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In September of 2013, we learned that Sean Cunningham was developing a new Friday the 13th television series called Crystal Lake Chronicles. Unlike the old Friday the 13th series, this one would feature our beloved Jason Voorhees.

The news stemmed from a FEARnet interview with Cunningham in which he was quoted as saying, “I think there will also be Friday the 13th: Crystal Lake Chronicles, which is sort of a Smallville. We’ve been on-again off-again with that for years and there are a bunch of great stories to be told, but I think the way that it’s finally going to get delivered is not through a conventional television network, but through the Internet. I can’t tell you who the delivery people will be, but it won’t be the traditional route. There’s also the possibility of webisodes, and I think we even have an idea for a terrific Friday the 13th video game.”

FEARnet interviewer Scott Neumyer suggested that the series “sounds like something tailor-made for someone like Netflix.”

Cunningham’s response to that was, “Yeah, it does. It’s also more than just me saying, ‘You know,Friday the 13th would be a great series!’ We’ve got a couple of really good writers that have been working and writing. It can’t be just Jason killing someone new every week. That’s not going to make it.”

Unfortunately, the FEARnet website is no longer in existence, so I can’t link you to that interview.

Deadline report from nearly a year ago said the new series “re-imagines Jason in multiple time periods”.

Cunningham was then quoted as saying, “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.”

Also from that report:

Bill Basso (Terminator) and Jordu Schell (Avatar) have been set to script a storyline that re-imagines Jason in multiple time periods. Roy Knyrim (Gods And Monsters) of SOTA FX will coordinate the special make-up effects for the series. If you recall, the original was set at a summer camp, closed because of the drowning of an unattended child. Promiscuous counselors tried to re-open the place, but they began dying. Jason actually took root as the indestructible villain in the second film, with his signature hockey goalie mask coming later. The series is 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.

Rumors from September suggested that the upcoming Friday film would lead into the series, but as with all rumors, that should be taken with a grain of salt. We’ve also heard that the film might be set in the 80s, so I’m not sure how that would work out if the series is set in present day.

Friday the 13th the Franchise, which is pretty much the best source of Friday-related content on the web, including news and rumor-debunking, has a new, interesting nugget:

Sean and other franchise alumni have been attending the Monster Mania convention this weekend in New Jersey and while talking during a Q&A during the event, he offered up some new information about the plot of the show and a possible network to air the show. Tim Jacobs attended the event and tells us what Sean had to say:
“Sean Cunningham confirmed interest from the CW in regards to pickup for the tv show. According to him, the basic premise focuses on the REAL city of Crystal Lake, and the effect that the serialized films had on its real life counterpart. This allows them to reimagine Jason in a more grounded reality, as the films would be based off the real life killings that took place at the Camp. (ie, both the Hockey Masked Jason and a more serious backwoods inspired killer will be making appearances throughout) “
The concept sounds similar to the recent The Town That Dreaded Sundown reboot, but would still include Jason himself (if I’m interpreting this correctly…and keep in mind, this basically fourth-hand news from whatever Cunningham actually said at this point). Actually, it sounds a little reminiscent of the tone from Jason Goes to Hell in that everybody knows about Jason, and he’s become something of a pop culture icon. I supposed there’s a little bit of New Nightmare in that concept too. Hopefully there will be hockey mask burgers involved.
Typically, I probably wouldn’t be a big fan of this kind of approach, but given the paths the franchise has already taken, this could actually be the best approach to getting Jason back to the basics. It’s all going to be in the execution, so I’m going to reserve judgment.
And of course, I’m pretty much dumping salt all over every piece of Friday the 13th “news” that emerges at this point. We’ll see what happens.