Despite being one of the most beloved horror icons in modern history, Jason Voorhees just can’t seem to catch a break as of late. Even though his most recent Friday the 13th adventure cleaned up at the box office back in 2009, Paramount remains unwilling to pull the trigger on the actual production of a new Camp Crystal Lake massacre. A new Jason outing was officially greenlit by the studio back in 2013, with the film being given a planned 2015 release date. Then it was bumped to 2016, and fans groaned. Then it was bumped to 2017, and fans sighed.
Things clearly haven’t been progressing like one would hope. Unfortunately, the 13th installment in the Friday the 13th series has now hit yet another bump in the road.
According to The Wrap, director David Bruckner (The Signal) is no longer attached to the project. With the film’s nearly constant delays, F13’s producers reportedly felt it would be unfair to expect Bruckner to simply wait around until the latest script Paramount commissioned was ready. On the bright side though, the parting doesn’t appear to be acrimonious, and it seems likely that those same producers will ultimately approach Bruckner to direct once again when the script is finalized. Of course, there’s no guarantee he’ll still be available at that point.
Speaking of Friday the 13th’s seemingly elusive script, Paramount is currently in final negotiations to hire Prisoners scribe Aaron Guzikowski to pen the latest attempt at rebooting Jason, according to Variety. Seeing as producers are set to bring on yet another writer, no info on the plot of the new film yet exists, for obvious reasons. Still, there are a few things we can safely assume, based on past statements. The story will most likely be set at Camp Crystal Lake – sorry Jason in space fans – and will not in any way connect to the continuity of the 2009 New Line remake. Also, the found-footage phobic can rest easy, as Jason won’t be going the Paranormal Activity route (as once rumored).
On first glance, Paramount seems to be making an outside the box choice by hiring Guzikowski. After all, Prisoners – despite being a thriller – was about as far from a blood-soaked, nudity-filled Jason romp as a script can get. However, it’s possible that the hiring of Guzikowski could be a calculated move by a studio that is perhaps looking to revamp Friday the 13th in a more serious fashion. Plus, Guzikowski has been working on Universal’s The Wolfman reboot, so it seems he has an interest in writing for the horror genre already.
Despite the silliness of some of the F13 films, Jason can still very much function as a scary, intimidating villain when written and performed well. Just because Jason movies usually get campy, doesn’t mean they necessarily have to, and the writer of a harrowing film like Prisoners could provide just the right amount of edge to make Mr. Voorhees the stuff of nightmares again. Whichever way things go, here’s hoping that Paramount is finally happy with this latest script, and Jason doesn’t get bumped to 2018.
Friday the 13th is currently slated to return to theaters on January 13th, 2017.