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David Bruckner talks the Friday the 13th reboot that could have been

As you're well aware, Paramount is having a tough time cracking FRIDAY THE 13th at the moment. For a while it looked like they had found the right guy to steer the ship in David Bruckner, who helmed effective segments in THE SIGNAL, V/H/S and SOUTHBOUND, but late last year it was revealed Bruckner had departed the project, as the studio moves in a fresh direction with an intriguing new writer (PRISONERS scribe Aaron Guzikowski). So what went down?

In an interview with Fangoria, Bruckner describes what his original vision was - which included the found footage format we all cherish so much (to be fair, however, it was more Paramount's idea than his to go that route).

When I came on board that project, Paramount was exploring whether or not they could do a found-footage FRIDAY, and they brought me in to crack it. I had some very specific ideas; if we were going to do that, I felt it needed to be single-camera. I didn’t think you could bring a whole bunch of media into the room, and that we had to do a kind of classic found-footage movie.

So writers Richard Naing and Ian Goldberg and I set out in earnest to see if there was a movie there. There are certain restrictions to found footage; just the fact that you’re locked into a single perspective almost makes the slasher formula impossible, because characters tend to wander off on their own all the time and get knocked off. Also, part of what defines some of the greatest slashers is the additional perspective. That was a really fun obstacle to tackle, and we ended up structuring it a little bit more like a monster movie. All the mythos surrounding Jason Voorhees opened up a lot of possibilities, and for a moment in time, we had a story that took place in the ’80s, which worked with the found-footage conceit. It was a return to form in a lot of ways, and we really focused on the characters.”

While some of that indeed sounds cool, most of us would still likely be hung up on the found footage angle, which is tired no matter how you crack it. Thankfully, at the time, Paramount eventually scrapped that idea and allowed Bruckner, along with Hannibal writer Nick Antosca, to focus on a traditional movie. And this one might have been killer.

We were set free from that mandate and did a draft that was not found-footage. We were allowed to truly explore what the film could be as a proper ’80s reboot—what that would look like. My take on it was that I wanted to do DAZED AND CONFUSED meets Jason Voorhees [laughs], a genuine last-day-of-school coming-of-age story. Nick wrote a great draft, and we really wanted to see that movie come to life. It was a very exciting process for me.”

Definitely sounds like Bruckner had the right idea. But, unfortunately, we'll never see his vision come to life. Right now Paramount is working on resurrecting FRIDAY THE 13th with Guzikowski, who will most likely not be the final writer on this thing.

To read Bruckner's final comments on the fate of his particular Jason Voorhees, head over to Fango.

Extra Tidbit: Who would YOU like to see direct FRIDAY THE 13th?
Source: Fangoria

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