Legal issues have kept Jason Voorhees off the screen for over a decade now, and there’s no indication the Camp Crystal Lake rogue will be back on life-taker duty anytime soon. Roadblocks aren’t stopping “Jason Lives” writer Tom McLoughlin from writing a new ‘Friday the 13th’ script on spec though.
Bloody Disgusting caught up with McLoughlin, writer of 1986’s sixth “Friday” film, about the new self-contained story he has penned.
“I started it probably about a year, year and a half ago. And that’s when I finally had some ideas that I thought could make it unique, and not like any other Friday. But I’d been toying with the whole notion of doing another one for years.
When we finished [Jason Lives], Frank Mancuso at Paramount asked me, you know, “Would you want to do the next one?” And I said, “I don’t know what I would do yet. I tried to do something unique with Jason Lives, and I certainly would want to do that on a follow-up.” So then that was when he made the offer about, “Well, would you do Freddy vs. Jason?” And I said, “Before we even start talking about that, I don’t know how you’re gonna get Freddy if he’s at New Line.” He said, “Well, we’re working on that.” And of course they got the answer very fast: No, they didn’t want to surrender Freddy to Paramount, and Paramount didn’t want to surrender Jason to New Line. So that sort of ended that discussion.
Then he said, “Do you have any other ideas?” So I said, “You guys own Cheech and Chong — what about Cheech and Chong Meet Jason? Like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” And he laughs and goes, “I don’t know. It could be pretty funny if they were camp counselors or even just out camping, and you put the two things together.” Then he came back and said, “You know, the Friday people are probably not gonna like all the laughs with the Cheech and Chong world, and the Cheech and Chong people might not like these over-the-stop kills and stuff with Jason. So I don’t think we’re gonna go with that.” And I said, “Well, I’ll keep thinking about it.” What resulted after that was Friday the 13th: The Series, and I ended up getting involved with that as one of the story editors, and then writing and directing some of the episodes.
And every year, it’s gotten bigger and bigger and bigger, and I’m just shocked. It seems like it’s really at a peak right now, with the popularity of Jason. And maybe some of it is what I call the “James Dean Sydrome” — now that he’s gone, you want him all the more. But regardless, it’s such a huge, huge thing for people to want Friday so badly that fans are creating their own films, doing fan funding, and making things happen. And I have to say I’m very proud of these guys for doing it. It seems a little dangerous; if the lawsuit that’s going on settles and any of these guys are making any kind of money, I’d think they would at least get a cease-and-desist order.”
The idea from day one, says McLoughlin, is to do a more ‘grounded’ “Friday the 13th” film.
“I kept being asked the same question: “Would you do another one?” And then I started thinking: If I was to go back into this world, what would it be? So, first off, I wanted to keep it grounded again, like I did in my other one — we’re at the camp, and something occurs that takes us through it. I loved the idea of Jason Never Dies as a title. And kind of playing off that a bit, in terms of what causes him to come back again. Who are the people that he’s involved with this time around? And how many of them fight back? How many of them are just victimized?
But one thing I’m doing that hasn’t been done before is I’m putting Jason in the snow. So, from the beginning of the movie to the end, it’ll all be in winter. And the camp is going to be a little different than what people will expect. As for the cast — because a lot of people have been asking me if it’s gonna be Tommy Jarvis coming back — Thom Matthews, who’s obviously Tommy in [Jason Lives], has been doing so many of these fan films that I don’t know if I can do something really fresh with him.
So I basically kind of abandoned the idea of bringing him and Megan back, and went for this idea that the people involved in this one are going to be complete innocents. There’s not going to be like I had in the other one, where they were making Jason jokes and all that kind of thing. They have no idea who this is, so it goes back to that: “Oh, my God, is this a monster? Is this an alien? What the hell is this that’s causing these murders?”
One other thing I’ll give away is that the entire cast is female, with the exception of Jason. And then there’s three or four other things that have not been done before, which I’ll hold back on so there can be some surprises.
But it’s been talked about for years — doing a film set in winter — because obviously blood looks real good on white snow. And I wanted to make sure that the kills are unique to that, in terms of where Jason is and what he gets ahold of, and how bodies are left. I tried to be as inventive as I could and still keep that dark sense of humor that I had in the [1986 film]. Maybe even a little darker in this particular version. It’ll have all the things that the fans have come to know and love, but with some twists within that.”
The scribe doesn’t know how rights-man and producer Sean Cunningham will react to “Jason Never Dies” and until he gets the call won’t know whether his script has a chance of ever transferring to celluloid.
Read the entire interview at Bloody Disgusting!