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SYFY WIRE Five Nights at Freddy's

Blumhouse's 'Five Nights at Freddy's' movie casts Matthew Lillard and Josh Hutcherson

The hit survival horror game is finally coming to the big screen.

By Josh Weiss
(L-R) Josh Hutcherson; Five Nights at Freddy's; Matthew Lillard

Blumhouse is finally sitting down to a nice meal of pizza and survival horror with its long-gestating film adaptation of the Five Nights at Freddy's video game franchise. Deadline confirmed today that the project has officially tapped Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo!) and Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) to star in the movie, with production expected to kick off this February in New Orleans.

There are no specific plot or character details at this time, although Emma Tammi (Blood Moon) was announced as director back in early October. The evil animatronics at the heart of the famous property will not be brought to life with CGI effects, but through the pioneering puppetry of the Jim Henson Creature Shop — just as God and Freddy Fazbear intended.

"Stepping into the rich, terrifying world of Freddy’s alongside Scott Cawthon, Blumhouse, and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop is beyond thrilling. I cannot wait for audiences to immerse themselves in the wild and wonderful playground we are creating,” the filmmaker said in a statement published by Deadline at the time.

Five Nights at Freddy’s is more consistently asked about than any other film I’ve ever worked on, and I’m thrilled to confirm it’s finally happening! With Emma Tammi at the helm, we’re committed to making Scott’s vision of the movie come to life. Rest assured, it will be and is worth the wait,” added Blumhouse founder and CEO, Jason Blum.

Scott Cawthon, Five Nights at Freddy's creator, concluded: “In meeting with Emma, I felt she had a great understanding of the franchise, and really felt that she could craft something that would please the fanbase and keep people on the edge of their seats."

A big screen translation of the IP has been in the works since 2015 when Warner Bros. Pictures first scooped up the rights. Gil Kenan (director and co-writer of the upcoming sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife) was originally hired to direct from a script he was writing with Tyler Burton Smith. This version obviously never materialized, allowing Blumhouse to pounce on the property in 2017.

Since then, the film has suffered a number of false starts, including Chris Columbus coming coming aboard as writer/director. It seems that real progress only started to come about in the last year or so as the entertainment industry regained semi-solid footing in the wake of COVID-19. Chatting with Deadline at SXSW in March, for example, Blum teased that the movie was "dangerously close" to happening.

Looking for more horror to make your spine tingle and blood curdle? You can currently catch Jordan Peele's NOPE on Peacock. Plus, don't miss SYFY's hit horror series Chucky, which just wrapped its second season.