The folks at Blumhouse just love using their Twitter feed to make announcements and tease upcoming projects in production, and they did just that today with a picture of two director’s chairs and the tweet…
— Blumhouse (@blumhouse) February 12, 2018
That’s right. Prestigious filmmaker Chris Columbus will be writing, directing and producing an adaptation of Scott Cawthon’s popular video game FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S about a security guard fighting a bunch of animatronic robots that come to life in a family restaurant.
Blumhouse bought the rights for the project last March when the project was put into turnaround by New Line with many filmmakers wanting to get on board, but Jason Blum used his charm to win over the game’s creator.
Blum will produce the film along with Columbus and Cawthon, who launched the video game in 2014 when it became a huge sensation on YouTube. Five Night at Freddy’s has spawned six different mobile app games that ranked at the top of Android and iOS stores on release. The franchise has branched off into a series of novels and a line of merchandise.
Columbus broke out as a young screenwriter in Hollywood writing ’80s classics like Gremlins, The Goonies and Young Sherlock Holmes. He went on to direct beloved hits Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire, as well as directing the first two Harry Potter movies, helping to find young unknowns Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson for the series. He also directed Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief for 2000, which was the first leading role for Logan Lerman. Columbus’ direction of Adam Sandler’s video game inspired Pixels in 2015 makes him the perfect candidate for Five Nights.
Columbus also produced Night at the Museum and The Help, which were both hits including the latter’s multiple Oscar nominations. Columbus has also been working with first-time directors via his company Maiden Voyage Pictures, formed with daughter Eleanor, which produced Robert Eggers’ The Witch and last year’s Patti Cake$, which earned director Geremy Jasper a DGA nomination. (The Tracking Board spoke with Columbus last year about his production work, which you can read here.)
New Line and Warner Bros. have been trying to crack the Five Nights nut for quite a number of years, obviously knowing how hard it is to adapt any video game into a movie. Five Nights at Freddy’s has a premise that makes it perfect for a family-friendly PG movie but more likely Columbus will go for an “edgier” PG-13 to appeal to the teens that play mobile games.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor