The Five Nights at Freddy's film is starting from scratch as game creator Scott Cawthon turns down the existing script for the project. It was back in 2015 when Warner Bros. announced that they acquired the rights to adapt the game series on the big screen with Roy Lee, David Katzenberg, and Seth Grahame-Smith all attached to produce. Shortly after that Gil Kenan was tapped to direct the movie, as well as co-write it with Tyler Burton Smith.
But a year and a half later, Cawthon announced that the film was starting from scratch with Kenan and Warner Bros. no longer involved. By March of 2017, Blumhouse Productions became the movie's brand new production company with Jason Blum confirming the news. Back in February, Chris Columbus was locked down to direct with the film eyeing a possible 2020 release date. Sadly, the recent update regarding the Five Nights at Freddy's film may mean that it will take a bit longer before it finally hits theaters.
Posting an update on the game's forums (via Variety), Cawthon got candid about the status of the Five Nights at Freddy's film, sharing that while a script has been written and got the stamp of approval from Blum and Columbus, he didn't really like it, hence, he decided to get rid of it. Considering that back in summer, Blum was hyping fans for an update supposedly coming soon, it seemed like they liked the script before Cawthon ultimately turned it down.
“OK guys, I had a script written; Jason liked it, and Chris Columbus liked it too, but I tossed it. I had a different idea for it, one that I liked better. I take responsibility for this delay; it’s my fault.
“I’m determined to find the right story. I’m sticking to what I’ve always said, either the right movie gets made or no movie gets made. I hate delaying a project that’s already seen so many delays, but I have to go with my instincts on what I think will be exciting and interesting, and what I think the fanbase will really want to see. If that means that I have to start over ten more times, then that’s what I’m going to do. The good thing is that each attempt gets better and better, in my opinion. So, despite the delays, it’s going in the right direction.”
Cawthon proceeded to say that the Five Nights at Freddy's movie adaptation and its possible sequels will only coincide in the first three titles of the game franchise. “The games after ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s 3’ will not exist in the movie universe. Like it or hate it, I felt that this was the best portion of the storyline to really focus in on,” he explained. In hindsight, it's a great way to ensure that the film series will only continue if there are enough narrative opportunities in the established lore. This will prevent the budding movie series to become nothing more but a form of cash grab.
Based on Cawthon's recent comments, it seems like the Five Nights at Freddy's creator's main goal is to ensure that the forthcoming film adaptation is in line with his vision - understandably so considering that the game was his brainchild. And suffice to say that there's no one who understands it more than him, so it's only fitting that he has a say on however the game will be expanded in other forms of media. It might be an additional wait, but at least fans know that they're going to get something that is true to the game's established brand.