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Friday The 13th Was Almost Named Something Completely Different

In another world, the iconic slasher "Friday the 13th" wouldn't come to mind every time the calendar lines up with that superstitious date. Screenwriter Victor Miller had a different working title for the film, while director Sean S. Cunningham was insistent on the simplicity of his idea. Combined with marketing it as "the most terrifying film ever made," Cunningham's title proved more successful than anyone could have anticipated.

In fact, the cast and crew never expected the film to be a massive hit. It started as something to scare audiences and turn a profit, then became a franchise with 12 movies, a TV series, and an array of books, comics, and video games. Even the hockey mask-wearing, machete-wielding mama's boy Jason Voorhees was almost given a different J-name.

Back then no one could have anticipated the impact the movie would have on the horror genre and pop culture at large. Had they gone with the working title, who knows if the film would have had the same success.

So what was "Friday the 13th"'s near-miss name?

Camp Crystal Lake no more

Would you watch a slasher named "Long Night at Camp Blood"? Cunningham didn't think audiences would, so Miller's idea was scrapped and "Friday the 13th" was born. The longer working title simply doesn't roll off the tongue, nor does it have the same sticking power.

Had Miller's title been used, the franchise would have looked way different. In an interview with a fan website, Miller explained that he was inspired by the helpless teenage horror of "Carrie" and "Halloween" and had no intentions of turning Jason Voorhees into an unstoppable monster. When discussing the first sequel, he revealed that had he been involved, he likely would have "fought the idea of making Jason the bad guy and been fired from the project anyway."

Creative differences and sequels aside, the genius of the original "Friday the 13th" inspired decades of horror films and remains one of the most famous slashers of all time. Had Cunningham not prematurely placed an advertisement for the unfinished film, who knows what generic sports mask people would be donning every year on Halloween.