Paramount has decided to back off on its reboot of the iconic “Friday the 13th” horror franchise, which had been in development for several years at the studio.
Paramount announced Monday that it had pulled “Friday the 13th” from its Oct. 13 release date and filled the slot with the Jennifer Lawrence movie “mother!,” but gave no further explanation. Several sources told Variety that Paramount has put the project on ice for several reasons — its $21 million budget; the disappointing $13 million opening weekend for its “Rings” horror reboot; and the looming reversion of the rights to New Line.
“Friday the 13th” had been expected to start principal photography in the early spring with Breck Eisner directing in order to make the October release date. Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes was on board to produce with Andrew Form and Brad Fuller.
“Prisoners” scribe Aaron Guzikowski penned the reboot, which would have been the 13th film in the franchise, with the most recent bowing in 2009 from New Line and Warner Bros. As part of the deal that allowed Warner Bros. to come on as a co-producer on “Interstellar,” the studio traded the rights to “Friday the 13th” to Paramount, where Platinum Dunes holds a first-look deal.
The series launched in 1980 with Jason Vorhees as the unstoppable hockey mask-wearing killer who was drowned as a boy at Camp Crystal Lake. Paramount originally set a 2015 release date, then moved it backwards several times.
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The state of California had awarded the production a $5.6 million tax credit on Aug. 2 as part of its expanded incentive program to keep production in California. But that credit required that production would start within 180 days and that period has now run out.