Somehow, I think Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes are overthinking their long-in-development remake of Friday the 13th. For whatever reason, the same company that rushed through slipshod redos of The Amityville Horror and The Hitcher – I could throw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in there, but I kinda liked Marcus Nispel’s visceral variation on Hooper’s masterpiece – is laboring over the "reimagining" of what was just a derivative slasher flick in the first place (actually, it was an Agatha Christie riff, but the stalk-and-slash conventions of Black Christmas and Halloween were inescapable). In my opinion, PD blew it by not greenlighting the draft turned in by noted Vorhees-ologist Mark Wheaton; now, they’re just prolonging the inevitable – i.e. a $20 million to $30 million opening (topping out at maybe $70 million domestic) and a quickie, barely profitable sequel.
Finally, Platinum Dunes has settled upon the writing team of Damian Shannon and Mark Swift to give them 100 pages of something in advance of a January start date. This is the same duo that wound up taking the credit/blame for Freddy vs. Jason; they’re also the wunderkinds behind the video-game-to-big-screen adaptation of Spy Hunter. Clearly, they’re the Hecht and MacArthur of our day.
There’s no director assigned to Friday the 13th just yet; given Platinum Dunes’ history, the assignment will likely go to a commercial whose idea of suspense is a Toyota truck breaking right at the edge of desert crevice. Sounds positively thrilling. Then again, I’m the jackass who just bought two tickets to see Friday the 13th Part III in 3D later this month; I mean, there’s a classic just brimming with pulse-pounding suspense.