As hard as it is to believe, it’s now been twelve years since we’ve had a new Friday the 13th movie, as the Marcus Nispel-directed remake arrived in theaters more than a decade ago today. While the Platinum Dunes release has its critics, it’s arguably not the worst or the best of the 2000s-era reboots, and most likely wasn’t expected to be the last of the Friday films to come out. However, with ongoing legal troubles keeping new projects on ice, it may be a while before we get another look at Jason Voorhees.
2009’s Friday the 13th took the long-running franchise into darker, more realistic territory after the increasingly outlandish likes of Jason X and Freddy vs. Jason. In keeping with the Platinum Dunes approach during the period, we received a stripped-down reworking of Jason’s origin and the struggles of a group of unlucky teens as they fight against a more human, survivalist version of the killer. Despite a mixed response from critics, the picture went on to become the second-highest-grossing entry in the series.
The success of the film meant that a sequel was quickly announced, only to be derailed by multiple issues over studio rights and the direction wanted by producers, including a potential found footage take on the property. Over the next few years, various treatments and scripts, as well as some proposed release dates, were floated, only to be put on hold by screenwriter Victor Miller winning back the rights to the material in 2018. Since then, the future of the franchise has been in legal limbo due to appeals.
Indeed, things don’t look like they’ll be resolved anytime soon, with producer Sean S. Cunningham having recently launched a separate lawsuit over unpaid profits. Prior to the 2009 Friday the 13th, the longest gap between sequels was nine years, meaning that fans have had a long wait for the thirteenth entry in the series. However, the resolution of other legal cases for horror franchises, including A Nightmare on Elm Street, and the recent revival of Halloween, may mean that the various parties involved can settle their differences to exploit the current market.