Two things in this life are inevitable: death, and the periodic continuation of successful horror franchises. Combining these two is the Final Destination series, and horror icon Tony Todd is interested in reprising his role should a planned revival come to pass.
Originating as an unproduced spec script for an episode of The X-Files, the first movie was conceived as the ultimate slasher; instead of an assortment of attractive young things being stalked by an unkillable masked maniac, they are instead hunted by Death itself. Each film sees a group of people evade an incident resulting in mass casualties due to one of them having an inexplicable premonition about it, whereupon they’re taken out one by one in the order they would have died, killed in freak accidents caused by an invisible force subtly manipulating their surroundings as the Reaper redresses the imbalance caused by the survival of people who should have departed the mortal plane.
Todd appears in three of the movies as William Bludworth, one of only two characters to feature in more than one installment, a coroner who thinks a lot about death and explains the setup to the survivors as he perceives it. A popular fan theory is that he’s an avatar of Death shunting the unwitting characters to their doom in accordance with his scheme, although the creators have denied this.
Of the prospect of returning, Todd had this to say:
“If it was up to me and Jeffrey [Reddick, series creator], I’d be the person [they would bring back], but we don’t know yet. I know they’ve had several attempts at scripts. They’re still trying to figure out the right puzzle, if that’s the right term for Final Destination. If they can figure out a way to have falling logs off a spaceship I think we’ll be alright.”
It’s been almost a decade since the last Final Destination, with the most recent update about the potential sixth film stating the idea was to focus on first responders, people who regularly deal with death and make decisions that decide who lives and who dies. It’s yet to be officially commented on whether this is still considered appropriate though in the wake of those we rely on to protect us being acknowledged as frequently being far more malevolent than often portrayed, as well as inevitable premature death having now become an everyday reality.
The main appeal of the Final Destination series is the imagination used in dreaming up improbable demises for its doomed casts, each seemingly more elaborate and brutal than the last. Tony Todd’s role in it may be secondary, but his William Bludworth is also one of its most memorable characters and to not have him around would feel like wasted potential.