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Why We're Worried About The Five Nights At Freddy's Movie

"Five Nights at Freddy's" is one of the most popular games ever made by one person, and it has cultivated a massive fanbase. In 2018, fans discovered that "Five Nights at Freddy's" would become a movie directed by Chris Columbus and produced by the horror experts at Blumhouse. Now, the reality of that film seems less and less likely as the odds pile up against it.

"Five Nights at Freddy's" seems simple on the surface. A security guard is set to enjoy their first night on duty at a Chuck E. Cheese-like pizza chain. However, things quickly go awry when the guard discovers that the animatronic performers at the restaurant come alive at night. They don't wake up to perform, though. Instead, they only want one thing: to kill.

To say that "Five Nights at Freddy's" became a phenomenon would be an understatement. The game and its sequels inspired waves of fanfiction and fanart, merchandise, and even a series of novels aimed at young readers. "Five Nights at Freddy's" creator Scott Cawthon took advantage of his sudden indie game fame and cashed in, but he may never see the film adaptation come to light. There are several reasons you should be worried about the "Five Nights at Freddy's" movie.

The Five Nights at Freddy's hype has largely passed

The first "Five Nights at Freddy's" game released in 2014, and was followed that same year by a hastily made sequel. The most recent "Five Nights at Freddy's" title, "Ultimate Custom Night," appeared in 2018. Since then, Scott Cawthon has stayed busy working on other "Five Nights at Freddy's" projects, like the novel adaptations and various side projects. There's even a "Five Nights at Freddy's" sequel on the way, "Security Breach," which was originally set to release at the end of 2020.

Even though many fans are still excited for upcoming games like "Security Breach," the widespread excitement over everything related to "Five Nights at Freddy's" has largely died down. Some fans have argued on Reddit that the franchise is still going strong, and that "Five Nights at Freddy's" content just doesn't land on the front page of YouTube anymore. Public acknowledgement of a franchise does indicate popularity to some degree, though, and "Five Nights at Freddy's" doesn't have the same shelf appeal as it once did.

Long time, no update

Movies take a long time to make, but it's been years since the "Five Nights at Freddy's" film was announced, and production has been slow. Cawthon posted about his experience with the "Five Nights at Freddy's" script, which took years to complete. The film went through several drafts before Cawthon finally settled on one, and basic film prep like casting couldn't be completed until the crew knew what kind of screenplay they were working with.

Blumhouse tweeted in November 2020, claiming that filming on the "Five Nights at Freddy's" movie would begin in Spring 2021. As of now, the film's IMDB page lists no cast, and news of filming hasn't been publicized. Considering how excited Blumhouse and Cawthon seemed about the project, the lack of news might indicate that something else is going on with the production. In fact, bigger news overshadowed the film adaptation in Spring 2021.

The Five Nights at Freddy's creator is in a world of trouble

"Five Nights at Freddy's" fans recently felt disappointed when Scott Cawthon's political donations were shared widely online. The developer had donated approximately $40,000 to Republican candidates since 2015, which upset minority groups. Cawthon made a statement attempting to explain his point of view on the matter, though he didn't apologize for his political affiliations or beliefs. Cawthon believed the only solution to the division within his fanbase was to retire from game creation completely. He will not be associated with any "Five Nights at Freddy's" games moving forward, and he plans to completely retire from game development to focus on his growing family.

For fans who have investigated his roots, Cawthon's affiliations might not be surprising. He started working in gaming through a group of Christian developers, and wanted to create games that were family friendly and served an evangelical purpose. Religion and politics aren't always connected, but Cawthon's been relatively open about his beliefs and political leanings. It's unclear if Cawthon has ever made any comments against the LGBTQIA+ community, or if his political beliefs are more rooted in finance or social issues. What matters is that his audience took Cawthon's political leanings as a sign of other aspects they deemed problematic, pushing him out of gaming via various threats.

Nicolas Cage beat everyone to it

2021's "Willy's Wonderland" may have felt familiar to "Five Nights at Freddy's" players. PC Gamer called "Willy's Wonderland" a "blatant Five Nights at Freddy's rip off," and the comparisons seem obvious.

While "Willy's Wonderland" wasn't a hit with critics, Looper noted in its review that Nicolas Cage delivers the sort of campy, dramatic performance he's known for, which could win over fans without having to use the IP of "Five Nights at Freddy's." The film is full of gore and creepy animatronics, making it a fun adventure for filmgoers. It hits three core audiences at once, entertaining Cage fans, horror lovers, and those who just love a creepy robot. 

It's unclear whether there's enough room in film for two creepy animatronic movies. Considering Cawthon's involvement with the "Five Nights at Freddy's" screenplay, it's possible that the official adaptation won't make some of the wild moves "Willy's Wonderland" does, which could turn off viewers.