While there are plenty of memorable supporting characters that pop up over the course of the 12 movie-strong Friday the 13th horror franchise, perhaps none are more beloved by diehard fans than lovable loon Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney). Ralph appears early on in the original F13 film, taking it upon himself to accost teenage counselors headed up to re-open Camp Crystal Lake, warning them that the place has a “death curse” and that they’re “all doomed.” Unfortunately for Ralph, Jason has no patience for his shenanigans, and silences him for good in Part 2.
Sadly, it looks like Ralph’s prophetic words might also be applicable to Paramount’s long-gestating reboot of the Friday the 13th franchise, which would be the 13th film in the storied series. Just yesterday, Paramount decided to abruptly remove Jason’s latest adventure from the upcoming release schedule, along with fellow horror sequel World War Z 2. This came after the film had already been delayed multiple times, and more than one director and writer had been attached to the project.
Seemingly completing the Friday the 13th reboot’s descent back into development hell, THR now reports that Paramount has officially shut down pre-production on the film, effective immediately. This news comes just a few short weeks prior to F13’s previously-announced March production start date, which would have seen Jason return to the area where celebrated sequel Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives was shot back in 1986. Director Breck Eisner (The Crazies) and production company Platinum Dunes were reportedly informed of Paramount’s decision sometime yesterday. A specific reason for the move has yet to be revealed.
While this certainly doesn’t mean Jason is dead for good – or even that this particular Friday the 13th film won’t restart production at some point in the future – it’ll still likely crush the hopes of hardcore franchise fans who’ve been (im)patiently waiting for another entry for nearly a decade. It still remains a bit of a mystery as to why Paramount is finding it so difficult to get another F13 movie off the ground, as the series isn’t exactly known for requiring Oscar-caliber screenplay work in order to please its steadfast fanbase.
At this point, the future of Jason Voorhees on the big screen is quite unclear, although it’s hard to imagine that a character of his notoriety will be gone forever. Still, one wonders just how long F13 devotees will be left waiting and hoping for their chance to finally book a return trip to Crystal Lake.