‘Friday the 13th’ Reboot Cancelled by Paramount; ‘World War Z 2’ Pulled from Schedule [Updated]

     February 6, 2017


[Update: Per Variety, Paramount has not only pulled the Friday the 13th reboot from its release schedule, but has cancelled the film altogether. The report notes that the disappointing box office of Rings, along with the fact that the rights to Friday the 13th revert to New Line Cinema soon, are among the reasons why the studio has opted to throw in the towel. The film was given a tax incentive last year to shoot in California, but it missed the window to start filming. Now it appears the studio is just going to let the rights revert back to New Line. Our original story follows below.]

Paramount’s long-developed Friday the 13th reboot just can’t catch a break. Today, the studio announced that both Friday the 13th and their equally long-developed World War Z sequel have been pulled from their previously announced release dates. World War Z 2 was set to arrive on June 9, 2017, and Friday the 13th was scheduled for October 13, 2017. Instead, Darren Aronofsky‘s mysterious Jennifer Lawrence-led mother! will take the October slot, squaring it up for a prime awards-contender release.

This is only the latest shakeup for Friday the 13th, which the studio has struggled to crack in the years since Paramount landed the property in the 2013 deal that handed Warner Bros. Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar. At one point there was talk about a found footage approach. For a while Signal and V/H/S helmer David Bruckner was on board to direct. Then the studio brought in Prisoners scribe Aaron Guzikowski and The Crazies helmer Breck Eisner. Last we heard, they had found their lake and were set to film this spring.


Image via Paramount Pictures

Recent casting details have surfaced, so it seems likely that this is but another delay for the reboot unless the studio opted out at the last minute. Recent reports have suggested that the film would focus on Jason’s childhood and his overbearing father, something that sounds like a genuinely dreadful idea on paper. Hopefully, the delay will give the powers that be time to realize the whole troubled childhood thing really didn’t work out so well with those Halloween remakes.

In the case of World War Z 2, it seems the sequel taking after its predecessor, which had a famously troubled production. However, the news isn’t exactly surprising. Anyone out there who remembered the film was supposed to drop this June was probably expecting a delay. You don’t go through pre-production, filming and post on a tentpole in four months. Variety reports that Paramount is using the time to develop the script with an eye on a 2018 or 2019 release date.

The Impossible and When a Monster Calls director J.A. Bayona was set to helm the sequel from a script by Locke scribe Stephen Knight. A little over a year ago the studio recruited Utopia creator Dennis Kelly to rewrite the script and shortly after, Bayona dropped off the project to finish post-production on When a Monster Calls before moving on to Jurassic World 2. Last we heard, star and producer Brad Pitt had been in conversations with his long-time collaborator David Fincher to take on the property, which would be an extraordinary get for the project.

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