After a fun social media post Thursday on New Line Cinema’s official account, speculation ran rampant that there would be incoming news about a future entry in the “Friday the th” franchise. Unfortunately, TheWrap has learned that there are no such plans at least not right now. And, in fact, the social media post was just for fun.
To explain: Thursday, New Line Cinema’s account posted a photo of an iPhone home screen which has now been deleted with an incoming message from “Jason Voorhees.” The accompanying caption read: “Uh oh. What do you think Jason Voorhees wants?!” This, of course, sent the internet into a frenzy. The common refrain was that New Line must be announcing a new “Friday the th” project right away. But we have confirmed that this isn’t true. It was just a fun post. And quite frankly, it might not even be possible to make a new “Friday the th” movie at this juncture.
As is exhaustively detailed in this article, the “Friday the th” rights have been locked in a highly contested legal battle between Victor Miller, the screenwriter of the original “Friday the th” and that film’s director and producer, Sean Cunningham, who oversaw the rest of the franchise. As the article details, Miller will most likely wind up with the characters and script from the original film, but Cunningham controls the title and the elements from the subsequent films, which includes the hockey mask, the adult Jason character who wasn’t in the original movie, we should all remember and other elements introduced later on in the franchise.
While incredibly complicated, this isn’t exactly out of the ordinary. Take the “Child’s Play” franchise, for instance. MGM still controls the first movie and the title “Child’s Play,” and they made a very lousy remake in , with a character that was loosely Chucky he was called Bud-I and voiced by Mark Hamill instead of Brad Dourif. Universal and original screenwriter Don Mancini have access to the Chucky character and the surrounding mythology, which is why the words “Child’s Play” haven’t appeared in the movies or subsequent spin-off TV series since “Child’s Play ” back in . A similarly labyrinthine rights issue explains how Legendary can make a sequel to “Godzilla vs. Kong” while Disney+ can launch a “King Kong” streaming series almost simultaneously.
As for the “Friday the th” franchise, what was once the most profitable and omnipresent horror brand hasn’t had a new entry since ’s remake, co-produced by Michael Bay. Sequel ideas were batted around; one idea had Jason in the snow while David Bruckner whose “Hellraiser” reboot arrives on Hulu in October pitched an ambitious found footage take for the follow-up. A D sequel was even floated harkening back to the third canonical “Friday the th”. Nothing materialized.
The last time the series was even in the news, in relation to a new movie, was in the run-up to Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar.” Warner Bros. was so desperate to co-finance the movie that they gave Paramount the rights to make a new “Friday the th” movie they were the original home of the franchise and made every installment through “Friday the th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.” “Jason Goes to Hell,” “Jason X” and “Freddy vs. Jason” were New Line joints. Paramount didn’t exercise those rights or couldn’t because of the legal quagmire.
New Line part of the Warner Bros. Discovery starship definitely still has plans for the franchise their deal is with Cunningham. Not only is it one of the most celebrated and beloved slasher franchises in modern history but they still do a ton with the property in the licensing and consumer products space, especially around Halloween. I just typed in “Friday the th” into Hot Topic’s search engine and got items back. The only thing more plentiful than dead camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake is money. But if you’re expecting news now, you’re going to be disappointed.
There have been a number of rumblings about a possible new Friday the th movie over the past month. First IT producer Roy Lee signaled that he may be working on a Jason Voorhees project, then franchise creator Sean S. Cunningham shared his own mysterious and exciting message about a new film. Now the excitement continues, as the official New Line Cinema account has posted a bizarre image.
The post shared by New Line portrays an average smartphone screenshot featuring an incoming direct message from none other than Jason Voorhees himself. Their caption reads “Uh uh. What do you think Jason Voorhees wants?”. The background showcases an image of outer space. Could this have anything to do with Jason X? Probably not… Right? Check it out here.
While nothing is confirmed at this moment, it’s looking extremely likely that we will be getting a new Friday entry sooner rather than later. After a long and tumultuous legal battle that held the rights up for over a decade, it’s definitely time to see the hockey mask rise once again.
To commemorate the thirteen long years it’s been since Jason Voorhees last pierced theater screens, the DREAD Podcast Network series Development Hell uncovered four nearly-made Friday the th projects for their Camp is Cancelled miniseries. From the Nick Antosca version of events to Jason in the snow, check out the Friday sequels that almost were:
Lastly, how do you feel about a potential new Friday the th on the horizon? Are you as excited as I am? Make sure to let me know on Twitter via joshkorngut. I’m always around to chat about all things Jason Voorhees!