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How does the FNaF movie differ from the game?

Here are all the main differences between the 2023 live-action Five Nights at Freddy's movie and the original Five Nights at Freddy's video game lore.

How does the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie differ from the game? If you were going into the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie expecting a shot-for-shot remake of the game, you’d probably be disappointed. But that also means the story remains fresh for even the most well-seasoned pizzeria security guard.

Scott Cawthon, who developed the original Five Nights at Freddy’s games, co-wrote the script with director Emma Tammi so the source material is in good hands (and gets praise in our FNaF movie review). But if you were looking for a breakdown of how the new movie differs from the various games’ lore, you’ve come to the right place. Just bear in mind that there will be spoilers for the story ahead, and try not to wake the animatronics…

The main difference between the horror movie plot and game lore is that Mike Schmidt doesn’t appear to be William Afton‘s son. In the games, ‘Mike Schmidt’ is an alias Michael Afton uses to get work as a security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The reason Michael took the job in the game was to try and put a stop to William’s reign of terror for good. Meanwhile, in the 2023 movie, Mike just wants money to provide for his younger sister, Abby.

Although Mike, like Michael Afton, has a younger brother and sister, none of them seem to have any relation to Afton. Elizabeth Afton, Michael’s younger sister, is dead by the time Michael works at the pizzeria. After accidentally being killed by Circus Baby, an animatronic inspired by her, her spirit ends up haunting the machine. But while the evil animatronics nearly turn Mike’s sister Abby into Circus Baby in the film, she escapes their grasp unscathed.

There isn’t a name for Michael Afton’s younger brother in the games, but he’s referred to as The Crying Child. Like his sister, The Crying Child died accidentally at the hands (or jaws) of an animatronic. Michael holds The Crying Child’s head up to the animatronic to make the Child “kiss” it, but the spring locks malfunction and essentially crush the Child’s head. This incident comes to be known as the Bite of ’83, and neither that nor The Bite of ’87 — a similar incident involving a security guard — occurs in the live-action movie.

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Mike’s younger brother in the film, Garrett, is still dead — but not by accident, and not because of an animatronic. He is actually kidnapped and killed by William Afton prior to the events of the movie.

As for Afton himself, the game lore suggests he dresses up as Bonnie to entice and kill the Missing Children. This ends up being partly true in the movie, except they made Afton wear a yellow bunny costume instead of a Bonnie costume to avoid confusion. But he still gets that grisly, springlocked death from the games we were hoping for, and it’s glorious.

The animatronics themselves are visually accurate, but something fans have already pointed out from trailer footage is the fact that the animatronics’ eyes don’t glow red in the game — they glow white instead. Also, in the games, the animatronics are specifically violent towards Michael because he bears a resemblance to his father. On the other hand, in the movie, the animatronics are violent because Afton has been tampering with them from afar, and because they want Abby to become one of them.


Of all the characters, Vanessa changes the most from the game to the on-screen adaptation. She is only introduced as a security guard for the reopened Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza in the latest game, Security Breach. She doesn’t appear to have any relation to William Afton. However, she ends up being corrupted by Afton’s spirit from beyond the grave via a computer virus, of all things.

This corruption by Afton leads to her donning a bunny costume of her own, adopting the alias ‘Vanny,’ and killing her own fair share of children.

Meanwhile, the Vanessa we meet in the movie is something of a cross between Michael Afton from the games and Charlie from the novels. This is because she is depicted as William Afton’s adult child who is well aware of her father’s misdeeds and is trying to put them right. However, it seems like Afton still has some kind of hold on her in the film, so we wouldn’t rule out seeing Vanny in the sequel…

To find out more about the spooky movie of the year, check out our guides on the Five Nights at Freddy’s cast and how to watch Five Nights at Freddy’s. Or, check out our Five Nights at Freddy’s review, our article on Five Nights at Freddy’s Easter Eggs, and 10 things you didn’t know about Five Nights at Freddy’s.