Jason Voorhees, one of cinema’s most ruthless killing machines, appears to have found his maker – in the form a weary Paramount Pictures as reports have surfaced that the studio has shelved the upcoming Friday the 13th reboot. The film – set to start production next month with director Breck Eisner (The Last Witch Hunter) – originally was expected to hit theaters later this year, naturally on Friday, October 13th. Yet, according to The Hollywood Reporter, who broke this story, Paramount has shut down the project, on a day in which the distributor also made news regarding the releases of a few other high profile upcoming releases (more on that below).
The culprit behind the dropping of Friday the 13th may have something to do with Paramount’s lackluster reception to their just-opened Rings, another long-in-the-tooth horror franchise the distributor hoped to revive. The less-than-rosy $13 million opening for Rings may have been enough for Paramount to second guess their options to another Jason Voorhees title, though the horror staple has been a cash cow for decades. The exact reasoning behind the move is still up in the air, with a source at Paramount officially stating, “the production was not ready to go at this date.” While a director and producers were already attached, the film hadn’t yet been officially cast.
Outside of Friday the 13th, Paramount made some noise overall with two other anticipated upcoming features. The first announcement may signal further warning signs but probably isn’t exactly unexpected as their long-gestating sequel to the 2013 Brad Pitt zombie thriller World War Z was officially removed from the 2017 roster. The film, originally scheduled for a June 7th release, simply hasn’t started production yet and recently lost J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls) as a director. Paramount is hoping to ready the film for a 2018 and 2019 release. The first World War Z made over $500 at the worldwide box office.
The second announcement out of Paramount is sunnier as the studio officially dated mother!, the latest from Oscar nominated director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) which features an all star cast in Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris, Javier Bardem and Domhnall Gleeson. Aronofsky also wrote the film, which centers on a couple unraveled when uninvited guests arrive at their home. Paramount will release the title on October 13th (Jason’s former date) and may be hoping to attract awards consideration from the title.
A lot coming out from Paramount today. We will stay tuned to the latest.