Peacock Develops Friday the 13th Prequel Crystal Lake

After years of copyright dispute, a prequel series of Friday the 13th is now in the works at Peacock with the title Crystal Lake. American Gods and Star Trek: Discovery creator, Bryan Fuller, will be the series’ showrunner, writer and executive producer. The developing series is also the newest project of A24. A24 is the same production company that brought Everything Everywhere All At Once to the big screen.

Consequently, the development of the series has come a long way from a legal standpoint as The Hollywood Reporter brings the news forward. The debacle was between the 1980 film director-producer Sean Cunningham and writer Victor Miller. In May this year, Miller won the dispute, and the resolution grants him control over the script and the original characters. However, the title Friday the 13th, the concept of an adult Jason or his hockey mask image are not. Those belong to Rob Barsamian.

Interestingly, Miller, Marc Toberoff will serve as executive producers of the prequel series with Barsamian. By the way, Toberoff represented Miller in the copyright case. This would mean that the original story, characters and the intellectual properties Barsamian own might just appear in the series as well.

Peacock Develops Friday the 13th Prequel Crystal Lake

Friday the 13th Prequel

Image: Paramount

The prequel series is developing to be similar to the 2013-2017 series Bates Motel. Which in turn, is the prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho.

Friday the 13th became the horror template for many movies that followed in the 1980s. It broke expectations from audience and critics alike despite its split reception about the graphic and violent scenes. Many film studies and cinematography books cite the movie for its use of music, teen sexuality, violence, and villain characterization. In David Grove’s book in 2005, Making Friday the 13th: The Legend of Camp Blood, it cited how actress Betsy Palmer created the background for her character Mrs. Voorhees. There, she said she used the Stanislavsky method where she finds details about the character and worked from there. 

Palmer was able to trace back Voorhees’ highschool days in early, conservative 1940s. Having a child out of wedlock led her family to disown her, thus she had to take it upon herself to raise her son. Moreover, her boyfriend, the father of the child left her before she even gave birth to Jason. As a young mother, she took on jobs to support herself and her son. One of these jobs was being a cook at the camp. One day, Jason drowned, and she finds out that the counselors meant to watch the boy were doing the very same act that led to her own troubles. At that moment, she succumbed to her psychotic and puritanical beliefs deeming all immoral camp counselors deserve death.

Peacock Develops Friday the 13th Prequel Crystal Lake

Friday the 13th Prequel

Camp Crystal Lake holds the mystery of Jason and his mother’s past. Fuller now has the opportunity to explore the workings of Jason’s origins through the series. In a statement, the upcoming showrunner said:

I discovered Friday the 13th in the pages of Famous Monsters magazine when I was 10 years old and I have been thinking about this story ever since. When it comes to horror, A24 raises the bar and pushes the envelope and I’m thrilled to be exploring the campgrounds of Crystal Lake under their banner. And [NBCUniversal’s] Susan Rovner is simply the best at what she does. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be working with her again.

Chairman of Entertainment Content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, Susan Rovner stated:

Friday the 13th is one of the most iconic horror franchises in movie history and we were dying to revisit this story with our upcoming drama series Crystal Lake. We can’t wait to get to work with Bryan Fuller, a gifted, visionary creator who I’ve had the pleasure of being a longtime friend and collaborator, along with our incredible partners at A24, in this updated version for Peacock that will thrill long-standing fans of the franchise.

Details as to the developing storyline for the newest series about Jason are still under wraps. In the meantime, AMC Plus streams the first eight movies in the Friday the 13th franchise. Three others are on HBO Max.


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