It was something fans of the popular video game had heard whispers about for several years now, and it’s finally coming soon: Scott Cawthon’s beloved Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) franchise is being made into a movie.
Made by The Purge and Paranormal Activity producers Blumhouse and starring The Hunger Games actor Josh Hutcherson, the film draws upon the 2014 jumpscare-laden game in which players manoeuvre a security guard trying to survive a night shift in a spooky pizzeria.
If that sounds manageable enough, then we haven’t mentioned the fact that the pizzeria is home to animatronics which turn into murderous killing machines at night.
Those being Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie (a rabbit), Chica (a chicken) and Foxy (a fox). Further characters such as Balloon Boy, The Puppet and Springtrap were introduced in subsequent games.
A description of the upcoming movie by distributors Universal Pictures reads: “The film follows a troubled security guard as he begins working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. While spending his first night on the job, he realizes the night shift at Freddy’s won’t be so easy to make it through.”
While no name has been officially given to Hutcherson’s character yet, some fans and websites are already speculating and reporting that he’ll play the first game’s protagonist Mike Schmidt.
Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter
Meanwhile Matthew Lillard (yes, the actor who played Shaggy in the Scooby Doo movies from 2002 and 2004) is understood to be playing Fazbear Entertainment co-founder William Afton, the man widely speculated to be the franchise’s child-murdering antagonist, “Purple Guy”.
The Universal Pictures press release also revealed that the real-life animatronics will be designed by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop – the company which produced puppets for the 1986 film Labyrinth and continues to create them for Sesame Street, and takes its name from The Muppets' creator.
It’s hard to believe that the same team which creates the cuddly characters of Sesame Street has rustled up realistic versions of deadly animatronics, but there you go…
However, while the film teaser looks creepy enough – at one point showing Hutchinson’s character bolted into a metal chair as a whirring animatronic mask moves towards him – fans of the franchise can’t help but notice that content creator Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach is missing from the video:
\u201cI want to see the fnaf movie but with Markiplier in the top left corner to keep me company\u201d— Victerro (@Victerro) 1684289015
\u201cMOVE WHITE MAN THAT SHOULD BE MARKIPLIER\u201d— b\u00e9ar a st\u00f3r (@b\u00e9ar a st\u00f3r) 1684285221
\u201cThey should release a cut of the film with a live, unscripted Markiplier reaction in the top left corner\u201d— SeSe7enEn \ud83c\udff4\udb40\udc67\udb40\udc62\udb40\udc73\udb40\udc63\udb40\udc74\udb40\udc7f (@SeSe7enEn \ud83c\udff4\udb40\udc67\udb40\udc62\udb40\udc73\udb40\udc63\udb40\udc74\udb40\udc7f) 1684316297
\u201cWait, I don't understand. Why is Josh Hutchinson playing Markiplier?\u201d— Leonardo \u201cThe Terrible\u201d Guerrero (@Leonardo \u201cThe Terrible\u201d Guerrero) 1684290710
\u201cIf @markiplier's not in this, we riot\u201d— R\u03b9\u0188\u0199 (@R\u03b9\u0188\u0199) 1684334036
The YouTuber – who has more than 34 million subscribers on the platform - has been widely associated with the franchise after playing the games on his channel and declaring himself the “king of Five Nights at Freddy’s”.
Others, though, have pointed out that animator and creator Cawthon previously admitted in a Reddit post that he had donated to Republican candidates and politicians – including Donald Trump – and expressed concern that it would spark online discourse similar to that of the Hogwarts Legacy video game released as J K Rowling continues to face criticism over her stance on trans rights.
The aforementioned Reddit post from Cawthon in 2021 read: “I'm a republican. I'm a Christian. I'm pro-life. I believe in God. I also believe in equality, and in science, and in common sense.
“If I get cancelled, then I get cancelled.”
He announced his retirement as an animator that same year.
The Five Nights at Freddy’s film is scheduled for release on 27 October.
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.