Death is back in fashion thanks to the upcoming Final Destination 6, but what can audiences expect from the new revival? Final Destination started life as a spec script for an episode of The X-Files by creator Jeffrey Reddick, under the title “Flight 180.” This version had Scully’s younger brother having a premonition that a plane he was about to board was going to crash, which it does after he refuses to board. Following this near miss, Death itself seems to stalk him to redress the balance.
Reddick never actually submitted this concept to the show and was instead encouraged to develop it as an original movie. Ironically enough, X-Files veterans Glen Morgan and James Wong would board the project as writer and director, respectively, and helped shape what the movie would become. Final Destination proved to be a surprise smash hit thanks to its simple but ingenious premise, the creativity of its deaths, and by refraining from showing Death as a flesh and blood killer, but rather depicting it as an unstoppable force of nature.
Final Destination 2 would arguably top the original, with the traffic pile-up opening scene being the most infamous of the series. Final Destination 3 and The Final Destination did well financially, but not so much critically, while Final Destination 5 received surprisingly strong reviews for regaining the sense of fun inherent to the series. For a while, it seemed the Final Destination franchise might be over, but with recent news of a forthcoming "re-imagining" on the horizon, there are several directions Final Destination 6 can take.
Final Destination 6 Is Happening After A Long Break
Final Destination 5 proved to be something of a financial disappointment for the studio, despite actually grossing a decent sum worldwide. It was reported if the film had been a hit, Final Destination 6 and 7 would have been filmed back to back. In an interesting case of bad timing, franchise co-star Tony Todd declared his belief the series was dead after such a long period of silence – only for a reboot to be announced a week later. Todd’s reasoning made perfect sense, though; the elaborate death sequences of the franchise are pricey to shoot, while hit movies like Annabelle are much cheaper to film.
While the Final Destination series has been dormant for a while, it was always a solid earner for New Line both theatrically and on home media, with the five films collectively grossing over $650 million worldwide. There’s also the recent resurgence of major horror franchises like Halloween, Child’s Play, and Candyman. Audiences have a lot of nostalgia for Final Destination as well, which always provided smartly made set pieces and kills that were gruesomely well executed. So, it makes sense that Final Destination 6 is happening, even if it is a reboot.
Final Destination Is (Apparently) A Reboot Of The Series
Final Destination 6 is being written by duo Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, who penned Saw IV to VII as well as horror series The Collector and The Collection. Sadly, actual plot details for Final Destination 6 have been revealed yet, but the series to date has had an elegantly simple plot structure. It starts with the main character having a premonition about a gruesome accident – be it a plane crash, roller coaster derailment, etc. – and death taking the survivors one by one, since nobody was supposed to live. Outside of the death sequences, the heroes usually discover some kind of loophole that offers hope, such as a survivor killing someone else and "inheriting" their lifespan.
One character who's always held a fascination with fans is Tony Todd’s mortician, Bludworth, who appeared in Final Destination, Final Destination 2, and Final Destination 5 - so it's certainly possible that he could return for Final Destination 6. Bludworth always seemed to have insight into Death’s design, leading to theories he may actually be Death, which has been debunked by series producers. It should be noted, however, that Bludworth’s advice never actually works out for the survivors, so perhaps he has ties to Death somehow. While Bludworth didn’t appear in the film, Todd also voiced the Devil seen at the roller coaster in Final Destination 3 and the subway announcer in the finale, hinting the actor's presence signals doom for the leads. A deeper dive in Bludworth's backstory is certainly one angle Final Destination 6 could explore.
It's not a given Final Destination 6 will actually be a follow-up but given the current popularity of legacy sequels, it feels like a safe bet it will be. One thing fans probably shouldn’t expect is Death to actually appear or be personified in any way, as producers feel the strength of the series is that you never actually see a killer.