The on-again, off-again rumors that the Friday The 13th film franchise may be diverging into a new television series as well are on again, this time with an interesting new twist to the Jason Voorhees legend. The news comes from the creator of the original 1980 Friday the 13th film, the movie that started it all. Sean Cunningham was attending the recent Monster Mania convention, where the subject of a possible TV series came up.
The concept for the Friday the 13th series will be somewhat different from the Friday the 13th films with the premise more closely resembling the basic plot of Wes Craven’s original Scream film. The idea pitched to CW execs for the Friday the 13th series is that Crystal Lake is a real town, where a series of grisly murders had taken place in the past and had been followed by a series of films based on the murders. The show would take place in the present day, exploring how Crystal Lake has been affected by the films.
Tim Jacob, attending the Monster Mania event for the website Friday the 13th: The Franchise, reported,
“This allows them to reimagine Jason in a more grounded reality, as the films would be based off the real life killings that took place at the Camp. (ie, both the Hockey Masked Jason and a more serious backwoods inspired killer will be making appearances throughout).”
The premise implies that Jason Voorhees may not necessarily be the focus of this new Friday the 13th offshoot, though he would certainly play a part in the ongoing storyline. Diminishing Jason’s role in Friday the 13th may not be the wisest way to breathe new life into the long-running film franchise. After all, Jason Voorhees is synonymous with Friday the 13th fans throughout horror fandom.
Conversely, there must be a greater premise than to simply have the hockey-masked serial killer stomping through the woods at Camp Crystal Lake, slashing up teenagers. That works great for a 90-minute Friday the 13th movie, but the CW will obviously want something more engaging to keep viewers on the edges of their seats. If Friday the 13th is going to be a successful television series, it’s going to need more. It will need compelling characters and a fresh, enthralling storyline that develops into a long-running arc.
Cunningham’s new concept for Friday the 13th will definitely open up the door for plenty of twists and surprises, as well as for the drama on which the CW network depends. For traditional Friday the 13th fans, there’s still the 2016 Friday the 13th film sequel to look forward to from director David Bruckner.
[Image from Warner Bros.]