Just a few weeks after a report claimed the Friday the 13th remake was set to start shooting this spring, Paramount Pictures has unceremoniously canceled the project. The studio has pulled the horror remake from its October 13, 2017 release date, immediately slotting director Darren Aronofksy’s mother!, starring Jennifer Lawrence, into that date. The studio also unsurprisingly pulled World War Z 2 from its 2017 release slate, with the studio now aiming for a 2018 or 2019 date.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that, even though no cast members had been set yet, casting was under way with the project still eyeing a mid-March production start. Earlier today, though, the production company Platinum Dunes and director Breck Eisner were given word by Paramount that the studio was pulling the plug on the project. Insiders claim that the middling box office results of Paramount’s Rings, another attempt to revive a stagnant horror franchise, played a part in Friday the 13th‘s cancelation.
Rings was produced under just a $25 million budget, but it only took in $13 million domestically this past weekend. Although it picked up $15.5 million internationally for a worldwide opening weekend of $28.5 million. Still, insiders claimed that Paramount executives immediately started second-guessing their Friday the 13th project, because they were supposedly aiming at the same audience. Other insiders claimed that Friday the 13th is on the “opposite end of the horror spectrum” than Rings. No story details were ever confirmed by the studio, but producer Brad Fuller teased in May that this project would give a new origin story for the iconic Jason Voorhees. He later backed away from that statement, claiming they’re creating an ‘alternate reality’ for this iconic horror character.
While this is the first time that Paramount has completely pulled the plug on the project, the studio has delayed the release date numerous times in the past. It had been originally set for release on March 13, 2015, way back in 2013. The reboot was later pushed to November 13, 2015, and then to May 13, 2016, before landing on its new January 13, 2017 release date, and then being shifted again to October 13, 2017. Paramount has not confirmed that the project is fully canceled, with a studio source close to the project only stating that, “the production was not ready to go at this date.”
Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners) most recently worked on the script, which reportedly includes Jason Voorhees’ father, Elias Voorhees, who has been mentioned in a tie-in novel, but has never been shown on screen before. This project was said to take the project back to the 1980s, and show Jason’s entire family, including his mother Pamela Voorhees. Before this most recent incarnation of the script, there was talk that the producers were aiming for a found footage story for this Friday the 13th remake, but they later confirmed that aspect was dropped after the fans vocally spoke out against it. It’s possible that Paramount could revive this project at some point in the future, but for now, it seems that Friday the 13th and Jason Voorhees are both dead, for the time being.