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Five Nights at Freddy’s Creators Talk Easter Eggs, Monster Design Secrets & More at NYCC
Director Emma Tammi shared a mystery fans can try to solve ahead of the movie’s highly anticipated release.
One of the buzziest horror flicks of the year is almost here, and NBC Insider caught up with the creators behind the video game adaptation Five Night’s at Freddy’s to find out what fans can expect when it hits theaters and Peacock later this month. The movie’s director Emma Tammi and Blumhouse founder Jason Blum joined moderator Jacqueline Coley for a jam-packed Blumfest 2023 panel at New York Comic Con.
“It was literally one of the fastest viewed trailers I think for like a Universal Horror Picture and just like lit up the internet,” Coley said on stage, referring to the FNAF trailer.
Blumhouse Adapts Five Night's at Freddy's for the Big Screen for Fans
The project has been in the works for about eight or nine years," Blum told NBC Insider. “What excited me about it was, first of all, the great mythology,” Blum said. “The whole concept of Five Nights at Freddy's is great for a movie. I mean, it's amazing. These animatronics that come to life at night.”
The plot focuses on an older brother named Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson) who takes a job as a security guard at Freddy’s. Unluckily for him the pizza place is crawling with robots haunted by kid ghosts.
“Josh is such a consummate professional and also just such a joyful human being so he would literally come onto set every day and just bring a smile to everyone’s faces,” Tammi told NBC Insider. “Even in the scenes where he’s not speaking there’s so much going on in his brain and what he’s thinking about and what he’s processing so he really, he just took that on really boldly and did an amazing job.”
The movie hinged on nailing casting Mike, Tammi said during the panel.
“We knew that the character Mike was gonna be make a break for this film,” Tammi said. “We needed someone who felt as deeply invested in finding the authenticity of that character.”
An “immediate” bond between Hutcherson and Piper Rubio who portrays his little sister in the movie resonates on screen, according to Tammi: “She was nine when we were shooting and that’s about the time that Josh started acting,” Tammi said. “That was super special.”
How Did They Create the Animatronics and FNAF Atmosphere for the Movie?
Tammi worked with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to help build out the larger-than-life animatronics used in the film.
“When we first built them, they were not aged yet,” Tammi told NBC Insider. “I think one of the qualities, in terms of like making them super scary and creepy was lighting of course and our camera angles and all that, but it was also getting the textures right...making all their wears and tears show.”
The creative team approached the “whole film” using practical effects, Tammi said.
“We were able to stay true to that through postproduction, which was amazing,” Tammi added. “They’re really all practical with VFX enhancements at times.”
One achievement Tammi teased is creature point of view shots married with effects: “And that’s all I’ll say because I’m already giving away spoilers,” Tammi said.
The atmosphere and “creepiness of the world” captivated Tammi when she first started playing the game: “The remnant of pizzeria’s heyday felt deeply nostalgic, and I thought if we can translate that faithfully to a movie, we’d really have something that feels authentic to the fan base, but also rich and cinematic and I think we were really able to do that,” Tammi said.
Are There Five Night’s at Freddy’s Easter Eggs Fans Can Look Out For?
“You might need to watch it more than once to catch some of them,” Tammi told NBC Insider.
However, a mystery true FNAF fans can try to crack or just look forward to finding out was teased by Tammi at the Comic Con panel: “There’s one FNAF character that we have not yet revealed in any of the teasers or trailers so that’s something to look forward to,” Tammi said.
Five Nights at Freddy's opens in theaters and streams exclusively on Peacock Friday, Oct. 27.