Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Pixels) has signed on as director for Blumhouse Productions’ upcoming Five Nights at Freddy’s movie adaptation. Based on the video game series of the same name, Five Nights at Freddy’s has earned a reputation of being as bizarre as it is scary, pitting a lone security guard against sentient animatronic robots.
While the director of films like Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire, and the first two Harry Potter movies might seem like an odd fit, Columbus actually started his career in fantasy/horror; his first spec script in Hollywood was the comedic creature feature Gremlins. Along with directing, he has also signed on for writing and producing duties as well. This will be his first time pairing up with Blumhouse, who incidentally landed the rights to Freddy’s adaptation on account of the game’s creator Scott Cawthon being personally won over by the studio’s founder Jason Blum. Columbus, Blum, and Cawthon will co-produce the film, creating a wildly disparate – but equally inspired – horror trifecta.
As noted by Deadline, Columbus was not the first filmmaker attached to direct Five Nights at Feddy’s. In 2015, Warner Bros. had attempted to adapt the game with Gil Kennan (Monster House, the 2015 Poltergeist remake) in the director chair, but the project eventually fell through. In response to a tweet reporting that WB and Kennan were being replaced by Blumhouse, he tweeted: “this is sadly correct. love FNAF and the community, hoping for a great film!”
While Columbus is perhaps best known for his work as a director, he has also built a strong foundation in producing; in 2012, he was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar alongside Brunson Green and Michael Barnathan for his efforts on The Help. Incidentally, between his association with the Five Nights at Freddy’s adaptation and the slow developing Gremlins 3 (which Columbus is still attached to produce), Columbus is making an evident return to his roots. What’s more, back in 2013 he teamed up with producer Eleanor Columbus, whose most notable genre film credit is A23’s acclaimed period horror/thriller The Witch.
Over the past four years, the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise has spawned several sequels, novelizations, and YouTube videos that have generated over a billion views. And while it will be interesting to see how Columbus manages to adapt the games’ unique gameplay elements to the silver screen, no plot details have been announced as of yet, aside from the source material’s original storyline.
The Five Nights at Freddy’s movie has no official release date at the moment.
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