Paramount Pictures dropped some scheduling news Monday that places two major genre projects in jeopardy.
The studio announced that the upcoming reboot of Friday the 13th, which was set for release on a very appropriate Oct. 13, and the sequel to World War Z, most recently set to hit theaters June 9, were both pulled from the release schedule altogether.
In the case of the latter film, the news is not all that surprising. The film hasn't had an official director since J.A. Bayona left early last year, and according to The Wrap Pitt has been courting big names (including his old pal David Fincher) to replace him ever since. World War Z went through a famously tough final leg of production, including rewrites and reshoots, but Pitt's producing power helped push that film through. After a half-billion-dollar worldwide box office haul, a sequel was a no-brainer, but it looks like that film is continuing to have its own share of struggles.
So, when can we see it? That's unclear, but THR reports Paramount is hoping to get the film out by next year or perhaps 2019.
Now, on to the bad news (yeah, we haven't gotten to the bad stuff yet). Publicly, Paramount has simply removed Friday the 13th's release date, but behind the scenes the situation is apparently more dire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount has flat-out shut down production on the film, just weeks before principal photography was set to begin. The film didn't have a cast yet, but pre-production was already underway and the flick was headed toward a shoot next month, so this decision couldn't have come easily.
As for why the reboot got the axe, some sources blame the poor box office performance of Paramount's Rings, another relatively inexpensive horror flick that was supposed to give new life to an old franchise. Another source, though, said the film was simply "not ready to go at this date." It's also worth noting that this move comes after the film was already delayed (once upon a time, a version of the project was going to come out in 2015).
So, what happens now? Well, Paramount's not going to just let the franchise go, even as a legal dispute seeking a change of rights to the property in 2018 continues. What is clear for the moment, though, is that we shouldn't expect to see Jason Voorhees back in theaters this year.