Friday the 13th (cancelled reboot film; 2017)
Friday the 13th is a multimedia horror franchise best known for the slasher Jason Voorhees, and even more infamous for its numerous sequels. When Paramount acquired the rights to the series in 2013, plans for a new movie began almost instantly. However, with numerous changes of directors and writers on the project, and a drawn out production time, the project was cancelled.
Very little is known about the first screenplay. Writer and director David Bruckner described it as a “80’s coming-of-age monster movie”, with a found-footage style of filming. Development quickly changed when Nick Antosca was brought in to write a more traditional slasher film.
The second screenplay, titled Friday the 13th 3D, would’ve taken place in the summer of 1988, with much more focus centered around the camp counselors. It’s revealed that Jason didn’t die as a young boy, and has been living in the woods of Camp Crystal Lake for years. Chaos ensues as the camp counselors attempt to kill Jason, each attempt making him stronger. The script ends with the last surviving counselors leaving town, only to discover that Jason is still alive. Director David Bruckner was still set to work on the project. There were even plans for a sequel set during the winter, however it never came to fruition.
This was the draft of the film that had the most development time, and was the closest to completion. Now known as Friday the 13th: Part 13, the film was to take place in Camp Crystal Lake in 1977. Two camp counselors are murdered atop the camp’s fire lookout tower by a man wearing a sack mask. The audience is to assume this masked man is Jason, however we soon learn it’s Elias Voorhees, Jason’s father. The first 40 minutes of the film is focused on Elias. Elias is ultimately killed by his wife Pamela Voorhees in a fit of rage, and the movie then focuses on her. After witnessing her son drown, the second half of the film plays out much like the first Friday the 13th movie. Ultimately, there would’ve been three killers in the movie: Elias, Pamela, and Jason. After watching his mother die, Jason would go on a “full rampage” for the rest of the film, before he is ultimately defeated.
David Bruckner and Nick Antosca were no longer involved in the project. Instead, Breck Eisner was set to direct the film, with writer Aaron Guzikowski. The movie was to be a “hard R” and was planned to be filmed mainly in Georgia. Originally scheduled to be released on Friday, May 13th, 2016, it was pushed back to January 13th, 2017, before being pushed back again to October 13th, 2017, before being ultimately cancelled. It was expected to start filming in early spring to meet its October release date. Sota FX was hired to work on the effects of the film.
It is still unclear as to why Paramount cancelled the movie so far into production. Many speculate the poor box office performance of Rings, another horror reboot produced by Paramount, was to blame. The release date changing frequently was also a cause for concern, as well as the numerous changes in directors and writers.
- 2013 article on Paramount obtaining the rights to the franchise. Retrieved 18 Feb '20
- Interview with David Bruckner. Retrieved 17 Feb '20
- Summary of Nick Antosca's Script. Retrieved 17 Feb '20
- Summary of Aaron Guzikowski's script. Retrieved 17 Feb '20
- Interview with producers of the film. Retrieved 18 Feb '20
- Article reporting on the original release date. Retrieved 18 Feb '20
- Article on the release date being pushed back. Retrieved 18 Feb '20
- Article on the release date being pushed back again. Retrieved 18 Feb '20
- Concept Art from Sota FX.Retrieved 17 Feb '20
- Article on production shutting down for the film. Retrieved 17 Feb '20