Happy campers? More like dying campers.
Just in time for Halloween, Peacock announced it’s gone straight to series on Crystal Lakea prequel drama based on the hit horror movie franchise Friday the 13th.
Bryan Fuller, the prolific television producer behind shows like american gods and Star Trek: Discoverywill write, show run and executive produce the series, which will be produced by A24, the studio known for buzzy films such as Everything Everywhere All at once and this year’s horror one-two punch, X and Pearl.
Friday the 13th is the horror franchise launched in 1980 that gave the world Jason Voorhees, the hockey-masked slasher who usually kills in and around the green and idyllic grounds of Camp Crystal Lake (except for the rare trip to New York or space).
The movies were the birth of a TV series before, as well as novels, video games, and a myriad of merchandise as the franchise became part of pop culture.
The IP also became entangled in complex rights deals when it moved from Paramount to New Line, and became entangled in a years-long copyright dispute between the original film’s director-producer Sean S. Cunningham and original screenwriter Victor Miller.
In May, Miller emerged victorious, giving him control over the script and original characters, but not the… Friday the 13th neither the title nor the concept of an adult Jason or even the hockey mask, which was only introduced in the third film.
Miller; Marc Toberoff, the copyright attorney who assisted Miller in the case; and Rob Barsamian serve as executive producers on the Peacock show, which is described as a drama and can be compared to Bates Motelthe A&E series that ran from 2013 to 2017 and served as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror classic, psychosis.
Barsamian is the current holder of the rights that are not in Miller’s briefcase, including the title and mask. That indicates that the two parties are now working together on this project and that those elements could show up at some point.
“I found out Friday the 13th on the pages of Famous Monsters magazine when I was 10 years old and I’ve thought about this story ever since,” Fuller said in a statement. “When it comes to horror, A24 is raising the bar and pushing the boundaries and I’m excited to see the campsites of Crystal Lake under their flag. And [NBCUniversal’s] Susan Rovner is simply the best at what she does. It is a pleasure and an honor to work with her again.”
Fuller, for its part, has a colorful track record. He is perhaps best known for such critically acclaimed but review-challenged favorites as Wonderfalls, pushing daisies (on which he worked with Rovner during her tenure at Warner Bros. TV)Dead like me and Hannibal. He developed Star Trek: Discovery, American Gods and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and was either let go or left all three for various factors. Most recently he produced the docuseries Queer for Fear: The History of Queer Horror. In keeping with the Halloween spirit, Fuller previously developed The Munsters Restart Mockingbird Lane for NBC, which eventually aired on the network as a special.
“Friday the 13th is one of the most iconic horror franchises in cinema history, and we were eager to revisit this story with our upcoming drama series Crystal Lake,” said Rovner, chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We can’t wait to join our incredible partners at A24 to work with Bryan Fuller, a gifted, visionary creator with whom I have had the pleasure of being a longtime friend and collaborator, in this updated version for Peacock that thrills longtime fans of the franchise.”
Fuller is represented by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Lesley Goldberg contributed to this story.
Updated October 31, 4:23 p.m. clarifying Barsamian’s involvement and rights status.