At first glance, there aren’t many similarities between Five Nights at Freddy’s and Harry Potter. After all, one is a magical tale of witches and wizards, while the other is a chilling videogame inspired by some of the best horror movies ever made. But these two disparate franchises very nearly shared a director.
The Five Nights at Freddy’s movie release date is set for later this year, but the new movie has been gestating for a very long time. Warner Bros. acquired the film rights to the game all the way back in 2015 and got to work on what it hoped would be one of the best video game movies ever made.
Horror specialists Blumhouse took over the reins in 2017 and, a year later, Chris Columbus joined the fray as director. Columbus is responsible for some of the best family movies of all time, including the first two Harry Potter movies.
Columbus was certainly a big name choice for Five Nights at Freddy’s, and his involvement stretched on for a good few years as multiple iterations of a script were ironed out.
However, in 2021, Columbus was officially revealed by Jason Blum to have departed the project. The version of the movie we will get later this year was directed by Emma Tammi, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Seth Cuddeback and game creator Scott Cawthon.
For the uninitiated, the story follows a security guard (Josh Hutcherson) who discovers that the animatronic critters at a family entertainment place get murderous after dark. Horror fans will be pleased to learn that Scream cast legend Matthew Lillard will also appear as the creatures’ creator William Afton.
The stage is set for a terrific spookfest, but it might well have been very different with Columbus at the helm. After all, it’s not quite Potter, or Home Alone, or Mrs Doubtfire.
For more of the best movies coming your way in 2023, check out our guides to the Insidious 5 release date, The Meg 2 release date, and the Saw 10 release date.