The CW head Mark Pedowitz announced today that the creators of The Pretender, Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle will be penning a Friday the 13th series at the network. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Mitchell and Van Sickle when I wrote a preview of the graphic novel prequel to The Pretender a couple years back.
I got a chance to chat exclusively with Mitchell this evening about the upcoming adaptations to the famous horror film franchise. Here’s what he had to say. First, he gave me a quote about the series.”Reimagined as a sophisticated, horror/crime thriller, Friday The 13th is about the ongoing quest of a detective’s search for his missing brother that is somehow tied to Jason Voorhees, a long thought dead serial killer who has now returned to wreak havoc in the new Crystal Lake. The masked Jason is being reimagined with a stronger feel of grounded reality.”
He described the feel of the show as a “cross between the first season of True Detective and Twin Peaks on acid.” He talked about the initial idea. “What we really wanted to do when the came to us and said, hey let’s do Friday the 13th – I don’t think we really wanted to do a show about a guy with a machete chasing girls in tube tops. We couldn’t do that on a weekly basis. So then we started thinking, so why don’t we do something – because everybody will think, how can you do something with that? – we thought, let’s surprise them.”
Mitchell gave us a more detailed description. He said, “Well, here’s what interesting.we wanted to kind of reinvent it a little bit. Crystal Lake is not just Crystal Lake anymore. Just this place out in the woods. It’s this thriving town, sort of like Silicon Valley. There are these rich people, a lot of young rich people with a lot of money and a lot of time, neither one well spent, and there’s the old people who grew up in this town. It’s like the town from Jaws. It’s like Amityville 20 years later, and someone says, ‘I I think the shark is back.’ Everyone is like, ‘Oh, shit. We can’t have the shark back!’we finally grown up as a town and we have all this mythology, but it ruined our city.’
“So what ends up happening is, a cop comes into town, looking for his brother. He realizes his brother was there searching into the past murders, and realizes that his personal story is tied into Jason’s personal story. Part of the fun of the show is exploring, is this Jason or is this a copycat? Is it possible that Jason has been around all these years? Is Jason a monster? Is he real? Is he a serial killer? And really exploring who and what Jason is, is part of the whole thrill of the show.
He also said that they’re not going to pretend the movies didn’t happen. “What we’re going to do is basically acknowledge that the people came to this town after these killings happened, and they made all these movies. And now the town has a stigma. Our show is, here’s the true story. Here’s the real story of Jason. It’s been taken and exploited. So we have the young crowd who doesn’t know who he is except for what they’ve seen in the movies. The older crowd is afraid of him. We have a lot of people who have scars from him. The underlying thematic of the whole thing is that Jason is a monster in this town. He openly wears a mask. But everybody in this town wears a mask. Underneath those is the monster.”
Anyone else excited? Stay tuned to Legion of Leia, as we’ll have more info in the coming weeks!