After a series of teasing, forewarning tweets from Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum, some news on the long-awaited Five Nights at Freddy’s movie was finally released to the world. And some pretty big news at that!
#jimhensoncreatureshop is working on our animatronics
Emma Tammi is our director
Filming on #FNAF starts in February 2023. Boom.
— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) October 5, 2022
The news-breaking tweet came shortly after others that told the people of Twitter to ‘not panic, but be ready’ and to ‘stay close to Twitter.’ Amongst all the anticipation, it didn’t take people too long to start speculating that the incoming news would concern the video game adaptation.
Developed by Scott Cawthon and released in 2014, Five Nights at Freddy’s is a point-and-click survival, horror game that became an immediate viral hit shortly after it’s release. The game takes place in “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria,” where you play as an overnight security guard tasked to look after the place until morning. As warned by your employer, the animatronics tend to come to life at night and roam around the building. Armed with just a flashlight and a bear-suit head, you must survive six nights at the pizzeria while a gang of huge, colorful animatronic animals try to hunt you down.
The popularity of the first game spawned several sequels and spin-offs. Much of the game’s allure comes from the extensive, complex lore found out through Easter eggs and secret mini-games within the main game itself.
The seemingly endlessly pushed back project was first announced all the way back in 2015, when Warner Bros. acquired the film rights to the series. After an extensive journey full of multiple script rewrites, new producers, new directors, and relative radio silence, proof for the existence of the film’s production appeared on Twitter in August 2022. An earlier tweet from Blum on August 9 showed someone working on a small, headless model figure.
It’s great to be working with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Their experience and expertise with animatronics is absolutely killer! @blumhouse pic.twitter.com/T81BguWJ69
— Jason Blum (@jason_blum) August 9, 2022
The tweet’s caption, paired with the recognizable, burly figure, was more than enough to show that the wheels truly are moving forward on the project.
Just two months later the project would have a director attached and a projected filming date.
Director Emma Tammi previously directed 2018’s The Wind, a western horror film set in the 19th century American frontier. The film’s reception varies: certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes at 81%, with an audience score of 48%, and a 3 stars on Letterboxd.
The involvement of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop is one worth noting. Probably the most famous puppeteer ever, Jim Henson— and now his legacy company— worked to create countless iconic characters like the Muppets; and on films such as The Dark Crystal. If you’re gonna make a movie about animatronic animals, there is absolutely no better company to work with.
With production slated to begin in Feb 2023, we might be able to predict a late-summer, early fall release date; or at least an early 2024 date, if things move smoothly.
With there having been already so many bumps in the road for the production of the film— having gone through countless directors and scripts— its not all that crazy to be a little apprehensive about jumping on the excitement train. Whatever happens, let’s just hope the film stays out of movie-purgatory and makes it to the big screen sooner than later.