Fantastic news came yesterday in the revealing some of the assets Warner Bros gave up to Paramount in order to share the wealth on Christopher Nolan's next film, the sci-fi thriller Interstellar (starring Matthew McConaughey & Anne Hathaway). One of those items was giving Paramount a 5 year window to have full rights to the character Jason Voorhees and the Friday the 13th series. And one thinks that if they were willing to give up half of what is sure to a box office success, then they obviously plan to put SOMETHING out regarding a Jason Voorhees adventure.
If you've followed me you'll find no surprise in the joy I'm getting for some potentially new entries in the Camp Crystal Lake saga. When discussing where I came to be with my love of film I like to tell people I grew up/was raised by Halloween/Friday the 13th/Nightmare On Elm Street. I was obsessed with those 3 series growing up. I watched them all countless times. I learned a lot about the craft, the business, the effects and people most prestigious students learning film couldn't give a rip about. In middle school and high school, kids would always decorate their lockers with pictures of their friends and the like. Me? I had a collage of cut outs from Fangoria magazine lining the inner door from top to bottom. Yeah, I suppose I was weird. But, hey, I was happy and myself.
I must also point out, that every Friday the 13th, my friend Cullen and I get together and have a triple feature of Jason movies. The catch? We draw which ones we're going to watch from a hat prior to each movie. Last year was pretty epic as there were 3 occurrences. The downside is we have to wait til September for one this year (14 stinking months)!
The next Friday the 13th film will be the 13th entry. How in the WORLD there is not one coming out Friday, September 13th, 2013 is beyond me. The 13th entry on Friday the 13th in the year '13. Sometimes studios are just bumbling oblivious idiots. These films are instant profit and easily since there hasn't been one in 4 years, I'm sure interest would be peaked. As a sole party venture, this would be Paramount's first Friday film since 1989's Jason Takes Manhattan. Following that film, Paramount was no longer interested in the series and rights fell back to series creator Sean S. Cunningham in 1990. He took the series over to New Line Cinema in hopes to finally get the long demanded Freddy Vs. Jason film off the ground. When Wes Craven was brought back to discuss, he was more interested in a new idea and New Line decided to go that route, excited to have Craven back. The result was Wes Craven's New Nightmare. Not wanting Jason to be forgotten, Cunningham put Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday into production just to have something going for Jason.
Years and years went by with Freddy Vs. Jason in scriptwriting/production hell. So in the late 90s Cunningham once again decided to keep Jason in America's mindset and put forth Jason X. Jason X however, wound up sitting on a shelf and wouldn't be released until 2001. Finally, in 2003, we got Freddy Vs. Jason. A sequel seemed assured, but time went by and that production ended up just being merely forgotten. With the horror remake craze going strong, the roulette wheel finally landed on Jason in 2009. Platinum Dunes was outsourced by Warner Bros to craft the remake/reboot. In order to do that though, Paramount had to join in the game as they held story rights to the original 8 films. The remake wanted to cover the first 4 films of the series and was unable to do so until Paramount agreed.
The Friday the 13th reboot opened big on Valentine's Day weekend 2009. A sequel was immediately greenlit. However, the following weekend it experienced a record drop off and quickly things went quiet on it. And after A Nightmare On Elm Street's similar fate the following year, it was all pretty assured we would not be seeing Jason or Freddy for a while. Now, however, it seems a sequel or some other incarnation is back on track.
If this were 80s Paramount, we would probably be expecting anywhere from 4-5 sequels in the 5 year window. Nowadays I'm going to say 2 max. For some reason, I always wish we could have a Friday the 13th or Final Destination sequel every 2-3 years. I dunno what it is about those particular two. Good or bad or repetitive, I really enjoy the ritual of going to see these. And I tend to find a bigger enjoyment of them on subsequent views no matter my opinion the first time.
Will it be a sequel to the reboot? Will it be something fresh? Will Derek Mears play Jason again? I have no idea, and I really am on board with whatever they want to do. My one wish is they set it during a Friday the 13th in the winter time. Jason killing in the snow would be super cool. What do you want to see them do?
Jason Voorhees is coming back! And he's back home for a few years. And its all thanks to you, Christopher Nolan!