Producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller talk FRIDAY THE 13th Sequel, 3-D, The Birds, BUTCHERHOUSE CHRONICLES

     June 15, 2009

platinum_dunes_producers_image_brad_fuller_and_andrew_form.jpgLast week I was on the set of Platinum Dunes “Nightmare on Elm Street” remake with a number of other websites. While I’m under embargo from writing about anything I saw while there, I was given permission to post what producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller said about their other projects.

As most of you know, Andrew and Brad have been working non-stop these last few years making horror films like “Friday the 13th”, “The Hitcher”, “The Unborn”, “The Amityville Horror” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. As you might imagine, they’ve got a few other projects in development…

The big news we learned is the sequel to “Friday the 13th” is not yet greenlit, but they’ve got a script being written and they’ve already picked out “a nice date next summer that we hope everyone can see another Friday the 13th on. August 13, 2010.”

They also revealed we’re going to see something that’s never been done in a “Friday” film and that’s see Jason in the snow!

We also talked about if they’d do the film in 3-D and Andrew said, “I suspect it will not be in 3-D, although we’d love to make a 3-D horror movie.” Andrew explained since the cost would be a lot higher for 3-D and with the short turnaround time between filming later this year and a next summer release date, it’s probably not going to happen. But they both seemed excited by the possibilities.

They also talked about why they’re having problems developing “The Birds” remake and their original script called “Butcherhouse Chronicles”. It’s after the jump:

platinum_dunes_producers_image_brad_fuller_and_andrew_form__1_.jpg

When asked about the central challenge of developing “The Birds” remake, both Brad and Andrew spoke of the limitations of dealing with birds as the enemy. Brad said, “They peck and poke, so there’s not a lot of variety as to what can happen.”

They were then asked about an originals script they’ve developing called “The Butcherhouse Chronicles”. Brad told us the film is “out of a play. But it’s an original. That feels more in the wheelhouse of “Friday the 13th” – fun, horror, kids running around, not too much torture or pulling people’s nails or teeth out.”

Andrew then said it has a “great villain“.

The big problem getting the film to the screen apparently is time. As Brad said, “As you guys know, we don’t make these movies and then send people to our sets and have them make it for us, so our limitation is the amount of time Drew and I can actually spend on set. So it feels like this year is spoken for, fortunately. Hopefully that’s a 2010 movie for us.

During our interview time we also talked about the reasons why “Drag Me To Hell” didn’t work with audiences like it did with critics, and why “Friday the 13th” was such a huge hit with moviegoers.

If you’re a fan of Platinum Dunes movies or just fans of “Friday the 13″, you’ll love hearing what they had to say.

Finally, if you’re going to San Diego Comic-Con next month, I’d advise you going to the Warner Bros. panel on Friday. That’s really all I can say about that….

Here’s the exact quotes:

friday_the_13th_movie_poster_2009_1.jpgQuestion: You guys are obviously working on other projects, so what’s going on with the sequel to Friday and other movies?

Andrew Form: We’re hopeful that’s the next movie. There’s a nice date coming up next summer that we hope everyone can see another Friday the 13th on.

There’s a script in development?

Brad Fuller: Yes. With Shannon Swift. So, for 2009 I think that it’s this and the sequel to Friday the 13th and then beyond that, I don’t know. A lot of you guys have been talking to us for years and you know we don’t develop that far beyond what we’re doing.

You guys have been talking about developing more originals and I’m sort of interesting looking at Drag Me To Hell, about as good an original horror movie as you’re going to see in theaters. The fans didn’t really turn out for that. Do you sort of look at that and at the state of how original horror does and say to yourself “maybe it is better to do remakes.”

Brad Fuller: At the end of the day, and I’m sure you love Drag Me To Hell. Sometimes our taste is not in sync with the public and I don’t think it’s something that’s specific to original or non-original horror. I think part of it is a release date and part of it is something that conceptually a lot of kids can get behind, and you know what I mean when I say a lot of kids. We don’t do remakes because we’re not doing original stuff, we are presented with opportunities or pursue opportunities and thus far, what has come in front of us is what we’re doing. We’re not avoiding…like we have a script with Scott Cozare, which I hope we’re going to do at Paramount, which is an original script, which is unlike anything ever. It was originally our Rosemary’s Baby movie, which obviously we’re not doing that. But, it came from a meeting with Scott there and that’s an original thing, but we don’t look at it in the same way that you do. That it’s original horror versus remake, do you know what I mean? I think that the audience judges each one on its own merit and at the end of the day…my sixteen year old son didn’t think that Drag Me To Hell was that scary. But, he doesn’t have the knowledge that we all have. It’s hard to evaluate that movie as its own movie without knowledge of the work that Sam Raimi has done before and see where he has come. In a vacuum, kids aren’t responding to that movie, but I mean that movie is 94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics love that movie. I think that critically it’s a huge success and financially it’s just not the same level of success.

Is it possible that we may see a Friday film in the snow?

Brad: How’d you here that?

Well, you were talking about shooting maybe later this year.

Andrew: Oh, so maybe a snowball fight. (laughs)

Brad: Listen, I think that for that movie we want to have a fun movie. If we’re going to do another Friday the 13th, you know we were having a blast on the set; we want to have fun. We also want to bring things they haven’t seen before and one of the things that they haven’t seen before is Jason in the snow. They haven’t seen that before.

Can you see it in 3-D?

friday_the_13th_movie_image_jason_voorhees.jpgBrad: It’s certainly been talked about. The financial ramifications of doing a movie in 3-D on a budget that size, ’cause it’s not like they’re going to say to us “yah well why don’t you make a sequel and here’s twice as much money”, it doesn’t go that way. Our movies are virtually all the exact same budget and I guarantee you if we make that movie it’ll be the same budget as the original. And we’ll say “hey do you want to do it in 3-D” and they’ll say “yah let’s talk about it” and then when they see that it’s six or seven million dollars more they’ll probably opt out unless something that we are not expecting happens. I suspect it will not be in 3-D, although we’d love to make a 3-D horror movie. We’d love to do it; they just don’t throw that money our way.

My Bloody Valentine did very well in 3-D and you have The Final Destination and the Avatar and a lot in 3-D.

Brad: Here’s the other problem, we don’t have a release date, we don’t have a green-lit movie. Let me be very clear, ’cause last time we were talking about this movie it got back to Toby Emmerich that I said that this movie we’re on right now was green-lit before it was so let me veer clear. Friday the 13th part 2, we don’t have a script, it’s not green-lit, and we have no idea what’s going to happen. IF it gets green-lit and we’re able to mount it in a reasonable amount of time, we would hope the movie would open on August 13, 2010.

And it will take place in the snow.

Brad: (laughs) No, I can tell you this, the movie itself will not take place in the snow. I don’t want to sit in Winnipeg with him for two months in the snow. We did that once, I don’t want to do it again. (laughs) What was your question again?

I was asking about 3-D.

Brad: I just don’t think…I don’t know. I mean what do you think?

Andrew: I don’t know if we have the time to be ready for it. If it does all happen, it’ll happen quickly because the film does need to shoot before the winter does come and ’cause the date would be summer next year. So, we’ve talked about how much time to get ready for the 3-D and then how much post time you need which is a lot longer than a non-3-D movie to get it into the theaters and then financially. But, I mean from day one when we started talking about the sequel we talked about it being in 3-D.

Are you already talking to the cast members?

Brad: We talk to them all the time. They’re great friends of ours.

From your point, why did “Friday the 13th” open like that?

friday_the_13th_movie_image_.jpgBrad: We did love the movie. It felt like the movie came out at a time where there were a lot of very down horror movies and upsetting horror movies and we had a great date, obviously and the movie, it was a party. You know, we went to theaters. We watched it. It was a party in the theaters. Audiences were screaming at it and loving it. It was one of those fun horror experiences and I think that for audience members who were looking for the same DNA as the original “Friday the 13ths,” they were very satisfied with that and for people who were looking to pick us apart, and there are a couple of those. This will come as a shock to you, but there are. They were disappointed with it. But at the end of the day, I think it’s a really fun horror movie and it’s not so gristly that it becomes fetishishy and eliminates a good portion of the audience.

But were you surprised by it?

Brad: You can never expect that to happen. We can’t imagine that we’ll ever have an opening like that again. We’ve love to, but that’s one for the record books.

Is “The Birds” still happening?

Brad: We keep trying, but I don’t know. I mean, that’s such a… That’s so hard and to get the script right. We continue and we struggle and I just don’t have a ton to say about it until we’ve got something good. I’ve talked about it enough and I don’t want to look like a…

What’s the central challenge? Is it just the Hitchcock always being in the background?

the_birds_movie_poster_alfred_hitchcock.jpgBrad: That’s huge. And the limitations that birds… What do they do? They peck and poke.

Andrew: And poop.

Brad: Right, so there’s not a lot of variety as to what can happen.

Andrew: You start with the shitting and you build up to pecking and then they poke.

Brad: Yeah. So it’s hard. It’s a much harder movie to do. As you guys know, we lay ourselves out there and get annihilated out there online all day long and that movie just opens us up to a whole different level of annihilation.

Then why pursue it?

Brad: You know what? In terms of “Why pursue it?” As a producer, you pursue a bunch of things and the ones that come to fruition, you make and the other ones you try and it’s a good effort. At this point, we’re gonna make this and we’re gonna make the next “Friday the 13th,” I hope, and then we’ll see where we are with scripts and material, but it doesn’t feel like that’s up next for us.

I’ve had two people tell me that “Butcherhouse Chronicles” is a great script. Where are you guys on that?

Brad: It is. We’re close. It’s an original script. It’s out of a play. But it’s an original. That feels more in the wheelhouse of “Friday the 13th” – Fun, horror, kids running around, not too much torture or pulling people’s nails or teeth out…

Andrew: Great villain.

Brad: Yeah, great villain. So that one feels pretty good. As you guys know, we don’t make these movies and then send people to our sets and have them make it for us, so our limitation is the amount of time Drew and I can actually spend on set. So it feels like this year is spoken for, fortunately. Hopefully that’s a 2010 movie for us.

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