A new Friday the 13th film is unlikely to happen for at least another three years, says producer Sean S. Cunningham

Apparently the Friday the 13th legal limbo isn't the biggest hindrance to getting a new movie made.
Friday the 13th. Image Courtesy Paramount Pictures, Shudder
Friday the 13th. Image Courtesy Paramount Pictures, Shudder /

We've got some not-great news for fans of Friday the 13th, particularly those who are eager to see Jason Voorhees return to the big screen. According to Sean S. Cunningham, who directed the original 1980 film, another movie is still a few years off, at the earliest.

Cunningham was in attendance at the recent Texas Frightmare Weekend, where he reunited with special effects icon Tom Savini and Friday the 13th final girl Adrienne King. Per Creepy Catalog, the group got to talking about the franchise as a whole and Cunningham provided his input on the current state of the Friday the 13th movies.

Interestingly, Cunningham doesn't necessarily think the messy battle over the franchise's legal rights is the issue at hand. He believes that the current problem preventing a new Friday the 13th movie from coming to fruition comes down to budgetary restraints. It sounds like New Line Cinema, the current rights holder of the film franchise, is reluctant to put up enough money to make a decently budgeted movie out of fears they "might not see a huge return on its investment."

As is often the case these days, it sounds like the hesitancy stems from how drastically audience viewing habits have changed so drastically since the pandemic. But Cunningham believes the franchise will get back on track and have another movie at some point, though it could still be another three years or so before that happens.

And as uplifting as that sounds, CreepyCatalog accurately points out that the timeline in Hollywood terms could mean "indefinitely." At this point, too much is in flux in Hollywood to accurately predict what the future holds for any franchise.

On the plus side, Horror, Inc. has recently launched a new multi-platform "Jason Universe" that's set to include A24's planned Friday the 13th prequel series Crystal Lake set at Peacock, video game appearances, merchandise, immersive experiences, and more. Maybe if the Jason Universe proves a decent income earner, New Line will finally start moving on a new movie.

It's not like New Line is totally averse to horror, either. The company produced (or co-produced) films like The Nun II, Malignant, Evil Dead Rise, and the upcoming film The Watchers. They also have Salem's Lot, a fourth film in The Conjuring series, and a new Final Destination in the pipeline. So there are plenty of opportunities for horror fans to prove there is an audience out there who would happily pay for a new Friday the 13th in theaters!

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