A Five Nights at Freddy‘s movie has been in the works since 2015 when the rights were acquired by Warner Bros. Since then, it’s gone through several personnel shifts, but its most recent changing of the guard sounds promising.
Chris Columbus—director of Home Alone, the first two Harry Potter films, and Mrs. Doubtfire, among others—has signed on to write, direct, and produce Five Nights at Freddy’s.
Series creator Scott Cawthon and Blumhouse president Jason Blum (who acquired the rights in March after Warner Bros. put them in turnaround) will co-produce with Columbus.
Even though Columbus is best-known for directing family-friendly movies like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Nine Months, and Stepmom, he’s got a long history with weirdo genre films, too. After all, Columbus launched his career by writing the screenplays for Gremlins, The Goonies, and Young Sherlock, and went on to produce movies like Monkeybone and Night at the Museum (which, when you think about it, is just Five Nights at Freddy’s with better production values and less murder).
Columbus is only the latest director attached at Five Nights at Freddy’s. Most recently, Gil Kenan (who directed Monster House and 2015’s Poltergeist) was set to co-write and direct the adaptation when Warner Bros. and New Line still owned the rights. However, it sounds like Blumhouse decided to take the property in a different direction.
The last time we heard about the Five Nights at Freddy’s move was back in December 2017, when Cawthon hinted that there was “an exciting cast/crew addition” in the works, but nothing had been finalized. I’m assuming Columbus’ attachment was what Cawthon was referencing.
I’ve got to admit, I’m a little more excited for a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie now. Columbus has a good reputation for making imminently watchable, if not sometimes saccharine films, and maybe a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie could use more of Columbus’ adventurous flair and less Hollywood-style horror, which is generally sanitized and lacking in true scares.
No release date has been announced yet, but here’s to hoping that Columbus can recruit his Home Alone star Joe Pesci to play Freddy.