UNMADE FRIDAY THE 13TH SCRIPT
Around 1999, before the release of the official tenth Friday the 13th film, filmmakers David Buchert (In The Dark, Blood Oath) and Robert Ziegler (Fear Of Clowns 2, Blood Oath) wrote their own love letter to Friday fans; Jason X : Hell Freezes Over. The idea was simple, to bring back their favorite characters and to set it in the snow. Two things the fans have been screaming for. As a surprise present to Friday the 13th fans, the script is finally being released online.
Buchert: Every Friday the 13th fan has a list of what they want in a Friday film. We wanted to make the ultimate fan film; full of references, characters we love and of course, finally getting to see blood covered snow!
Ziegler: Sean Cunningham was doing a convention and we decided to write the script for fun and pitch it to him. That gave us a limited amount of time to actually work on it.
Buchert: The basic outline was pretty simple to knock out. Since it took place in the winter we immediately knew how Jason was going to get his new hockey mask. I think that scene alone would have been enough to make the audience cheer.
Ziegler: I think the fans would have been thrilled to see their favorite “final girl” fight Jason one last time. We also included a sort of “where are they now?” idea bringing back a few minor characters from previous films and even a character that was only mentioned in one of the novelizations.
Buchert: A lot of the ideas were logical progressions to us. Crystal Lake is being turned into a lakefront housing development, Tommy and Megan own Karloff’s General Store, Deputy Cologne is the sheriff and Ginny is a child psychologist. Things like that.
With a finished script in hand, Ziegler finally met Sean Cunningham. Unfortunately, Buchert was working in Nashville on a film set and wasn’t able to go to the convention.
Buchert: Jonathan, another friend of ours, was able to be there for the pitch and said Sean was visibly interested. I was getting updates from the show. It was killing me to not be there.
Ziegler: As I was making the pitch I could tell he was really struck by our ideas. Afterwards, he congratulated me on blending several concepts that had been discussed as possible sequels that hired writers had never managed to make work.
Buchert: Here’s where we obviously ran into problems. Since our script was full of characters from nearly every film, the rights issues for characters would have been insane. Who knows how many ghost writers there were on those movies?
Ziegler: Not to mention that the Friday the 13th franchise had recently moved to New Line and they couldn’t even use Friday the 13th in the title. It was seriously complicated.
Roughly nineteen years have passed since Buchert and Ziegler wrote their Friday the 13th script. Only two Friday films(not counting Freddy Vs. Jason) have been made in that timeframe.
Buchert: One of the funniest things about our script is a single similarity to a scene in the Friday the 13th remake. Bob and I were watching the movie on opening day and when it got to a certain scene, we looked at each other not believing what was happening.
Ziegler: True, but it was a total coincidence. We had a great idea of how to kill Jason and so did the writers of the remake. Only we did it ten years earlier.
Buchert: This is basically just a first draft. Since we didn’t have rights to anything we never really worked on it after the pitch to Sean.
Ziegler: But the script is pretty solid. The ideas are there. The scenes flow. It’s a movie we’d want to see.
With recent studio rights, a lawsuit by original writer Victor Miller, several rejected scripts and false starts, no one knows when we’ll actually get to see Jason kill again on the big screen. In the meantime, this is something by fans for the fans. Happy Friday the 13th!