It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about the proposed FRIDAY THE 13TH TV series. Multiple reports have declared the TV iteration of Jason Voorhees all but dead, but as we know, you can’t ever really kill Jason, can you? Especially considering how many horror properties have successfully made the jump to TV storytelling. BATES MOTEL, HANNIBAL, THE EXORCIST, SCREAM. And with things like AMERICAN HORROR STORY, THE WALKING DEAD and SLASHER, why wouldn’t a FRIDAY THE 13TH show work?
FRIDAY THE 13TH creator Sean Cunningham was a guest on the latest episode of Shock Waves, and he offered an update, confirming that it is, in fact, next on his slate of projects.
“The FRIDAY THE 13TH series is still percolating and we’ve got a very good handle on how we want to do it. CBS and The CW both said “yeah, that’s good!” I don’t quite know what I’ll do there, but I’m really looking forward to it because it’s, again, taking this thing that appears one way, but you can do it this (other) way too, and really keep it interesting.”
With so much horror television out there these days, how do you keep things fresh, interesting and exciting with a TV iteration? “You need really smart showrunners. I think the thing about FRIDAY THE 13TH as a TV franchise, you have that problem – how the hell are you going to deal with Jason? Is he going to come out of the woods every week and smash another teenager against a tree and nobody is going to notice? Nobody knows who did it?”
During the chat, I interjected that I would still watch the shit out of the above series scenario, even if it did get repetitive. However, there’s much more to it. “You have to service the fans. You can’t ignore them. FRIDAY THE 13TH, at least in part, is going to be about Jason. So, how do you make sense of all of the contradictory stories that are out there, between Jason going to space, or versus Freddy, and all these other things. The assumption is this. Crystal Lake is a town that really exists, and a long time ago they had a series killer named Jason Voorhees, and then some Hollywood creep comes out and makes this exploitation horror movie called FRIDAY THE 13TH. And then they make another one, and another one, and it just crushes the town. The town becomes the place that “Jason built.” And the stuff that happened, they know what really happened. The rest is Hollywood lore. There are people there that lived through it, and they’ll tell you what really happened. And so, what you can do is set up Crystal Lake as, more or less, like the town in JAWS, Amity Island. You have the town with all its prime movers in the town, but the town is located in an area that would allow Jason to exist in whatever form. But other things as well. I would describe it as a place where if THE X-FILES’ Mulder and Scully wandering into this county, they never would of left! There’s so much weird shit going on!”
“So, the serial killer was the least of their worries?” inquired Shock Waves co-host Bekah McKendry.
“Yeah, there’s a whole bunch of stuff!” confirmed Cunningham. “And then you’re trying to balance the human stuff. And then you have the family at the core of it. You’re not (always) following Jason around. It’s (also) the town, and the town politics. It’s just such a rich pallet (of storytelling). And I’m really looking forward to it.”
Listen to the interview for yourself below!