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SYFY WIRE Five Nights at Freddy's

People "Made Fun of" Jason Blum for Wanting to Make Five Nights at Freddy's Movie

The head of Blumhouse didn't exactly have a smooth road to getting the video game adaptation made.

By Matthew Jackson
Josh Hutcherson crawls out a vent in Five Night's at Freddy's (2023)

Now that it's officially on track for a Halloween week release date, Five Nights at Freddy's ranks among the most-anticipated horror films of the rest of the year, a film that's packed with promise for video game fans and fans of general creepiness alike. But it wasn't always that way. 

The feature film version of Scott Cawthon's beloved game franchise arrives nearly a decade after the first installment in the game series launched, and the wait wasn't due to lack of trying. An adaptation was originally placed at another studio before horror producer extraordinaire Jason Blum picked it up back in 2017, and began working with Cawthon to figure out the best way forward. That means it's been about six years since Blumhouse — Blum's company, which has become one of the biggest names in horror over the last 15 years — started working on Five Nights at Freddy's, and in that time, Blum's faced a few naysayers.

RELATED: Watch the Full Trailer for Five Nights at Freddy's

“I really love a challenge,” Blum told IGN in an interview promoting the film's release. “Scott had been working on it as a movie with a studio for a while and that didn't work out, this is many years ago. Everyone said we could never get the movie done, including, by the way, internally in my company. I was made fun of for pursuing this, this thing that could never happen, and that always lights a fire under me to say, ‘I bet I can do this’.”

Like the original game, the film follows a man named Mike (Josh Hutcherson) who takes a job as a security guard at a rundown family entertainment restaurant populated by animatronic, performing animals. At night, the animals come alive and move through the restaurant, bearing homicidal tendencies and potentially supernatural motivations. The object of the jump scare-laden game is, of course, to survive five nights at the restaurant without getting killed by the animatronics, so you can collect your paycheck. It's a simple structure, which meant that a certain amount of expansion was needed to craft a satisfying feature film story. 

Thankfully, Cawthon never gave up trying to find the right mix of old and new for the film, and Blum placed his trust and patience in the game's creator. Now, it's paid off.

“It was many, many, many years of development,” Blum said. “I've grown to know Scott very well over that time, and I've become very fond of him. I think he's a really, really special person, a really creative person, probably more creative than he even gives himself credit for in some ways, I would say. And we had to find a structure that would work for us to make this movie together.”

Now, the wait is almost over. Five Nights at Freddy's — directed by Emma Tammi (The WindBlood Moon), co-starring Mike Schmidt, Piper Rubio, Kat Conner Sterli, Mary Stuart Masterson and Matthew Lillard, and featuring animatronics from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop — arrives in theaters and on Peacock on Oct. 27.

Want more thrills from Blumhouse while you wait for spooky season to arrive? You Should Have LeftThey/ThemSICK, and M3GAN (both the theatrical and unrated versions) are now streaming on Peacock.