Prequel Or Remake The Answer For New Friday The 13th Film?

At one time, Warner Brothers was strongly considering going the Found Footage route with a new Friday The 13th film and had certain principal players (filmmakers) agreed to participate, as well as a few rights issues been sorted out with Paramount Pictures, fans may have received Jason Voorhees filmed via cell phone. That idea has since passed, so we think, and so now fans are left with "whats next?". Now that Paramount has regained the rights to make a new Friday The 13th film, there have been many ideas thrown around the Friday The 13th community about where to take a new story. There have been two main thoughts of where a new film should go, besides Found Footage.

The Prequel
This has been discussed and lamented since before Jason X was announced to go into production. It is an exciting idea to go back before Steve Christie decided to re-open Camp Crystal Lake and revisit the origins of the Voorhees family, but there in-lies the problem. How do you go back to an origin story and make it appealing to a mass audience. Teens and young adults of the present generation may not care one bit about a backstory to Jason nor want to find out about this mother, for whom most of the newer fans probably do not want to see anyways. Lets face the facts, it's all about the hockey mask, machete and killing as many people in an hour and a half as possible.

Could a prequel work? Sure, if it's done in a creative way that is appealing to the target demographic as well as satisfies the die-hard fans that have driven the popularity of the series since its inception. How do you do that? Some fans have suggested that after Jason drowns, the events leading up to the original 1980 film should be explored, such as the two counselors being killed the year following Jason's drowning and the subsequent years with the fires, bad water and so on. However, those events may have to be updated beyond just simple fires and bad water. Sabotage could be one element to it, but other key components to vengeance could be included.

The real question for a prequel would be if Jason would be featured at all as a killer or co-conspirator? Jason is what sells these movies now and if you make a prequel which does not feature Jason, then Paramount Pictures could suffer the fan's wrath much like New Line Cinema did with Jason Goes To Hell, or Paramount itself did with Friday The 13th: A New Beginning.

The Remake
Fans are probably thinking, hey, we already have a remake. That is debatable within the community. This writer's personal opinion is that the 2009 film is more of a franchise reboot than a remake. A remake in definition is to remake a particular film. No one particular film was remade by Friday The 13th 2009. Suggesting a remake for a new Friday The 13th film would have to be one of the twelve films associated in the franchise, and if fans really want to have a new film that spawns numerous sequels and sustains longevity for years to come, then why not go back to the original film that started it all.

Remaking Friday The 13th 1980 would make a lot of sense. It's familiar territory that can be updated for a new generation, but there are obstacles. One such obstacle would be the inclusion/exclusion of the whodunit aspect of the original film. It would be quite difficult to tell the audience, alright, this is Friday The 13th, but Jason may or not be the killer. This goes back to the aforementioned problem discussed for a proposed sequel. Less or no Jason equals angry fans and bad word of mouth. That can be a killer for box office business. If you eliminate the whodunit story arc, then the other obstacle relates to that arc, and that is who should be the killer.

Do the filmmakers of the remake introduce Jason immediately as the killer? The story would change dramatically from the original 1980 film at that point. So if Jason is not the killer, then who is, and how would fans receive the notion of not having Jason Voorhees as the killer, at least for the remake? It's a slippery slope indeed, which makes for tough decisions for the franchise from this point forward.

Friday The 13th 2009 was a good reintroduction to what the film franchise once was before Jason went to Manhattan, faced a telekinetic teen, was dragged to Hell, or made people scream in Space. But the next film will determine the path of the franchise for years to come. What would you choose to do with your beloved franchise?
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