Back in the 1980s, horror fans could almost plan their calendars around the yearly – or at least bi-yearly – entries into their favorite slasher franchises. Arguably the most notorious among such franchises was Friday the 13th, which began as a tale of motherly vengeance, but quickly escalated into a seemingly neverending series of killing sprees perpetrated by that mother’s initially thought dead son: Jason Voorhees. Often armed with a machete, Jason went on to star in seven sequels during the ’80s, one in the ’90s, and two in the 2000s.
The original Jason continuity – such as it was, these films were never known for tight storytelling – finally came to an end in 2009, with the release of Platinum Dunes’ Friday the 13th remake. Unlike most horror remakes, F13 ’09 wasn’t a straight re-do of the original film, quickly glossing over the murders of Mama Voorhees in order to get to the more marketable Jason, and quickly outfitting him with the trademark hockey mask he didn’t originally acquire until Friday the 13th Part III. Unfortunately, despite making big bucks at the box office, F13 ’09 has to date marked the end of the franchise. One assumes this could be due to the overall tepid fan response the film received.
Of course, despite this setback, horror fans knew that Jason would never permanently die, with reports of development on another Friday the 13th reboot swirling around the net for nearly five years now. In 2013, a new Jason entry was officially greenlit by Paramount, but actual production on the film has since been delayed multiple times, rivaling Paramount’s own Rings for most delayed horror follow-up of the decade. The most recent delay bumped the release date all the way back to October 2017. Thankfully, it looks like this date might actually stick, as Paramount is reportedly gearing up to begin filming Jason’s latest adventure in March according to Friday The 13th Franchise.
Casting and pre-production on the reboot – which producers have said will re-imagine Jason’s origins, and also feature his mother – is said to be currently in progress, with filming set to take place just outside of Atlanta, GA. Production is set to begin in March, and end sometime in May. Interestingly, F13 ’17’s shooting location is quite close to where Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives was shot back in 1986, with that sequel often being cited by fans as one of the best entries in the whole series. Hopefully that’s a good omen for this oft-delayed revival.
Platinum Dunes producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form have repeatedly expressed a desire to learn from their mistakes with Jason’s 2009 film, and craft a new reboot that fans will love. Whether they will succeed in doing so obviously remains to be seen, although prior comments they’ve made about F13 ’17 earning a “hard-R” rating are certainly likely to encourage fans a bit. To be fair though, even F13 ’09’s detractors would probably admit that lack of gore was not that film’s problem. After all, 2009 Jason literally roasted a sleeping bag-bound victim over a campfire, effectively creating a human s’more. It’s unclear whether or not he earned a merit badge.
Friday the 13th slashes back into theaters on October 13, 2017.