We're going to preface this story by flat-out saying we think it's highly unlikely. But the horror-inclined corners of the interwebs are currently abuzz with the rumour that the developing new Friday The 13th movie may not feel the hockey-masked presence of the series' signature slasher Jason Voorhees.
The question mark comes from an interview with Crave Online, in which Platinum Dunes producer Brad Fuller is asked who'll be playing Jason in the next instalment. Kane Hodder? Derek Mears? "I don't know," says Fuller, "because I don't know if we're going to have Jason." He follows that with, "I think if we're going to go for a Jason Voorhees we would go with Derek. He's our guy."
We'd have suggested that the whole mini-controversy stems simply from the wording of Fuller's answer, but that "if" does suggest that Jason is not a done deal. So what could this mean? The Halloween franchise infamously opted for a Michael Myers-free third chapter in Season Of The Witch, but sheepishly returned to the boiler suit and Shatner mask for all subsequent sequels. It's unlikely that Platinum Dunes would attempt a standalone anthology series with that precedent.
So two things occur. One is that this could be a full-on remake of the original 1980 film (despite the little recap at the start of Marcus Nispel's 2010 reboot-quel). Without getting into spoilers for the four of you that don't know / haven't seen Scream, that would involve a killer other than Jason.
The alternative is that this could be a symptom of the rumoured found-footage route that this (probable) sequel is taking. Perhaps there's an idea that, by those methods, Jason would be kept so far offscreen and deep in the shadows that his casting is largely irrelevant. "We’re looking at found footage," says Fuller. "I never know because it depends on the story and what the story is. It’s been reported, that’s something that we’re looking into but I can’t tell you definitively that that’s what the movie is."
We're saying it's likely that, whatever's being discussed, fear of fan opprobrium will ensure that Jason will eventually make an appearance in some form. What's certain is that the thirteenth Friday The 13th ("That's very daunting," says Fuller) is currently scheduled for release on March 13, 2015 (a Friday, obvs). If Platinum Dunes really don't know what they're doing yet, they'd better get cracking.