12. 2009's remake and beyond…
Cut (with a machete) to this year and, instead of continuing the mythology, the studio chose to approach Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production company to see if they could work their remake magic on the series, a la Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Producers Andrew Fuller and Brad Form agreed and spent a year gathering the various rights to the characters and elements - it was that or launch a Friday The 13th without Jason or his mask.
Initially, Paramount was reluctant to give up its rights, but after agreeing to come on board as international distributor (with a share in the profits, notch), the studio allowed the new team to use the title.
The new producers' idea was to borrow elements from the first three movies in order to create their own spin on Jason's early days. "I think there are moments we want to address, like how does the hockey mask happen," explained Fuller.
"It’ll happen differently in our movie than in the third one. Where is Jason from, why do these killings happen, and what is Crystal Lake?"
After scrapping having a story focused on Tommy Jarvis, they chose to set the film in present-day America, instead of going for a period piece.
Freddy Vs Jason writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift were lined up to write it, and Dunes regular Jonathan Liebesman was negotiating the direct. But when scheduling fell through on their first choice, the producers turned to Texas Chainsaw relaunch overseer Marcus Nispel, who had to be cajoled into taking on another franchise.
Follwing a long round of casting sessions, trying to find the perfect group of young actors for a staggering 13 roles, the team also needed a Jason. Stuntman Derek Mears got the job after impressing the director and producers with his attitude, and also with his answer to whether he could play the dark side of Voorhees: "They were like, 'You're really nice...are you going to be able to switch over, right?' I was like, 'I cage fight and I've got a lot of dad issues. So yeah.'"
The new version would boast digital effects from Asylum, plus a load of new prosthetics for Mears performance as Jason. But one mean-looking scar was all real: Aaron Yoo had his appendix removed before finishing work on the film - and his first shot back was the image of his lifeless body, hung upside down, with his operation scar visible to all.
Steve Jablonsky, another Platinum Dunes regular, got the gig to create the music, which was heavily inspired by Henry Manfredini's original score.
Arriving on February, Friday 13th 2009, the movie had a successful opening weekend, but saw its fortunes drop significantly - to sixth place in the US charts - the very next week.
Still, despite seriously mixed reviews, it made $65 million across the pond, so naturally a sequel is on the way.
So far, little is known about the new movie, though it looks like Swift and Shannon are again writing the script.
No director is attached and New Line has yet to flash the greenlight.
But everyone knows Jason doesn't die that easily…
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