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Horror Happenings: FRIDAY THE 13TH Hires PRISONERS Scribe for Sequel

Happy Sunday, horror friends! As the year comes to a close, we find ourselves with a pretty big update concerning a major genre franchise. Let’s see who’s in and who’s out for Friday The 13th part thirteen!

Friday The 13th Hires Prisoners Scribe Aaron Guzikowski to Pen 13th Installment

As a horror fan and someone who pays fairly close attention to the movie business, I can’t quite figure out what is going on with the Friday the 13th franchise. On the one hand, there is the long-in-development television series that is still being fleshed out over at The CW which sounds like an interesting and new take on telling a new Jason Voorhees story. Then, on the feature side, there is the even-longer-in-development 13th film that continues to have its release date pushed and to lose writers and directors.

The latest casualty is David Bruckner, best known for bringing The Signal to the big screen in addition to short segments in V/H/S and Southbound. According to The Wrap, while the producers decided to develop a new script, they didn’t think it fair to make Bruckner wait around and so he is no longer formally attached to the movie. Meanwhile, Variety reported this week that Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski has come onboard the film to write. More on that seemingly odd pairing in a minute…

While I understand the desire to bring the movie back with a bang, if the latest installment actually keeps its January 2017 release date, that will put it about eight years after the most recent cinematic endeavor. That’s a long time in between feature films, especially when a lot of fans that I’ve met over the years quite enjoyed the 2009 reboot for what it was. Plus, and I mean no disrespect, but it’s not like we’re resurrecting Star Wars for the big screen; it’s Friday the 13th, a slasher franchise that built its brand on gory kills and naked ladies and, really, not much else. In fact, series creator Sean S. Cunningham said of the original that launched a thousand screams, “The movie has no emotional impact on me at all. The characters were thin at best.”

With all that being said, consider me plum fascinated that Guzikowski, who has won so much acclaim for his work on both Prisoners and his Sundance series The Red Road, would want to work on this slasher franchise in particular. Is he a huge fan himself? Is there a major payday involved? And for someone who is known for creating textured and nuanced characters dealing with the horrors of very real life, what is it that is attracting him to the teens of Camp Crystal Lake? It’s an interesting turn of events for a screenwriter who has managed to attach himself to not one but two major horror properties, including the Universal reboot of The Wolf Man under Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan.

Whatever the case, it would seem that Platinum Dunes–Michael Bay’s production company responsible for successfully rebooting the Texas Chainsaw films and unsuccessfully rebooting A Nightmare On Elm Street–has realized the power of the buck and managed to strike slasher gold by introducing Leatherface to a new generation. It seems like they’re determined to do Jason right so that he will return to terrorize Camp Crystal Lake for another thirty five years to come.


Feature Image Credit: Paramount Pictures/ Platinum Dunes

Clarke Wolfe writes Horror Happenings for Nerdist every Sunday. You can follow her on Twitter @clarkewolfe.

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