Screenwriters share opening pages from abandoned Friday the 13th sequel script

Ben Bussey
·UK Movies Writer
‘Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees, slasher supreme (credit: Paramount)
‘Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees, slasher supreme (credit: Paramount)

Any time a Friday the 13th rolls along, inevitably horror fans will start wondering what happened to the ‘Friday the 13th’ movies. Despite being one of the most prolific horror franchises of the past four decades with 12 entries to date, there hasn’t been another since the 2009 reboot.

This has not been for lack of trying, however. After many years of failed attempts and missed release dates – indeed, the next film in the series was at one point scheduled to open on this very day, 13 October 2017 – studio Paramount finally pulled the plug on the sequel in February.

However, Damien Shannon and Mark Swift – screenwriting duo behind ‘Freddy Vs Jason’ and the 2009 ‘Friday the 13th’ – have shed a little light on what their aborted take on the next film in the series might have been.

Taking to Twitter, Shannon and Swift shared the first few pages of their rejected screenplay, ‘Friday the 13th Camp Blood: The Death of Jason Voorhees.’

These pages reveal the film would have been a direct sequel to the 2009 film, and in a first for the series it would have been set in the winter, with the iconic Crystal Lake completely frozen over. Seems safe to assume there wouldn’t have been any the series’ signature skinny-dipping scenes in this one, then.

This is by no means the only vision for ‘Friday the 13th’ to have been worked on in the past eight years. A found footage movie was mooted, until negative fan reaction scuppered that idea; and a 1980s-set prequel is thought to have come closest to getting made.

The title card for 1980’s original ‘Friday the 13th’ (credit: Paramount)
The title card for 1980’s original ‘Friday the 13th’ (credit: Paramount)

Launched by Sean S Cunningham’s low-budget original in 1980 (in which, of course, Jason was not the killer), ‘Friday the 13th’ arguably became the benchmark for most slasher movies in the 80s – perhaps even more so than ‘Halloween,’ as it made a point of adding graphic gore to the mix.

Sequels followed almost every year that decade until 1989’s ‘Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.’ After that the franchise changed hands from Paramount to New Line Cinema, who went on to make 1993’s ‘Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday,’ 2001’s quirky sci-fi entry ‘Jason X,’ and finally the fan-pleasing ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ crossover ‘Freddy Vs Jason’ in 2003.

Legal red tape has had a role to play in the franchise losing momentum; whilst the 2009 reboot was co-produced by New Line parent company Warner Bros and original rights holders Paramount, studio negotiations eventually saw the rights revert entirely to Paramount once more.

Whilst a ‘Friday the 13th’ video game was introduced earlier this year to widespread popularity, the current status of the next movie is unknown. Still, Paramount will no doubt be keeping a close eye on next year’s revival of the ‘Halloween’ franchise… and when it comes to the hockey-masked madman Jason Voorhees, it’s always a question of when, rather than if, he will rise again.

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