Original Friday the 13th director Sean S. Cunningham is developing a franchise reboot movie in spite of Peacock’s upcoming Crystal Lake series.
A new Friday the 13th reboot is in the works with original director Sean S. Cunningham. Cunningham, who directed the original 1980 slasher Friday the 13th, was recently involved in a lawsuit with original screenwriter Victor Miller, which has prevented any entries in the franchise from getting off the ground for several years. Despite the franchise including a whopping 11 Friday the 13th films and one crossover with A Nightmare on Elm Street, there hasn’t been a new outing since the 2009 remake starring Jared Padalecki. However, recently it was announced that Miller and Bryan Fuller were developing a Friday the 13th prequel series for Peacock with A24, titled Crystal Lake.
Per Bloody Disgusting, Cunningham is now developing a new Friday the 13th reboot. The director is working alongside screenwriter Jeff Locker on the project. According to Locker, the pair hope that the announcement of the Crystal Lake series will help settle the dispute and reach an amicable agreement about Cunningham’s use of the rights. However, their backup plan is to create a sequel that will fall within their legal rights despite certain limitations. Read Locker’s full quote below:
“Sean hired me to do a rewrite on The Night Driver and after working closely with director Jeremy Weiss and him on that, we naturally got to talking about Friday the 13th and House. Jeremy and I pitched our dream reboot of Friday the 13th – with Sean’s blessing to keep developing it with him.
Obviously, the prequel TV series has reignited interest about a new film so we’re hoping the surrounding excitement will inspire both sides to come together and give us Jason on the big screen again for the first time in 14 years, but we also have a Plan B for a sequel to the original we think fans will absolutely love and should avoid any legal entanglements.”
Friday The 13th Legal History Explained
While the Friday the 13th lawsuit might seem complicated, there is a simple idea at the core. After the required period of 35 years, Miller sued to retain the rights to the original script. Miller won the lawsuit, but it was appealed by Cunningham and his legal team, causing the rights to get locked up in a complicated legal process before the courts eventually decided in favor of Miller again. This means that he now has domestic rights to the original script and its characters, though the name Friday the 13th and any developments from the sequels (including Jason’s adult form and his hockey mask) do not belong to him. He has already publicly railed against the use of Jason as the killer in the sequels.
It is unclear exactly what aspects of the Friday the 13th franchise would be retained should Cunningham and Locker be forced to enact Plan B. However, Cunningham has a history of jumping into projects headfirst and hoping the legal side of things sorts itself out. This was how he settled the title for the original Friday the 13th, running an ad for the film in an entertainment trade before having the script developed. He did this to see if anybody already held the rights to the title and would sue him over it.
How A Reboot Could Exist At The Same Time As Crystal Lake
This potential Friday the 13th reboot would likely split the franchise’s continuity, such as how the 2019 Child’s Play remake diverged its series from the currently running Chucky series, which still maintains the original continuity. One thing that might allow them to coexist is that a reboot film would likely follow Jason’s exploits as an adult rather than his origins being raised by his mother, Pamela, around Crystal Lake. Although they would technically still take place in different universes, the timelines wouldn’t necessarily contradict one another.
More: Every Canceled Friday The 13th Reboot Explained
Source: Bloody Disgusting