He has been stabbed through the head with a machete, electrocuted and tossed into the bottom of bodies of water with a boulder tied around his neck. He has been tossed around like a rag doll by a girl with telekinetic powers. He has been blown to smithereens by a hundred riflemen. He has been shot into deep space and drowned by toxic sludge. Yet he kept coming back for more. It turns out that if you want to kill Jason Voorhees, you need a room full of marketing researchers in dark suits poring over box office returns.
On Monday Paramount announced the cancellation of the latest chapter in the Friday the 13th saga a mere six weeks before it went into production ahead of an October release. Since the successful 2009 reboot from Platinum Dunes, the Friday franchise has sat in limbo, and fans have suffered through a number of false starts and a near endless stream of rumors surrounding the future of the franchise. It seems that Paramount looked at the underwhelming returns for Rings this past weekend-posting thirteen million against a twenty five million dollar budget-and got cold feet over the prospects of the long running but dormant slasher series. Paramount’s rights to the series expire and head back to Warner Brothers in 2018 which means it will be a full decade before we get another Friday the 13th film if Warner Brothers decides to even make one at all.
This would appear to be a classic case of studios over thinking things. Sone studio whiz has to assuage his ego that he’s some sort of creative visionary who can deliver the slasher series to new, creative heights while raking in big bucks in the process. For years there’s been talk about deepening the mythology surrounding Jason, or bringing his dad in to the fold for more backstory or even shooting a Friday film using found footage. All of these run counter to what fans of the series want: A hulking monster in a hockey mask that hacks up stupid teenagers too stupid to not wander on to a campsite that’s been the spot of numerous mass murders when looking for a place to get high or to fuck to shreds.
The rumor is Paramount is scared they won’t be able to turn enough of a profit on the estimated $25 million dollar budget for another Friday film. I’m not going to pretend to be a big deal movie producer, but if I were to make an educated guess, I would venture that if you’re an executive producer spending $25 million on a Jason Voorhees film, at least $24 million of that your own personal cocaine budget. Any fan of the series can tell you that all you need is some hyper attractive teenagers that can memorize a few lines, an ex-pro wrestler or body builder type that looks good in a hockey mask and a metric ton of Karo syrup and prosthetic limbs to make yourself a killer Friday film. Everything else is just over thinking things.
In order to help Paramount save on costs and get this gravy train rolling again, I’ve come up with a simple solution. As you can see for yourself in the video below, I’ve come up with the characters, the places and the instruments of death and destruction that would make for a surefire $100 million at the box office. The ball is in your court Paramount. Call me.