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Five Nights At Freddy's Movie - What We Know So Far

Fans have been chomping at the bit for a feature film adaptation of the popular video game "Five Nights at Freddy's" ever since the game's release in 2014. After sequels, spin-offs, and novel adaptations, the bankable IP is finally headed to the big screen. "Five Nights at Freddy's" original game follows an overnight security guard who must survive the night at a children's pizza restaurant when possessed animatronic animal mascots come to life when no one else is around. The Scott Cawthon-created game was originally released for PC, but a few years later it received a console release.

The origin of the game came when Cawthon, who was previously working making Christian-oriented games, received negative criticism for a game he released. He told Indie Game Magazine of the game's origin story, "I'd made a family-friendly game about a beaver before this, but when I tried to put it online it got torn apart by a few prominent reviewers. People said that the main character looked like a scary animatronic animal. I was heartbroken and was ready to give up on game-making. Then one night something just snapped in me, and I thought to myself — I bet I can make something a lot scarier than that ..." The rest, as they say, is history. The game went on to be a smash hit and spawn an upcoming feature film. Here is what we know so far about that film adaptation.

What is the plot of Five Nights at Freddy's?

The plot of the film adaptation is being kept under wraps at this time. The plot of the original game followed security guard Mike Schmidt who worked overnight shifts at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, a Chuck E. Cheese-like kid-friendly restaurant. Like a grand Guignol version of "Night at the Museum," the animatronics at the restaurant come to life at night and if they're seen, they try to kill anyone they can spot by shoving them into an empty, extra animatronic animal suit. Children killed at the restaurant are said to be possessing the animatronics and enacting their revenge. Schmidt is later helped by the previous night watchman, Phone Guy, to help defeat the evil animatronic killer animals.

Similar plots were explored in the films "The Banana Splits Movie" from 2019 and "Willy's Wonderland" from 2021. "The Banana Splits Movie" is actually an adaptation of a late-60s children's television show, probably best known for its opening theme song. When the Syfy Channel decided to adapt the show into a film, similar to the indie horror Winnie the Pooh adaptation, Blood and Honey, they opted to take a horror approach to it. The film follows a family who is locked in a film studio overnight when the animatronic Banana Splits characters come to life and start killing everyone in the studio after the show's cancellation.

The Nicolas Cage film "Willy's Wonderland" has a plot even more similar to the "Five Nights at Freddy's" games. Cage appears as a nameless drifter who is swindled into an overnight cleaning job at a family entertainment center, where animatronic animals possessed by a cannibalistic serial killer and his followers come to life at night and try to eliminate Cage's janitor character. The film was a big indie horror success in 2021, holding a mixed to positive audience approval score on Metacritic. It is unknown if the "Five Nights at Freddy's" film will bear any similarities to these other films.

What's the release date of Five Nights at Freddy's?

While Deadline reports that the film adaptation will start production in early 2023, no release date information is available for the "Five Nights at Freddy's" film. At this time, IMDb has a release year of 2023 listed. However, a Twitter fan page, FNAF Movie Updates, suspects an August 9th, 2024 release date due to that date being the 10-year anniversary of the first game's initial PC release.

A tweet that came on October 5, 2022 from film adaptation producer Jason Blum confirms the film will start production in February 2023. Given the turnaround time in post-production for a typical Hollywood-produced horror movie, that would probably put the release more likely sooner than that anniversary date in 2024. None of this beyond the February 2023 production start date has been confirmed by the film's production company, and is merely speculation from the listed sources.

Who is producing Five Nights at Freddy's?

Horror studio Blumhouse will be producing the "Five Nights at Freddy's" film adaptation. According to Deadline, Blumhouse has been working on the adaptation since 2017. Game creator Scott Cawthon first tweeted that Blumhouse became involved in March of 2017. Blumhouse took over the adaptation from Warner Bros. Pictures when their 2015 planned adaptation failed to materialize. Warner Bros. Pictures would later release the similarly themed "The Banana Splits Movie" in 2019.

Blumhouse is known for producing lower-budgeted, creator-driven horror films like "The Black Phone" and "Get Out," as well as producing hit films within established franchises like 2018's "Halloween." Blumhouse head, Jason Blum, gave an update in 2021 that the film was still happening, and he told Collider that they were crafting the story for the film to make the game creator happy. Blum said, "I don't have the right to do anything Scott doesn't like. Basically, Scott has kind of like the equivalent of 'final cut' and it's taken longer than I hoped to get the right story." Fans were worried that the film was never going to happen back in 2021.

In October 2022, Deadline reported that Blum stated, "'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! ... We're committed to making Scott's vision of the movie come to life. Rest assured, it will be and is worth the wait." In an October 2022 tweet from Blum, he also confirmed that the Jim Henson Creature Shop was working on the animatronics for the film.

Who is directing Five Nights at Freddy's?

The "Five Nights at Freddy's" film adaptation has scared up a director to helm the film. Emma Tammi will take the director's chair for the film adaptation. Tammi previously helmed the slow-burn, folksy indie horror film, "The Wind." She previously worked with Blumhouse on two episodes of their monthly holiday-centric Hulu series "Into the Dark" where she helmed the films "Blood Moon" and "Delivered." Tammi told Deadline. "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." 

Game creator Scott Cawthon added, "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." Tammi and Cawthon will write the film along with co-writer Seth Cuddeback.

When the film was still set up at Warner Bros. in 2015, Gil Kenan was slated to direct. Kenan previously helmed the kid-centric horror comedy "Monster House." After moving over production to Blumhouse in 2017, Chris Columbus was set to write and direct the film in 2018. Columbus is the director behind the first two "Harry Potter" films. All previous scripts attached to those directors have been scrapped in favor of Tammi's new direction for the film.