths, in particular Derek Mears’ universally loved portrayal of Jason. The film was a box offices success, well, at least on opening weekend, so it should be a no-brainer. Where’s the next FRIDAY THE 13TH?
To be curt, the producers are over-thinking it. At one point, the moderately budgeted feature was trying to crack the “found footage” code, which thankfully, eventually got dropped. For a good chunk of time, David Bruckner (THE SIGNAL, V/H/S) was attached to direct, but after several years of false starts, exited the picture. The last we heard was that Breck Eisner (THE CRAZIES) was the next director in line and that screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski (PRISONERS) was working on the latest draft from scratch.
Earlier this week, we had CHANNEL ZERO: CANDLE COVE showrunner / show creator Nick Antosca on the Shock Waves podcast, who at one point wrote a draft while David Bruckner was on board. We couldn’t help but ask what his version of the script was like, but we kicked off the conversation by mentioning Oz Perkins’ recent appearance on Shock Waves and how he said that he at one point considered tackling the next FRIDAY THE 13TH film. Here’s what Antosca had to say.
“Ok, here’s the thing. An Oz Perkins FRIDAY THE 13TH would be fucking amazing! That is the way to do these horror reboots. Bring in auteur directors, bring in directors with voices to do them! Whatever you think of the Rob Zombie HALLOWEEN, that’s the way to do it. Bring in someone with a real voice to do their take on it.”
Regarding how he got involved, Antosca explained, “So, I did do a draft of FRIDAY THE 13TH. And I always get asked about this so I’ll give you the no bullshit version of what happened. They had been doing it as a found footage movie for a long time. And I was brought in and asked “hey, do you want to take a pass at the FRIDAY THE 13TH script they have? It’s not quite ready to go.” Sure. So, I sat down with David Bruckner, who was the director that was attached at the time.”
“I was not very enthusiastic about the found footage concept, but we had a version that I think would’ve been cool. Then, I pitched. We didn’t hear anything for a long time. I thought, well I guess I didn’t get the job. Then I got a call saying, “hey, you got the job! And it’s not found footage anymore!” I said, “Great! But you do realize that means this is a page 1 rewrite, all new script, right?” Um, Yeah, I guess so.”
“OK. So, I sat down and rebroke it as not a found footage movie. Wrote a whole new version, (although) it had some of the beats of the original. It was still a story at camp with kids, and what Dave and I really wanted to do, and I’ve said this other places, was a DAZED AND CONFUSED meets Jason. Like, a real character story that felt like a real period piece (set in the 80’s) and had all the crazy shit that you’d want from a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie. We wrote it, and turned it in, and then there was a regime change at Paramount. We never heard anything else. And David was off the project. He’s off directing another movie now.”
And naturally, Antosca went on to do CHANNEL ZERO for Syfy. When asked if he was excited for what Guzikowski will do with the story, he enthusiastically replied, “Oh, I am very excited to see the version they do make. I know the PRISONERS screenwriter wrote it. I haven’t read it. But he’s a great writer, and I’m curious to see what it is.”
We are too!
Listen to the episode of Shock Waves with Nick Antosca and Harley Peyton embedded below for your convenience!
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