It's been a long time since we've seen the famed teen-killer Jason on the big (or small) screen. There is still a movie reboot in development, but that project keeps stalling out at every turn. On the TV side of things, The CW had signed on to make a Friday the 13th TV series but quickly removed the show from their schedule. But fear not, slasher lovers! According to creator Sean Cunningham, the show isn't totally dead. At least not yet.
Sean Cunningham recently appeared on an episode of the Shock Waves Podcast and talked quite a bit about the Friday the 13th series, which, as far as we knew, was dead in the water. However, according to Cunningham, it is still "percolating" and could still happen, assuming another network can get on board. Here's what he had to say about it.
"The Friday the 13th series is still percolating and we've got a very good handle on how we want to do it. You need really smart showrunners. I think the thing about Friday the 13th as a TV franchise...you have that problem, how the hell are you going to deal with Jason? Is he going to come out of the woods every week and smash another teenager against a tree and nobody is going to notice? Nobody knows who did it?"
Even when it comes to Jason in movies, at some point, dispatching teenagers and unsuspecting lawmen with a machete, or whatever weapon he has handy, can run the risk of getting old. So how would one handle a Friday the 13th TV show in that respect (and we're not talking about a horror anthology in the vein of the 80s Friday the 13th: The Series)? It's a good question, but one that could definitely have an answer. MTV has managed to make Scream work quite successfully as a TV series, so why not Friday the 13th? Sean Cunningham also spoke about how important the fans are to a horror show like this and what the series would look like, given the somewhat complex history of Jason on the big screen.
"You have to service the fans. You can't ignore them. Friday the 13th, at least in part, is going to be about Jason. So, how do you make sense of all of the contradictory stories that are out there, between Jason going to space, or versus Freddy, and all these other things? The assumption is this. Crystal Lake is a town that really exists, and a long time ago they had a series killer named Jason Voorhees, and then some Hollywood creep comes out and makes this exploitation horror movie called Friday the 13th. And then they make another one, and another one, and it just crushes the town. The town becomes the place that Jason built. And the stuff that happened, they know what really happened. The rest is Hollywood lore. There are people there that lived through it, and they'll tell you what really happened. And so, what you can do is set up Crystal Lake as, more or less, like the town in Jaws, Amity Island. You have the town with all its prime movers in the town, but the town is located in an area that would allow Jason to exist in whatever form. But other things as well."
That is a pretty meta idea, but one that could be pretty interesting. It could add some depth to Friday the 13th. Whether or not the franchise needs it is up for debate, but this show could accomplish that. Sean Cunningham sounds relatively optimistic, the series sounds pretty well fleshed out and lots of networks and streaming services need content. Jason may yet find a home on TV.