While the 1980s and '90s gave birth to countless horror icons - Freddy, Jason, Michael, Chucky, Pinhead, etc. - the 2000s weren't exactly a breeding ground for memorable boogeymen. That said, a few cinematic monsters did manage to make an impression during the decade, one of those being the antagonist of the Jeepers Creepers films. Simply known as The Creeper (Jonathan Breck), the titular beast rose every twenty-third spring for twenty-three days, then proceeded to prey on those unfortunate enough to cross his path... while in possession of a body part that tickled his fancy. That's right, The Creeper wasn't just a killer, he was also an organ thief. Yikes.
The original Jeepers Creepers film was a surprise hit back in the summer of 2001, bringing in nearly $60 million on a budget of only $10 million. The inevitable sequel arrived in 2003, pulling down $63 million on a budget of $17 million. Despite this continued success, the franchise went dormant after Jeepers Creepers 2, which didn't garner nearly as much love from horror fans as its progenitor. Still, rumors of a Jeepers Creepers 3 have floated around for years, and now the project is finally becoming a reality.
Deadline is reporting that Jeepers Creepers 3 has gotten a greenlight, with franchise creator Victor Salva back as writer/director on the project. The new Jeepers Creepers installment will take place on the final day of The Creeper's latest "harvest." Sgt. Davis Tubbs (Brandon Smith) - a supporting character in the first movie - will return to lead a task force out to kill the creature for good... but needless to say, the monster doesn't intend to go quietly. Along the way, Jeepers Creepers 3 will explore the origins of The Creeper, and finally establish what it is, where it came from, and why it must feed on humans to stay alive.
Those who've seen Jeepers Creepers 2 will no doubt remember the ending of that film, which featured a 23-year time jump to Creeper hunter Jack Taggart (Ray Wise) holding vigil beside the monster's dormant body with his trusty harpoon gun, seemingly waiting to kill it when it woke up again. Salva and the rest of the team behind Jeepers 3 have yet to offer a clarification as to whether this plotline will be somehow resolved in the new film, or whether Wise will return to the cast in any capacity. Since the sequel was seen by so many as a misstep though, Salva might actually be wise to simply ignore it and continue on from the original, continuity be damned.
Production on Jeepers Creepers 3 is currently scheduled to begin in Vancouver in early 2016. Returning to co-produce the film are Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope and Santa Monica-based Myriad Pictures, who also teamed up for Jeepers Creepers 2.
With the creative structure behind the first two films still in place, there is good reason for fans to hope that Jeepers Creepers 3 manages to reach the creative heights of part 1. However, Creeper devotees are advised to remain cautious for now. After all, sometimes horror movie threequels end up being A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, and other times they end up being Critters 3. It's far too early to tell which end of the spectrum Jeepers Creepers 3 will fall on.
Jeepers Creepers 3 currently has no release date; we'll let you know when that changes.