Horror production company Blumhouse has its “Exorcist: Believer” hitting theaters this weekend (after changing dates to avoid Taylor Swift). But “Exorcist” isn’t the only classic franchise they want to do something with.
“Jason [Blum] and I are definitely in agreement that ‘Friday the 13th’ is the thing we would love to get our hands on,” Blumhouse producer Ryan Turek told Inverse. “I really want to go back to the basics. You don’t need too many ingredients for a ‘Friday the 13th’ film. You need summer camp, you need campers, and you need Jason Voorhees in a mask.”
Before tackling “The Exorcist,” the horror production company went into the franchise archives to resuscitate the “Halloween” franchise in recent years. They produced three films spinning off in a new timeline with a masked killer who’s not too different from Jason.
“Listen, I’ve gone on the record saying ‘Halloween’ is the ultimate slasher film for me,” Turek said. “That’s my favorite slasher film of all time. But ‘Friday the 13th’ as a franchise is one that I just bow down to. I just love everything about it. And if we were able to live in both worlds, like we do with ‘Halloween,’ then to be able to live at Crystal Lake for a while would be so incredible.”
The rights to “Friday the 13th” have been a mess for years, with the screenwriter of the first film winning the rights to intellectual property from that original installment — but that doesn’t include adult Jason Voorhees, who doesn’t show up until later in the franchise. There have also been issues around its moves between Paramount and New Line Cinema.
A24 landed the rights from the original film and has a prequel series heading to Peacock next year, “Crystal Lake.” But that means that the rights to adult, masked Jason are still out there for the taking. Those rights are held by producer-director Sean S. Cunningham.
Turek’s comments echo others in recent years from Blumhouse leader Jason Blum, who’s talked on several occasionsabout how much he would love to do a “Friday the 13th” movie. But he’s also noted how the complicated rights made that difficult.
Turek also talked with Inverse about how “Exorcist: Believer” ties in with the “Exorcist” franchise. Similarly to how Blumhouse decided to pick and choose which previous “Halloween” films were canon and which weren’t, Turek said that “Exorcist: Believer” is a direct sequel to the original “The Exorcist.”
He said that in his heart, he does not connect the new film to any of the other “Exorcist” films. But writer-director David Gordon Green has some interest in “The Exorcist II,” Turek noted. There are already more “Exorcist” films planned from Blumhouse in the years to come.