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FRIDAY’s Nispel talks Hodder and Manfredini’s absences, etc.
News - Film News
Written by Calum Waddell   
Friday, February 13, 2009 04:53 PM
Marcus Nispel carved his way into many a FANGORIA reader’s heart after successfully bringing back the buzz of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE with 2003’s generally well-received remake. However, with the risk of being labeled a genre-only personality a constant thorn in the side of many frightmakers (anyone else remember Wes Craven’s struggle to start up MUSIC OF THE HEART?), it was something of a surprise to learn that 2009 would see Nispel tackling yet another of horror’s most iconic properties.

friday09nispelnewsNevertheless, after the commercial failure of his 2007 fantasy fable PATHFINDER (itself a reimagining of a Norwegian-made movie), the director was eager to find a new project that was ready to roll. And that is, ultimately, what led him to the shores of Crystal Lake for the just-released FRIDAY THE 13TH, produced by the same Platinum Dunes team behind CHAINSAW.

“They had a script that was already written, and I really liked it,” notes the German-born Nispel. “I was frustrated with the slow developments in Los Angeles, so I began thinking about other horror properties that could be brought back. I called the Platinum Dunes guys and said, ‘Have you ever thought about doing FRIDAY THE 13TH?’ They replied, ‘It’s funny you should mention this, because we were just ready to give up on it. We’ve had script after script coming in, but nothing we want to do.’

“At that point, we were three weeks away from the writer’s strike and had this very small window to try and find something that myself, the producers, three studios and Michael Bay all liked,” Nispel laughs. “So as you can imagine, when a screenplay [by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift] came in that everyone enjoyed, it was a pleasant surprise. Maybe that is why this film came out uncompromised—because when the draft was accepted, the strike began and that meant it could not be touched or worked on any more. We had to shoot what we had.”

Perhaps inevitably, however, controversy soon began to surface regarding Nispel’s apparent decision to ignore some of the most beloved aspects of Jason’s lineage. Sure, this might be FRIDAY THE 13TH redone for a new generation, but many buffs hoped that iconic composer Harry Manfredini (who also missed out on FREDDY VS. JASON) might be called upon to once again score the slaughter.

“I just didn’t want to do the same thing as before,” Nispel states regarding Manfredini’s absence. “I got in touch with Steve Jablonsky to score the movie, because we had worked together on THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. However, even then, I explained to him that I wanted a tune I could whistle when I left the theater but which might not automatically register with me. I don’t believe that, when you watch a FRIDAY THE 13TH film, you want to feel like John Williams is sitting next to you with the London Symphony Orchestra [laughs]. As corny as this may sound, I’m a big Mike Oldfield fan, but I was glad that William Friedkin didn’t used him throughout THE EXORCIST. It would have distracted from the onscreen terror. So I was looking for something quite subtle with the new FRIDAY THE 13TH.”

Also missing from the latest installment is Kane Hodder, the man who made his grievances about being forced to hang up the hockey mask for FREDDY VS. JASON very public. “We didn’t contact him,” Nispel admits. “Again, we all had a genuine desire to do something fresh with this franchise. No one wanted to see a frame-by-frame remake of the other FRIDAY THE 13TH films. If you look at my take on THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and compare it to the original, you can see that they do not have much in common either—just Leatherface. You’ll discover the same thing here—and our Jason is also a bit of a change. He is not slow, and he does not stand around like a postal inspector just waiting to strike [laughs].”

And if this revamped Voorhees ends up becoming a box-office monster, it would be foolish not to expect yet another film (which would, for the record, be the franchise’s 13th outing). The big question, then, is if Nispel envisions himself returning to Camp Blood. “I believe they intend to do more FRIDAY THE 13TH films after this one, but they’ll probably need to find someone else,” he says. “To do it for a second time would be arduous. That is also the reason I sat out TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING—I felt like I had ‘been there and done that.’ But, look, Jason keeps ticking—and they will think of something to keep it going. I just don’t think it will be me making the next one. I’m not sure how I could top this, you know?”


  1. If you think this remake was good at all, I would like to personally slap you in the face! How dare anyone compliment Mr. Nispel on this horrible addaptation of what was a great series, no matter how loose it was. To think that anyone who is a fan of Jason would like thios makes me sick considering the fact that it all feels like leftovers from The Texas Chainsaw remakes. I dont care that this is a remake. You should still keep some of the underlyinig factors that make Friday 13th. This was obviously an attempt to get rich off of little kids who know nothing about this franchise, nore do they care! Jason does NOT think twice aboput killing by the way. Nispel, I loved your texas remake, but am horribly dissapointed with the fact that you think its ok to make Jason human. How dare you!
  2. Saw movie- overall - if you like Jason- you will be fine- JP from supernatural is great--effects first-rate BUT-- SPOILER- that jason is all of a sudden indestructible at the very end gimmick blows the movie- should have been a dream sequence-! Makes movie go from A to B-
  3. Hold on a minute. The score is excellent. "Jasons theme" is like a twisted almost subtler version of the "Nightmare on elm street" theme. The chase music is similar to the heavy base "The Shape stalks" theme of the "Halloween" movies. I've watched this "Friday the 13th" three times now and made it my business to absorb the score. Check it out next time you see it and you will get what I mean. Also the "Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma" is used just enough times at crucial moments to render it effective without over-killing it. I was very pleased with this version of "Friday the 13th" and I am a major fan of the movies. Saw the original back in 82 when I was only seven and I've been an Uber Fan since and this met all my expectations. A great entry into a flawed series.
  4. Gareth, It would be wise to have seen the film before you defend it like a blinded fanboy. This film offers nothing different nor new from what has gone before.
  5. The worst thing about the remake is the whiny losers who feel the need to cry like little babies about the filmmakers doing something *gasp* different!
  6. The near-absence of the legendary "ki-ki-ki-ma-ma-ma" echo from the new Friday borders on the criminal. Shame on Nispel & Co. for removing exactly what helped make the original Friday the 13th so recognizable. You want to do something entirely different, Marcus? Next time, keep your hands off the classics.
  7. I don't remember much of a score. Which is probably why I felt bored by the whole film. At least with Harry Manfredini's score from the other films it pulls you into the movie and pumps up the suspense for when Jason strikes. I felt none of that with the new film. Jason attacked, he what? And I'm a huge Friday the 13th fan. The new film is just not that great.
  8. Tackle? he manages to mangle the Friday series with what amounts to an unimaginative tired rehash. F13th '09 proves no amount of money can hide the lack of talent behind the camera. And when will Hollywood learn to make characters sympathetic, rather than just pathetic stereotypes. This piece of crap has nothing new to offer.
  9. the only bad thing of this movie is the score. it's like suspiria or halloween without their famouse music. the movie rocks, probably the 4th best in the entire franchise.

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