Creepy video game/merchandising bonanza ‘Five Nights At Freddy’s’ is coming to theaters and in highly capable hands– those of Chris Columbus. Columbus will write, produce and direct. Columbus directed the original ‘Adventures in Babysitting’, Mrs. Doubtfire’, the first two ‘Home Alone’ movies, the first two ‘Harry Potter’ films and ‘Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief’. He also penned such young-skewing thrillers as ‘The Goonies’ and ‘Gremlins’ and produced the successful ‘Night at the Museum’ franchise, so he knows about delivering entertainment for younger viewers which isn’t necessarily watered-down.
‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’, the game’ follows a nighttime security guard who gets trapped in a Chuck E. Cheese-like theme restaurant called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, and must defend himself against the terrifying animatronic creatures that come to life. The various apps have sold millions of downloads and has generated millions more Youtube views as well as toys, clothing and scores of additional merchandising. The film was in development at New Line, which put the film into turnaround last March. Many studios, particularly those that specialize in genre filmmaking, scrambled to get the rights with low-budget hit-makers Blumhouse coming in on top.
The game’s creator Scott Cawthon will produce, along with Columbus and Blumhouse’s Jason Blum. Though Columbus may be the most esteemed director to work for Blumhouse, M. Night Shyamalan revived his slumping career with the studio with hits like ‘Split’ and ‘The Visit’ as well as the likes of Eli Roth, Rob Zombie and Todd McFarlane who is directing a film adaptation of his hit ’90s comic book ‘Spawn’. Blumhouse has also helped the likes of Jordan Peele, whose ‘Get Out’ is up for multiple Academy Awards and James Wan who directed Warner Brothers’ big-budget ‘Aquaman’ due this winter.
Blumhouse has produced some of the most successful horror movies in recent years with the ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Purge’, ‘Insidious’, ‘Ouija’ and ‘Amityville’ brands. Also since their movies tend to be rated PG-13, they can attract a larger audience than many thrillers, like last year’s breakout hit ‘Happy Death Day’. The studio is branching out with family friendly fare like ‘Benji’ and the upcoming TV revival of ‘Tremors’.
Blumhouse made the ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ announcement via Twitter:
— Blumhouse (@blumhouse) February 12, 2018
Blumhouse has not released a release date, but if the script still has to be penned, it could be a while before production begins.