Paramount Pictures’ plans for a reboot of their Friday the 13th franchise, last rebooted in 2009 by Marcus Nispel, took a big step forward today. While the search for a director has been quietly going on behind the scenes, it seems as if the studio is now in talks with Breck Eisner for the coveted position.
Deadline reports that Paramount is in talks with Eisner, which comes as good news considering that the studio wants to have the reboot in theaters some time next year; there just so happens to be an actual Friday the 13th in October next year, so you can probably bet on that being the target date. What might not be received as such good news by fans of Jason Voorhees and his movie mythology is Eisner’s track record in the director’s chair.
Eisner has a trio of feature films under his belt: his beleaguered 2005 action comedy debut, Sahara; the best case for directing another horror movie in 2010’s The Crazies; and the head-scratcher that was last year’s Vin Diesel-starring action fantasy movie, The Last Witch Hunter. I remind you of his filmography to say that I have no clue what an Eisner-directed Friday the 13th film would look like. The Crazies was a solid, enjoyable film, but not a franchise-starter, which is what this new reboot needs.
Paramount’s chats with Eisner might have more to do with his pedigree than anything else; Eisner’s father Michael was Paramount’s President and CEO from 1976 to 1984, a period which saw Sean S. Cunningham’s original slasher film in 1980, followed by the next three sequels. Perhaps some of the old magic still flows through those veins.
And yet, the job almost went to a more experienced horror director by the name of Alexandre Aja, as revealed by Variety’s Justin Kroll:
CRAZIES helmer Breck Eisner in talks to direct FRIDAY THE 13TH. Heard last week it was down to him and Alexandre Aja (hills have eyes)
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) August 8, 2016
You may not know his name, but there’s a solid chance you’ve seen or at least heard of his films, like: High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes (2006), Mirrors, Piranha 3D and Horns. For my money, I’d prefer to see Aja at the helm, not just for the variety of his horror experience but for his visual style, fearless storytelling, and confident directing. Alas, at this moment, it is not to be.
For more on Friday the 13th and its in-development reboot, check out some of our recent write-ups:
- New ‘Friday the 13th’ Movie to Seriously Fuck with Jason’s Origins [Updated]
- ‘Friday the 13th’ Movies Ranked From Worst to Best
- ‘Friday the 13th’ Loses Director David Bruckner, Adds ‘Prisoners’ Screenwriter
- Kill Me Two Times: 6 Horror Movie Sequels Worthy of the Originals
- ‘Friday the 13th’ TV Series in Development at The CW