Iconic horror franchises set to be revived

No great horror franchise stays dead forever. And there has never been a better time to be a horror fan; the genre has been killing it at the box office in 2023. Two of the year's biggest films are "Scream VI" and "Evil Dead Rise," both installments in beloved horror franchises that were revived after a long absence. Before that, iconic characters like Candyman, Pinhead and Michael Myers have all made returns over the past five years. 

So looking ahead, what could be the next version of 2022's "Scream" by reviving a dormant horror series to massive success? There are several contenders, including the return of perhaps the most iconic slasher series of them all. 

"Final Destination"

Not even "Final Destination" can cheat death. The series that made fans everywhere terrified of everyday objects that could kill them will soon return, as a sixth entry is in the works. Each "Final Destination" film involves a group of characters narrowly escaping death after one of them has a premonition of imminent disaster, only for death to catch up with them as they're gradually killed off in elaborate, Rube Goldberg-esque situations. Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein, who directed the sci-fi film "Freaks," are directing "Final Destination 6," while "Spider-Man: No Way Home" filmmaker Jon Watts is producing and writing the treatment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Guy Busick and Lori Evans Taylor are also reportedly writing the script; the former is the co-writer of the two most recent "Scream" films. Producer Craig Perry previously said the next movie may be about the "world of first responders," but it's unclear if that's still the case. 

"Friday the 13th"

It's been 14 long years since the last "Friday the 13th" film, the longest gap between movies in the series. The wait can be largely blamed on a yearslong legal battle over the rights to the franchise. But there was finally some movement on Halloween 2022 when it was announced that a "Friday the 13th" TV series from A24 is in the works at Peacock. It will reportedly be called "Crystal Lake" and be an "expanded prequel," with Bryan Fuller ("Hannibal") serving as showrunner. Because of the court case, it was initially reported that the show wouldn't be able to use anything from the "Friday the 13th" films beyond the original, meaning it couldn't show adult Jason with his hockey mask. But Fuller clarified to Fangoria, "We can use everything. … We have the right to do everything underneath the 'Friday the 13th' umbrella." According to Bloody Disgusting, original "Friday the 13th" director Sean S. Cunningham has also been trying to get his reboot made. 

"I Know What You Did Last Summer"

The original "I Know What You Did Last Summer" was inspired by the success of "Scream," so it's only appropriate that 2022's "Scream" revival would lead to that franchise's return. A sequel to "I Know What You Did Last Summer" is in the works at Sony with original stars Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. in talks to return, according to Deadline. The 1997 film centers on a group of friends who accidentally hit a pedestrian and are subsequently stalked by a killer wielding a hook. It spawned two sequels, "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" and "I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer," and a Prime Video series. Jennifer Kaytin Robinson ("Do Revenge") will reportedly direct the sequel, which Deadline reports will be similar to the "Scream" revival in that it will be a "passing of the torch" film mixing the original stars with a new cast. 


The future of the "Alien" franchise looked uncertain in 2017 after Ridley Scott's "Alien: Covenant," a sequel to the prequel "Prometheus," disappointed at the box office. But since then, Disney has taken over the property following its purchase of Fox and seems quite interested in dusting the Xenomorphs off. Two different "Alien" projects are in the works, one being a film set to be directed by Fede Álvarez ("Don't Breathe"). Cailee Spaeny will star, and it will involve a "group of young people on a distant world who find themselves in a confrontation with the most terrifying life form in the universe." There's also an "Alien" TV series in the works at FX from Noah Hawley ("Fargo)," with Sydney Chandler set to star. According to Deadline, the show is a prequel set on Earth approximately 70 years from the present day. 

"The Exorcist"

Exorcist movies have become a horror subgenre, but we haven't seen a new film in the "The Exorcist" series — as in, the one spawned by William Friedkin's 1973 classic — since "Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist" in 2005. But the same team behind the most recent "Halloween" trilogy is turning its focus to "The Exorcist" with "The Exorcist: Believer." Leslie Odom Jr. stars as a father whose child becomes possessed, so he seeks out an expert, Chris MacNeil, with Ellen Burstyn returning in the role from the original classic. Ann Dowd also stars. David Gordon Green is directing coming off "Halloween," "Halloween Kills" and "Halloween Ends," and Universal is planning for this to be a trilogy of films. "Believer" hits theaters on Oct. 13, 2023. 

"Silent Hill"

Hollywood seems to have finally figured out how to get video game adaptations right between "The Last of Us" and "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," so now may be the perfect time to return to "Silent Hill." A new film based on the video game franchise called "Return to Silent Hill" is in the works, with Jeremy Irvine and Hannah Emily Anderson reportedly set to star and Christophe Gans to direct. Gans previously directed the 2006 "Silent Hill" movie, which wasn't a massive success at the time but still received a sequel, "Silent Hill: Revelation," in 2012. This latest film will be based on the video game "Silent Hill 2," which is generally considered the best game of the series. "The film tells the story of a young guy coming back to Silent Hill, where he has known a great love, and what he's going to find is a pure nightmare," Gans explained

"The Omen"

We haven't seen a new "Omen" film since the remake in 2006. But director Arkasha Stevenson is helming a new prequel to the original 1976 movie called "The First Omen." She previously directed episodes of "Legion" and "Channel Zero." We don't know much about the plot of the prequel, but Nell Tiger Free, who played Myrcella Baratheon on "Game of Thrones," will star. She told The Hollywood Reporter in January that the new film has finished shooting, and "hopefully, it's going to be out this year." 


The "Saw" franchise never totally figured out what to do after prematurely killing off its villain, John Kramer (Tobin Bell), just three films into the series. The franchise returned after a long hiatus in 2017 with "Jigsaw," a reboot that still brought John Kramer back thanks to being set earlier in the timeline. In 2021, Chris Rock helped revive "Saw" yet again with "Spiral," the first film in the series without Bell. But that didn't go over too well, so the franchise is being retooled yet again with this October's "Saw X," and believe it or not, Bell is once again returning. Shawnee Smith is also reportedly coming back as Jigsaw's apprentice, Amanda Young. So while "Spiral" was doing its own thing in the same universe, this sounds like a true revival of the original "Saw" series. Kevin Greutert, the director of "Saw VI," is returning behind the camera. Even a whopping seven films after the death of its most important character, the games may never end.

Horror movies