Friday the 13th Series Crystal Lake Is a Mess, But May Still Be Moving Forward

Friday the 13th Series Crystal Lake Is a Mess, But May Still Be Moving Forward

In May, we learned that creator Bryan Fuller had departed the much-anticipated Friday the 13th prequel series Crystal Lake, a project produced by edgy studio A24 for Peacock. At the time, Fuller posted on social media that “for reasons beyond our control, A24 has elected to go a different way with the material.”

That wasn’t entirely surprising; “creative differences” are a common reason for break-ups during the film and TV production process—and Fuller (Hannibal) has a history of leaving projects early (including American Gods and Star Trek: Discovery). But a new behind-the-scenes report in the Wrap suggests that there were more factors at play beyond disagreements over the Crystal Lake material itself.

If you’re a fan of Hollywood mess, the Wrap piece is a must-read; though it’s mostly quotes from unnamed sources, it covers juicy speculation (Charlize Theron was bandied about as someone who might star as Jason’s murderous mother, Pamela Voorhees!) as well as how issues stemmed from “inexperienced production executives making questionable decisions, problems with the show’s writing staff, and conflicts between showrunners and executives.” There are also details about the costs involved—each episode of the eight-part season “was budgeted at around $US9.6 million, but according to sources, A24 wanted to cut that in half,” according to the trade, which notes elsewhere that the original Friday the 13th movie cost only $US550,000 to make back in 1980.

That’s a lot of intriguing drama, and it’s obvious from all the conflicting takes the article cites that it’s not certain exactly who’s to blame for the show hitting such a serious roadblock. But what horror fans really want to know is: are we getting Crystal Lake or is the cursed summer camp closed for good? The Wrap writes that A24 still intends to press forward with the show, though it’s not know if it will stick with Fuller’s vision or bring in a new creative figurehead, with Nick Antosca (a Hannibal vet who also made the excellent horror series Channel Zero) as one of the names in the mix. It also says that NBCUniversal, the parent company of Peacock, “maintains that the show is moving forward.”

Truth be told, waiting around is nothing new for Friday the 13th fans, who’ve been longing to see Jason return to the silver screen for years but have seen disputes over the franchise’s complicated rights issues get in the way of adding to his cinematic body count. There are plenty of existing movies out there worth re-watching, though, and that “Jason Universe” initiative announced last month could mean more non-movie entertainment involving the hockey-masked maniac is on the way.

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