Beloved hockey-masked mass murderer Jason Voorhees isn’t just coming back in a big screen reboot (or, as I prefer to call it, Friday the 13th Part 13), but it looks like he’ll be hacking and slashing his way through Camp Crystal Lake on a new weekly television series version of Friday the 13th. Deadline broke the story that Crystal Lake Entertainment have made a deal to create a new hour long drama series based upon the characters and settings of the classic Friday The 13th franchise. Sean S. Cunningham, who directed the original 1980 movie, will come on board as executive producer, and in a statement said “Jason Voorhees is synonymous with the genre and we plan to build on this legacy with a provocative and compelling take that expands upon the storylines that have already thrilled millions worldwide.”
Bill Basso (Terminator) and Jordu Schell (Avatar) are writing the script, which is said to “re-imagine Jason in multiple time periods,” although the original Deadline article also states that the show’s setting will be contemporary, “focusing on the eclectic characters of Crystal Lake who are forced to confront the return of the killer, as new secrets about his wacky family are revealed.” So, modern day with lots of Lost-style flashbacks? Of the great horror franchises of the eighties like Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Hellraiser, Friday had maybe the thinnest of storylines, so I’d say the writers have their work cut out for them.
This isn’t the first time there’s been a show called Friday the 13th; back in the late eighties, Paramount (who holds the license) created a syndicated series also called Friday the 13th, which ran for three seasons from 1987-1990. The show had nothing to do whatsoever with the movie series, and focused on supernatural shenanigans and never once mentioned Jason Voorhees or Camp Crystal Lake. The excessive gory violence of the movie series could in no way have made it past television censors at the time. But we live in the Walking Dead era, where brutal killings of all sorts happen on a weekly basis on basic cable. The other appeal of the Friday movies was, of course, the excessive nudity, which is still a no-no on basic cable, so it remains to be seen how they’ll get around that little problem.