The long-in-the-works “Friday the 13th” reboot has been stuck in development hell for what feels like forever, but the latest news of the franchise's next installment (the 13th overall) indicates that things may be moving in the right direction for the hotly-anticipated project. In light of the latest developments, here are seven things you need to know.
1. Director David Bruckner has dropped out of the project.
Bruckner, who co-wrote and co-directed the cult 2007 horror film “The Signal” as well as a segment of the macabre found-footage anthology movie “V/H/S,” was first reported to have taken the helm in April of last year, but according to The Wrap he has since departed the project to pursue other opportunities.
2. Acclaimed screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski (“Prisoners”) is attached to write a new version of the script.
Variety reported on Thursday that Guzikowski, who also created the SundanceTV drama series “Red Road,” is in negotiations to pen the latest iteration of the reboot. While there are no plot details available at this time, presumably Jason Voorhees will be back to kill a bunch of people in and around Camp Crystal Lake.
3. The project has already gone through a number of screenwriters.
Among that crop are Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, who co-wrote both the 2009 remake and 2003's “Freddy vs. Jason.” Their version of the script would have served as a direct continuation of the 2009 film.
4. It's unknown whether the film's plot will connect back to the 2009 remake.
Sequel or reboot? Not even producer Brad Fuller seems entirely certain. As noted in an Esquire interview with the Platinum Dunes head earlier this year, the magazine noted: “…it's uncertain, even to Fuller, if the next film will tie back into the 2009 version – the details haven't crystallized.” Crystallized. Get it?
5. Multiple tentative release dates have already come and gone.
Initially slated for March 2015, the reboot/sequel has been shuffled around a number of times, from March 2015 to November 2015 to May 2016 and now — the latest latest — January 13, 2017. Will this one finally hold?
6. Contrary to some media reports, the film will not be found-footage.
In the same Esquire interview, Fuller insisted that the film will not follow in the footsteps of such micro-budgeted efforts as “Paranormal Activity” and “The Last Exorcism.” Said the producer of the need for a bigger budget: “You can't do a great kill quickly. It takes time and the blood levels. You know, every time there's a drop of blood you have to change their wardrobe and shower people off. You can't rush that to get it right.”
7. The film may deal more overtly with Jason Voorhees' supernatural origins.
In the Esquire piece, Fuller also described how the now-departed Bruckner sparked him to the idea of exploring the mythology behind the masked killer's ability to continue rising from the dead: “There's always been this supernatural aspect to these movies. It defies logic that, you see Jason get killed in every movie, including ours, the 2009 one. And then he comes back and no one's ever really investigated what that is. So that's something that I think about a little bit. Like it is supernatural, but what is he? Those are the things that we're toying with. Nothing has been decided. But those type of things: How does he always come back?”
If this thing ever happens, we may just find out.
For more on the franchise, you can watch my discussion with Roth Cornet about the CW's forthcoming “F13” TV series above and below.