When Are They Going To Make Another Friday The 13th Movie?

The horror world got some downright shocking news recently when it was revealed that the "Friday the 13th" franchise is finally coming back after well over a decade away. Bryan Fuller, of "Hannibal" fame, is developing a series for Peacock titled "Crystal Lake" that will serve as a prequel to the original 1980 horror classic. Presumably, the focus will be on Pamela Voorhees, Jason's mother, rather than the hockey mask-wearing, machete-wielding slasher we all know and love.

While we won't get into the weeds here, the franchise has been held up by a lawsuit between "Friday the 13th" screenwriter Victor Miller and director Sean S. Cunningham, who heads up Horror Inc., the company that exists to handle all things related to the franchise. Miller was awarded rights to the script, but, rather crucially, that does not include Jason himself, who didn't show up as the main villain until the sequels and came to define the series. Initially, it was thought that Fuller and Peacock teamed with Miller to get around the lack of rights to Jason. However, with Rob Barsamian of Horror Inc. on board, all of the elements from the franchise are apparently on the table.

There's certainly a conversation to be had about what "Crystal Lake" will and won't use. It would make little sense for the show, as described, to use the Jason that audiences are familiar with. It's a prequel. Unless we head deeper into the '80s and do flashbacks (which would feel like a way to shoehorn Jason in there), this feels unlikely. But the door is now open for the slasher king to return to the silver screen. So the question becomes, when are we getting a new "Friday the 13th" movie?

The importance of Crystal Lake

For years, the utter lack of Jason Voorhees in popular culture has completely hinged on the rights issue that was, in some way, settled in court last year. Granted, the settlement only applies to the U.S., making international rights deals complicated. So, in some ways, TV might make more sense. But with Miller now working with Horror Inc., the door is now wide open. The last time we saw Jason was in the 2009 "Friday the 13th" remake (which made more than $92 million at the box office) and, despite pitches for a sequel, nothing ever materialized and it's been all quiet at Camp Crystal Lake ever since.

One important aspect of this show is that it absolutely leaves the door open for a new movie to happen. There is no reason two things can't co-exist, especially if the show truly is an out-and-out prequel centered on Pamela Voorhees, largely without adult Jason. If anything, "Crystal Lake" could feed demand for a proper "Friday the 13th" movie. Though it's fair to say that demand already exists. Whichever studio won distribution — be it Paramount or Warner Bros. — would have an almost guaranteed success.

Classic slashers have done gangbusters business in recent years: the success of the recent "Halloween" trilogy, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" on Netflix, Paramount's "Scream" revival, and the "Chucky" TV show (which is also on Peacock), just to name a few. Given how long it's been since Jason has killed horny teenagers at a summer camp, one can only imagine that getting him back on screen would essentially be a license to print money — especially if the movie is actually good. Though, it pains me to say, that is not a requirement for such a venture to be successful.

There is far too much money to be made

The fact of the matter is, if someone could have made a "Friday the 13th" movie in the last handful of years, they would have. There is simply too much money to be made for Hollywood to ignore such a thing. Let us not forget that Paramount was seemingly teasing something related for Jason not all that long ago, and this new show only makes us wonder if there truly was something to all of that social media business. Paramount made boatloads of cash from this franchise in the '80s, and lord knows they would love to get back in the Voorhees business.

Those in control of the rights are collaborating again. Mainstream horror is one of the only reliable bets at the box office right now in a post-pandemic world. Nostalgia for Jason and "Friday the 13th" is very high given how long it's been since we've seen one of the most iconic slashers in history in a movie. And, perhaps most importantly, there is actually a Friday the 13th in October in 2023. It seems impossible to imagine a world in which a new "Friday the 13th" movie doesn't get made at this point. So the answer to the question of when? Without being too precise, it seems like the answer is, more or less, now. Your move, Hollywood.