Earlier this month, Paramount shocked and saddened Jason fans by officially canceling their long-gestating reboot of Friday the 13th. With the F13 franchise rights set to revert to New Line in 2018, it’s safe to say that the film definitely will not be happening.
However, the folks over at Bloody Disgusting managed to get their hands on an undated draft of the script for Paramount’s now canceled reboot, providing fans with an opportunity to learn what we might have gotten from the final film. To be clear though, it’s unclear if this exact draft was the final one.
Included below is an excerpt from BD’s full breakdown of the script. It’s their find, so I’m not going to try and rewrite them. That said, I will offer some of my own analysis underneath it, as a diehard Friday the 13th fan. Join me, won’t you?
With the tentative title Friday the 13th: Part 13 on the front cover, Guzikowksi’s aborted script begins at Camp Crystal Lake in 1977. Two young camp counselors, Jeff and Sandra (an homage to the characters from Part 2, but not the same characters) are murdered in the opening sequence by a killer wearing a sack mask. The young lovers climb atop the camp’s fire lookout tower; the masked man slashes Jeff’s Achilles tendons while he’s scaling the ladder, sending him plummeting to his death, and from the very top of the tower, he also tosses Sandra to her death.
The masked killer, it’s pretty safe to assume, is none other than Jason Voorhees, as he looks much the same way Jason did in Friday the 13th: Part 2. But we soon find out this is actually Elias Voorhees, Jason’s father. Yes, the new film was to essentially present Elias as the original Jason Voorhees.
The first 40-or-so minutes of the new Friday the 13th were going to delve into the backstory of the Voorhees family, providing us with our first ever meeting with ole Elias; the character has popped up in comic books, but never in the movies. The script simply describes Elias, the camp’s park ranger, as a “large man,” and he claims five victims throughout the first half of the film. Elias is then himself killed by camp cook Pamela Voorhees, who is sent into a violent rage in the years after her beloved son goes missing – it doesn’t help that Elias was cheating on Pamela.
As for young Jason, he’s written as a sympathetic character who wears a white medical mask to cover his hideously deformed face. A new addition to the mythology, Jason is also fed by his mother through a feeding tube. He’s sixteen years old in 1977, and as you’d probably expect, the other kids at camp ruthlessly pick on him. Eventually, their torment leads to his “death.”
The film was set to slightly reimagine Jason’s drowning. In this version of events, the older counselors, tripping on acid, take him along with them on a boat adventure; armed with a Super 8 camera, they cruelly unmask Jason and capture it all on film. Running away, Jason attempts to swim from a nearby island back to his home at Crystal Lake, but of course, he drowns.
I think I can speak for most Friday the 13th diehards when I say that our demands from a Jason movie are pretty simple:
- Include Jason, the more the better.
- Have Jason kill people. Lots and lots of people.
- Throw in some nudity for fun, and make the kills really gory.
Do those three things, and you’re basically guaranteed to make Jason fans happy. The absurdly convoluted origin story presented above is entirely unnecessary and superfluous.
Plus, it limits Jason’s actual rampage to the final 20 minutes or so of the film, and also suggests a demonic origin for him. Has Hollywood somehow still not learned yet that it’s best not to explain exactly why the monster is a monster?
Honestly, the script sounded like one giant mess to me. That said, my opinion is obviously not the be all end all of opinions. What do you, our fine iHorror faithful think? Would you have liked to see the above movie get made?