Truth be told, I can be a bit of a conspiracy theorist. Not in a white board with red strings kind of theorist, but I’m one to believe there’s always more going on than we’re being told. While conspiracy theories can be a bit of an obsession for others, I think of it more of a hobby if that makes sense.
If you’re jaw dropped when you read the headline, please note, I have no concrete proof of this bold statement. However, let me share with you several clues that led me to this thought. If you are coming into this hoping that I’m going to blow the doors off of something Blumhouse might be planning, just note, these might just be the claims of a crazy horror nerd who had too much time on his hands this week.
That said, I think Blumhouse might be trying to put together a Slasher cinematic universe featuring the classic 80s slashers we grew up loving. Here’s what clues I’ve pieced together somewhat haphazardly.
All of the classic slasher franchises have rights that are expiring with their current production companies
Let’s start first with the Hellraiser franchise. Due to the wave of controversy going on at the Weinstein Company (Harvey Weinstein turned out to be a monster rapist and the company itself did nothing to stop it), the company appears to be having a bit of a fire sale with some of their properties. Last week it was announced that the Weinstein’s finally let go of the stranglehold they had on the Shaw Brothers movies and they are now in the loving hands of the American Genre Film Archive. You can read all about the pick up here.
We even reported that Lionsgate has come in to rescue Hellraiser Judgement and Children of the Corn Runaway this February and this March. Now, the rumor is, that the Weinstein Company rushed these two films into and through production so they could cling to the rights of both of these franchises. It appears with the Lionsgate releases of these two films, that they have finally lost the rights to these two franchises. We don’t know what the future holds for the next installments in the franchise now, leaving Hellraiser open to be rescued for future productions…
Another slasher franchise that mysteriously lost its rights with its current production company is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. The last two films produced in that franchise were Texas Chainsaw 3D and Leatherface, which both came from Campbell Grobman Films/Millennium Films. Our friends over at Bloody Disgusting uncovered on December 26th of 2017 the fact that those companies lost the rights. Christa Campbell tweeted when asked about a sequel to Leatherface, the last film in franchise released,
“I loved this film and I’m very proud. Unfortunately because of the time it took to release it we lost the rights sadly… so no .. not from us at least.”
You can read the whole story on Bloody Disgusting here.
For the last few years, fans have been eagerly awaiting a new installment of the Friday the 13th series. Unfortunately, right before the film was set to roll before cameras with director Breck Eisner (after VHS director David Bruckner was unceremoniously kicked off the film), Paramount pulled the plug on the production of the film and let the rights for the film go.
Micheal Gingold wrote an excellent article about the chronicle of trying to get the new Friday the 13th off the ground, which you can read here on Indiewire.
Much like the Weinsteins and the Hellraiser franchise, Paramount had to go into production with the new film by a certain or else they would lose the rights. The film never happened, leaving the rights open as on February 2017…
The Jason Blum Quote
Recently, Blumhouse studio head, Jason Blum was interviewed by Ryan Scott of Movieweb on January 12th of this year in an article titled, Blumhouse Boss Wants to Reboot Friday the 13th, about the upcoming Halloween reboot that Blumhouse is producing (more on that in a second), and he dropped a quote that made my mind go into overdrive. Now, the quote is vague enough, but I think there’s a kernel of something substantial here.
“Besides Halloween? You know, I really wanted to do Friday the 13th. I would love to do that movie. Maybe someday we’ll get do to that one.”
Now, obviously, this isn’t anything newsworthy. He’s just expressing his interest in that franchise. There’s something about his repetition though in those three short sentences that alludes, to me, like there’s something more to this story. I can almost picture him saying this with a smirk. He even puts it in the same statement as Halloween.
Blumhouse did already rescue Halloween once those rights expired with it’s previous company
Texas Chainsaw, Hellraiser, and Friday the 13th weren’t the first franchises to suffer from loss of rights from their previous companies. Halloween also was on the market for a minute before Blumhouse came and rescued them from the…wait for it…Weinstein Company.
Two years ago, it was announced that the Halloween series was on the market as its current rights had expired. Cineblend covered that here. In May, it was announced, and we posted it here, that John Carpenter would be partnering with Jason Blum of Blumhouse and Malek Akkad to produced a new Halloween film.
So, it’s not far off to think Blumhouse could partner with other studios to release each of these new films. Halloween might very well be a testing ground in Halloween 2018 to see if audiences want to come out for these old timers in the slasher subgenre. Blumhouse even put a slasher movie in theaters last Halloween to great success with the release of Happy Death Day.
What about Freddy?
Little is known about what might be happening with a new Nightmare on Elm Street movie. Obviously, there’s an audience interest there because Stephen King’s IT that was released in theaters last year basically plays like a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel in and of itself. Even the hotly anticipated New Mutants that Fox/Marvel is releasing in 2019 after reshoots are completed to make the film more “scary”, has imagery ripped right out of Nightmare movies.
The rumor was that Conjuring 2 writer, David Leslie Johnson, was taking on scripting duties for the film. A fake synopsis and cast appeared on IMDB briefly before being debunked. Everything has been kept tightly under wraps with what’s happening with the new Nightmare film. But could Johnson be writing a script for under the watchful eye of Blumhouse? Why not?
New Line/Warner Bros still owns the rights to this franchise, as far as we know. Miramax (ie the Weinstein Company) is still involved with the Blumhouse Halloween even though it’s set to be released by Universal. In the wake of the Weinstein controversy, their names are sure to be removed from the film’s credits, but that didn’t stop the partnership from happening at the time of sale.
All I’m saying is, if Blumhouse could be the bridge between Miramax and Universal, who’s to stop them from working with New Line to make this new Elm Street happen.
If Blumhouse does become involved with all of these properties, there’s got be an end goal here. What the most popular trend in movies right now? Cinematic Universes, of course. Marvel got the movement going which is finally culminating in Infinity Wars. Maybe Blumhouse is going to test the waters with Halloween, and then start slowly bringing our favorite anti-heroes together.
What do you think dear readers? Could this be possible? Or is this a stretch even by conspiracy theory limitations?Sound off in the comments below.