We don’t want to depress you on Friday the 13th, but these are the facts.
When director Sean S. Cunningham’s low-budget Friday the 13th was released in May of 1980, it’s pretty safe to say that nobody expected it to be a big time hit, much less one that would change the face of the horror genre. But, as we know looking back, that weekend in May did indeed alter the course of horror history, ushering in a new wave of gory slasher flicks.
Paramount immediately began milking the franchise dry just one year later, releasing Friday the 13th: Part 2 in April 1981, less than a year after the first film!
Of course, the Friday the 13th franchise didn’t slow down from there, as Part 2 made Jason Voorhees the star of the show and really established the franchise as a dominant force on the horror scene for many years to come. Between 1980 and 1989, a whopping EIGHT Friday the 13th films were quickly written, shot and released.
Jason Takes Manhattan closed out the ’80s with its 1989 release, and it would be four years before Jason returned in Jason Goes to Hell. At that time, four years without Jason was completely unheard of; little did Friday fans realize at the time, they were about to wait a whole lot longer for the next installment.
While New Line’s Jason Goes to Hell memorably teased a battle between Freddy and Jason, the studio spent the remainder of the ’90s trying to figure out how to bring the two horror icons together for that promised mash-up. Instead, they eventually ended up bringing Jason back solo for the outer space-set Jason X, released more than 8 years after Jason Goes to Hell.
8 years, 8 months, 2 weeks, to be exact.
Not long after, Freddy vs. Jason finally came to fruition in 2003, but it would be a long time before we ever saw Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees up on the big screen again. Jason’s return came first, with Platinum Dunes’ Friday the 13th remake arriving in theaters on February 13th, 2009 – 5 years, 6 months after Freddy vs. Jason.
Sadly, the planned sequel to the remake never got off the ground.
And so today, Friday, October 13th, 2017, marks exactly 8 years, 8 months since we last saw Jason Voorhees slash up teenagers, which means we’re currently less than 2 weeks shy of breaking the record for the longest stretch of time between Friday the 13th films in the 37-year history of the franchise.
Needless to say, with no new installment even announced or seemingly in any stage of development at this time, we are currently on track to shatter that unfortunate record.
A strange fate for a franchise that once unleashed a new film every single year.
The biggest bummer of all this is that Paramount had initially planned on releasing a new Friday the 13th movie TODAY, but they pulled the plug back in February; from what we’ve been told, the under-performance of Rings gave the studio cold feet about reviving another long-dormant horror franchise from the past.
Breck Eisner was to direct Prisoners writer Aaron Guzikowski’s script.
It’s no secret that New Line/Warner Bros. will be reclaiming the rights to Friday the 13th (from Paramount) sometime in 2018 (provided that messy legal battle that’s been going on this year doesn’t screw things up any further), so the future of the franchise is very much hanging in the balance right now.
If we can be sure of one thing, it’s that Jason Voorhees will eventually return. And when he does, it’ll be the most long-awaited reunion any of us has ever experienced.