If you haven’t heard of Five Nights at Freddy’s, where have you been? Probably outside touching grass, but that doesn’t matter because the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is coming out soon. On the surface, Five Nights at Freddy’s just seems like your standard point-and-click horror game as you try to survive the night shift at the abandoned Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. But it’s the murderous animatronics like Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Chicken, and Foxy the Fox that make it really worth playing.
As time has gone on, Scott Cawthon, the sole developer of Five Nights at Freddy’s, has weaved in elaborate lore about how these spooky animatronics came to be. The backstory is too extensive to break down here, but the TLDR version is that William Afton, the founder of the restaurant who is otherwise known as the ‘purple guy,’ killed a bunch of children and stuffed their bodies into animatronics, with the children’s unsettled spirits bringing the springlocked bodies to life.
If you aren’t much of a gamer, that’s fine. The new movie is coming to theaters and streaming service Peacock on October 27, 2023 (with an October 25 theatrical release in the UK). But if you just can’t wait for the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie release date, here’s ten things you might not know about the franchise.
1. The creator only made Five Nights at Freddy’s out of spite
Spite is one hell of a motivator, and it turns out that’s what spurred Scott Cawthon on to make the indie horror game back in 2014. “I’d made a family-friendly game about a beaver before this, but when I tried to put it online, it got torn apart by a few prominent reviewers,” he said in an interview with Indie Game Magazine.
“People said that the main character looked like a scary animatronic animal. I was heartbroken and was ready to give up on game-making. Then one night something just snapped in me, and I thought to myself: ‘I bet I can make something a lot scarier than that.'” And that he did.
2. There are eleven Five Nights at Freddy’s games in total
In less than a decade, Scott has released eleven Five Nights at Freddy’s games. This is made up of eight main installments to the franchise, and three other spin-off games. And the best part is, it looks like Scott isn’t even close to done. Help Wanted 2, the ninth main game in the franchise and the twelfth game overall, is set to be released later this year.
3. There’s a Five Nights at Freddy’s novel trilogy
If you can’t get enough of Five Nights at Freddy’s, Scott also wrote a novel trilogy inspired by the games. But if you’re heading to the books with the hopes of unraveling more of the main games’ lore, you’re out of luck. The books actually tell a slightly different story to the one you have to piece together through the games, and is considered an entirely separate canon. So, like Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man being a separate canon to the MCU.
4. Five Nights at Freddy’s originally started out as a failed Kickstarter
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding campaign that has helped a lot of ambitious projects get off the ground, but when the first Five Nights at Freddy’s game failed to raise any of its $10,000 pledge after three days, Scott cancelled the campaign and took the post down. Still, he clearly never gave up, or we wouldn’t be where we are now. I guess that’s a lesson to not give up after the first hurdle.
5. There’s a theory that all the games (bar Five Nights at Freddy’s 4) are a dream
The fourth Five Nights at Freddy’s game is a bit of a change of pace. Instead of being a security guard trying to outrun animatronics at a pizzeria or haunted house, you’re in a childhood bedroom trying to stave off the nightmarish animatronics behind the door. It becomes apparent throughout the game that the protagonist is a young boy, and that he may be the youngest son of William Afton.
After the fourth game came out, a lot of YouTubers and fans began to theorize that the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise as a whole is just bad dream born from this child’s very overactive and anxious imagination. I mean, ghost children haunting Chuck E. Cheese-like animatronics? All seems a bit far-fetched, right?
However, this game also seems to depict the child’s death — or at least, a very grave injury after a prank involving his older brother and the razor-sharp jaws of a Fredbear animatronic go wrong. Still, other theorists maintain the dream theory is still possible if we believe that the child is somehow still alive and that the events of all the other FNAF games are some kind of horrific, coma-induced fever dream.
6. The creator is terrified of this one Five Nights at Freddy’s animatronic
Scott Cawthon did such a good job of creating scary animatronics, he actually had a nightmare about one of them before. In a now-deleted forum post preserved on the Five Nights at Freddy’s Wiki, Scott explains how, in his dream, he saw Bonnie (the rabbit animatronic) standing outside his bedroom.
But when he tried to lock the monster out his room, he found the door was already locked — a mechanism that, in the games, usually means the animatronic is in the room with you. He woke up before things could get any worse than that, but it still sounds deeply unsettling.
7. Ironically, the games usually don’t take place over five nights
While the general premise of the main games is to ‘survive’ between midnight and 6am without being killed by the animatronics, some of the games go on for up to eight nights, and even the first game is technically seven ‘nights’ long. Well, it’s not called Five Nights of Consistency.
8. You’ll recognize the taxi driver in the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie
Corey Williams only makes a small cameo in the FNAF movie trailer — as Golden Freddy and Abbie politely request to be taken back to the pizzeria. Still, it’ll be enough for fans of the franchise to recognize Cory from his YouTube channel, CoryxKenshin.
Cory was one of a handful of other creators who helped catapult the FNAF games into the mainstream thanks to the viral playthrough videos on his channel. So, including him in the movie is a nice nod to how the franchise got to this point.
9. You used to be able to see Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza on Google Maps
For a brief time in 2016, searching up Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza on Google Maps would lead you to a building emblazoned with the namesake’s sign. It was all part of a prank, of course, but seven years later, the movie meant they had to make Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza for real…
10. The animatronics in the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie have a Muppet connection
Jim Henson’s Creatures Shop is perhaps best known for bringing beloved Muppet and Sesame Street characters to life with their expert puppeteering. But Jason Blum confirmed last year that the studio would also help bring the famed animatronics to a live-action audience. Does this mean Kermit the Frog and Freddy Fazbear are technically siblings? Perhaps, but we still wouldn’t trust the springlocks on those animatronic suits. You know — just in case…
Now you know the basics about FNAF, check out our articles breaking down the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie cast and characters, why are the animatronics evil, the Five Nights at Freddy’s true story, and why a PG-13 Five Nights at Freddy’s movie might not be so bad.