Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe rewrote the rules of feature length storytelling forever, countless other studios and franchises have attempted to jump on the bandwagon, only to fall flat on their faces. Of course, there have been several successful shared mythologies to spring up in the wake of the MCU, but so far The Conjuring Universe is the only one in the horror genre to have found any sustained level of success.
However, that could all be set to change if Fear Street director Leigh Janiak gets her way. Netflix’s trilogy is ambitious enough as it is, telling three different stories set in 1994, 1978 and 1666 that all combine to form one overarching narrative about the horrors to have plagued the small town of Shadyside for centuries. If that wasn’t enough, they all shot in one six-month block between March and September of 2019, and rolled out onto the streaming service in consecutive weeks.
The trilogy has found widespread critical acclaim and dominated the most-watched list ever since Part One arrived 23 days ago, but Janiak now has even grander designs, after admitting in a new interview that she envisions Fear Street as horror’s spin on the MCU formula.
One of the exciting things about Fear Street is the fact that the universe is big and allows for a lot of space. One of the things that I talked about before I was hired was that we have a potential here to create a horror, where you can have slasher killers from lots of different eras. You have the canon of our main mythology that’s built around the fact that the devil lives in Shadyside, so there’s also room for everything else.
I think that my hope is that audiences like it enough that we can start building out, we can think about what another trilogy would be, what standalones would be, what TV would be. I don’t even think about it like TV or movies exactly anymore. That’s the great thing about Netflix and about what Fear Street is, which is kind of a hybrid new thing. I’m excited about the possibility of what else can happen. I really started getting excited about a ’50s slasher movie, which I haven’t really seen and what that means. It’s just cool to think about the different eras and what’s possible as a horror fan.”
All told, there are over 150 stories comprising the entirety of the Fear Street collection on the printed page, so it’s not as if Netflix and Janiak would be short of inspiration were they to fully embrace the cinematic universe model. Looking at how popular the trilogy has been so far, the boardroom could well be champing at the bit for more as they look to create as many in-house franchises as humanly possible to maintain a seat at the head of the streaming table.