Last week, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie announced that Hayley Atwell, best known for her time as Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will be joining the Mission: Impossible franchise, which Atwell confirmed soon after. At the time, it was unclear if she was only appearing in Mission: Impossible 7 or if she’d also be present in Mission: Impossible 8, but now the actress has set the record straight and declared it’s the latter.
Hayley Atwell turned to Instagram to inform the masses that she’ll be in both of the next Mission: Impossible movies, adding the following about getting to work with Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise:
Given how well-known Hayley Atwell has become this decade, it was to be expected that her role in the Mission: Impossible universe would likely be important, but that was still no guarantee that she’d be around for both movies. Now Atwell has cleared up the matter and we can look forward to her character taking part in Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8, although we’re still in the dark about if this individual will be an ally or enemy to Ethan Hunt.
Last year’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the most successful of the franchise so far, grossing over $791 million worldwide and earning critical acclaim. So needless to say it was expected that another Mission: Impossible movie would get the green light, but in January of this year, Paramount Pictures announced that Christopher McQuarrie would return to make two more Mission: Impossible sequels that will be filmed back-to-back.
So far Hayley Atwell is the third actor confirmed to appear in both Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8. Obviously Tom Cruise will reprise Ethan Hunt, a character he’s played for nearly 25 years, and Rebecca Ferguson also revealed she’ll be back as Ilsa Faust, who was a key player in Rogue Nation and Fallout.
It was also rumored we could see Alec Baldwin and Henry Cavill in these movies again, almost certainly in flashbacks or hallucinations given that both their characters died in Fallout. Ideally we’ll get one or more casting updates for the next Mission: Impossible movies before the year is over.
As Hayley Atwell noted, it’s been a big year for her. In addition to cameoing as Peggy Carter in Avengers: Endgame and vocally reprising the character in the upcoming Disney+ animated series What If… ?, she also starred in the West End production Rosmersholm and appeared in Blinded by the Light, and will be seen next in the Netflix series Criminal: UK, which drops on Netflix next week.
Mission: Impossible 7 will be released in theaters on July 23, 2021, and Mission: Impossible 8 will follow on August 5, 2022. We here at CinemaBlend will keep you up to date on how both movies are coming along, but for now, check out our 2019 release schedule to learn what’s coming out for the rest of the year.
History is written by the winners, or in the case of a series like the Terminator films, whoever currently holds the rights. Originating with James Cameron’s 1984 classic The Terminator, and spawning five sequels, including the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, the movies have captivated, and confused, audiences for almost four decades.
The confusion comes from the fact that throughout those films, the timeline of events has been established, erased, re-written, erased again and then totally reinvented on the bones of pre-existing history (and that’s not even counting what goes down in the Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series). We’ll let you catch your breath, as we say that we’re just as confused as you are, and we’re going to do something about it!
It’s time to clear up the history of John Connor, Judgement Day and an assortment of so many machines starting with the letter “T” that you’d think you were in a coffee shop. Come with us, if you want any of this to make sense.
Judgement Day – The Event That Started It All
Before we dive into the timelines of Terminator franchise, let’s talk about the moment that each one of them hinges on: Judgement Day. Now depending on which timeline you’re looking at, this moment happens at various times, but the result is always the same.
Skynet, an artificial intelligence network that humanity trusted for its own defense, becomes self-aware and ultimately annihilates nearly all of humanity. With pockets of survivors banding together to form a resistance, humanity is led by one man: John Connor, the savior of the human race.
Skynet always sends a robot of some sort to try and kill John, while various figures (human and robotic) are sent back to protect him. So long as John survives, humanity is safe; whether Judgement Day is prevented or not.
The Cameron Timeline: 1984 – 2029 (The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Terminator: Dark Fate)
In the original James Cameron timeline, The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day work off of basically the same set of key points in time. Judgement Day occurs on August 29, 1997 in this timeline, kicking off the apocalypse and eventually setting into motion our salvation.
In 2029, just as John Connor and his commandos defeat Skynet, the machine intelligence sends back two machines to try and kill him. The original T-800, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is sent back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before she can give birth to her son, John.
As a protector and ultimately the father to John, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is sent back by John Connor himself, in order to make sure the T-800 doesn’t achieve its objective. Through his brief romance with Sarah, John is conceived and ultimately Sarah proceeds to survive and destroy the T-800.
Eleven years later, in 1995, John (Edward Furlong, who will gleefully return for Terminator: Dark Fate) is the direct target of Skynet, with his opposition sending a new unit to take him out, The T-1000 (Robert Patrick). However, John Connor sends himself a new protector to fight this menace: a reprogrammed T-800 unit from 2029. The very machine that was supposed to stop him from even being born is now sworn to not only save him, but also his mother, Sarah.
Judgement Day is prevented yet again, and supposedly permanently, after Sarah and John destroy the T-1000, as well as the lab that Skynet and the Terminators were being built in. But as we’ve seen in the run up to Terminator: Dark Fate, the events of these first two films are quite crucial to where the timeline will be headed in the future. Clearly humanity still faces an apocalypse in Dark Fate‘s future, but it’s unclear if it results from a delayed Judgement Day or something entirely different.
The Brancato/Ferris Timeline: 1984 – 2032 (Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, Terminator Salvation)
While James Cameron’s Terminator timeline is officially going to wipe out all of the sequels we’re about to talk about, he’s doing so for a very good reason. In the case of the next two films, the basic foundation of Cameron’s story is implemented, but a wildly different message is at its heart by writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day told us that there was no fate but what we made for ourselves, but Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines basically counters that with the notion that some things, like Judgement Day, are just inevitable. And this time, Skynet has a brand new plan, along with a brand new model of menace, ready to protect its dark future.
While Judgement Day doesn’t take place in 1997, as previously predicted, Sarah Connor dies of cancer in that very year. John Connor (Nick Stahl in T3) goes off the grid at that point, and for a time, he rejects his supposed fate and is allowed to live in relative peace for the next seven years.
The T-X, a hybrid of the metal endoskeleton from the T-800 and the shape shifting liquid metal alloy from the T-1000, is sent back to 2004 and tasked with not only taking out John Connor, but also all of the lieutenants he’ll enlist in the future war against Skynet.
This new timeline sees the T-X being sent back from 2032, and another reprogrammed T-800 is sent back as well. Only this time, John’s wife Kathrine Brewster is the one who sends humanity’s protector back, and only she can give it orders.
While John and Katherine think they can prevent Judgement Day, as previously accomplished in the Cameron Timeline’s story, it appears that the moment is a fixed point in time that cannot be avoided. Skynet takes over all military computer systems after being sold as a cyber-security cure all that would combat a mysterious computer virus that had been plaguing the world at the time, and begins its attack on humanity.
At 6:18 PM, as the nuclear holocaust rained down on the Earth, John Connor and Katherine Brewster are safely hidden in a bunker, ready to assume their roles as the leaders of the human resistance.
Shortly before this newly rescheduled Judgement Day took place, a new player was put onto the board: an experimental hybrid known as Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington). Executed on death row in 2003, his body was basically entrusted to Skynet in order to create a new type of Terminator with a basis of human biology.
This all eventually leads to Terminator: Salvation’s piece of the timeline, as we catch back up with an older and battle hardened John (Christian Bale) and Katherine (Bryce Dallas Howard) in the then-far flung year of 2018. Despite all of the action in Salvation’s plot, there’s only really two important beats it contributes to its ultimately unfinished story: John Connor meets and save a young Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), ensuring his own existence, and John is ultimately given Marcus’ heart to ensure he lives to fight on to either the end of the war and/or his death in 2032 at the hands of a rogue T-800.
The Kalogridis/Lussier Timeline – 1973 – 2029 (The Terminator, Terminator: Genisys)
Now here is where things start to get really weird. The events of the last film released in the Terminator series so far, Terminator Genisys, both build themselves on top of the original Terminator film, but wildly alters the timeline. Writers Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier took The Terminator’s timeline, and for the most part stuck to its original roots.
2029 is now the key year where John Connor (Jason Clarke) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) are knocking on Skynet’s door and ready to end our war with the machines. And, as you would expect, the machine intelligence sends a T-800 back to 1984, at the exact place and time that The Terminator saw him arrive. Only this time, the plan is a bit different.
In Terminator: Genisys, another T-800 (known as “Pops”) is sent back to 1973, with the express purpose of protecting and raising Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) so that they can take out the evil T-800 before the events of The Terminator can even happen. That then forces Skynet to send another assassin, yet another T-1000 (Byung-Hun Lee), back to 1984 so that Kyle Reese can be taken off the board just as he arrives in the past. Pops and Sarah save Kyle, and then embark on the most radical departure in the Terminator timeline.
In a last ditch effort to ensure victory, Skynet really pulled out all the stops, creating two new models: the T-3000, a nano-converted John Connor who became a Terminator himself, and the T-5000 known as Alex (Matt Smith), a version of Skynet from another universe that converts John into his cybernetic form of villainy. Alex is also the brain inside the new threat in the Terminator series: the operating system “Genisys.”
Due to all of the changes to the Terminator Genisys timeline, Judgement Day is supposed to take place in 2017, when Genisys/Alex goes online. However, Sarah, Pops and Kyle prevent this from happening, thanks to taking out the T-3000 formerly known as John, and destroying the Cyberdyne labs that housed Genisys’ core.
In another example of timelines not completely finished, the film reveals that Genisys/Skynet/Alex was not totally destroyed, which would mean something if Terminator: Genisys was a hit. But it wasn’t, so it doesn’t.
There’s a lot of wibbley wobbly timey wimey stuff that’s gone into the Terminator timeline up until this point, and as you can see, it’s a little bit confusing to keep it all together. As James Cameron has helped craft the story for Terminator: Dark Fate, and wiped out all of the confusing sequels, we could be headed for a nice, compact timeline that’s easier to keep track of.
We won’t know what dark fate is in store for us, or the characters of Terminator: Dark Fate, until November 1. But until then, we’ll have plenty of time to figure out what we’ll miss, what we’ll be glad to see go, and what still doesn’t make sense, in this fractured time-space continuum we call the Terminator franchise.
It’s been a minute since we last saw the DC Extended Universe’s version of the Suicide Squad, but the officially-designated Task Force X will be back in theaters soon, this time under the helm of James Gunn. While we’ve gotten some casting confirmations and reports for The Suicide Squad over the past several months, Gunn has officially unveiled the full cast for this sequel/reboot/relaunch/whatever this movie is. Check it out!
The Suicide Squad charges into theaters on August 6, 2021, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on its development. Don’t forget to also look through our DC movies guide to learn what else is in the works for this superhero franchise.
Later this month, Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s animated series South Park will begin its 23rd season on Comedy Central. Although the frequently controversial and almost always hilarious show has already been renewed through 2022, it’s not the only project Matt Stone and Trey Parker have on their minds. The South Park creators actually want to make more movies, as Matt Stone explained:
They may be best known for South Park on TV, but Matt Stone and Trey Parker have big screen experience as well. Trey Parker wrote and directed the 1997 comedy Orgazmo and the duo worked together on South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and Team America: World Police. So as they told The Hollywood Reporter, they think of themselves as filmmakers and want to dive back into that space with a new movie.
Matt Stone acknowledges that the movie business might be a hassle and that with so many different platforms, everyone is working in television now, but that does not dissuade them. They don’t care about the hurdles and headaches of the movie business, they just want to make one. They sound extremely eager about it too, like they’re just itching for the opportunity to make more movies.
This isn’t just an abstract desire either; Matt Stone and Trey Parker have some things in mind for new movie projects. These film projects are not South Park-related, so Kyle, Kenny, Cartman and Stan’s escapades will be confined to the small screen for now. Stone and Parker wouldn’t divulge to THR what exactly their movie plans entail, but Matt Stone did describe them as “really fucking killer ideas.”
Stone and Parker’s last film, the puppet comedy Team America, was 15 years ago and in the time since then, we’ve seen the rise of streaming services. So with the South Park creators so keen on making more movies, you might think that they could take their movies to one of the many platforms available today (Disney+ is the obvious candidate right?). But the two have no interest in making movies for streaming platforms, as Matt Stone made clear:
Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg and Matt Stone & Trey Parker: defenders of the theatrical experience. Movies on streaming platforms might be in vogue right now, but releasing a movie that way does not interest the South Park creators. They want to make more movies and they want them to be seen by audiences on the big screen.
Although Trey Parker also hinted that they really like premiere parties, their reasoning seems to primarily be that they want people to see their movies with a crowd. That is something that can’t be replicated at home, no matter how nice your home theater system and even if you invite a bunch of people over.
Seeing a movie with a packed theater (of hopefully courteous people) is an incredible experience. And if we are to assume that Matt Stone and Trey Parker have comedy movies in mind, they want theaters full of people all laughing together.
South Park Season 23 premieres on Comedy Central on September 25. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the movies coming to the big screen this fall.
Seven years and two more releases later, Quentin Tarantino’s biggest commercial hit is still Django Unchained. Even though the western was controversial, it made close to a half-billion dollars worldwide and was showered with acclaim. When Jamie Foxx recently attended Toronto International Film Festival, he spoke again about his iconic role as the titular Django Unchained character. And why not?
The actor fought through some pretty stiff competition before he nabbed the role of Django in the 2012 Tarantino film. After Will Smith turned down the movie over the movie’s dark themes of vengence, Idris Elba was next in line for the part. Jamie Foxx recalled crossing paths with Elba when he was in the running and the role came up. Foxx then tried to deter Elba with these words, as he recalled at TIFF Talks:
Idris Elba is not only a magnificent actor, but is well-known to have audiences ogling and swooning. He was even bestowed People’s coveted “Sexiest Man Alive” honor in 2018. He’s been fan-cast as the next 007 actor and scored big roles in Luthor, Thor, Pacific Rim and, most recently, Hobbs & Shaw.
Before he was Hollywood’s favorite eye-candy, Jamie Foxx could spot his beauty a mile away and tried to use it to his advantage. He basically told Idris Elba he was too good looking to play the 2012 role. It’s kind of a clever way to go about it because it never sounds like he’s not complimenting him!
Ultimately, Idris Elba didn’t lose out on the part because of his conversation with Jamie Foxx at all. Quentin Tarantino reportedly decided he was too British for a role rooted in the American experience. Yes, it’s yet another controversial decision from Quentin Tarantino, but at least he’s consistent. Here’s what he told The Sun in 2013:
It’s good Quentin Tarantino isn’t in the business of superhero filmmaking, because Tom Holland would be out of a job! Anyway, once he decided against Idris Elba, he moved to a shortlist that included Terrance Howard, Chris Tucker, Tyrese Gibson and Michael K. Williams. When he met Jamie Foxx, he’d found his Django. In Tarantino’s words:
And the rest is history! Jamie Foxx is Django. It’s one the actor’s most memorable roles to date, and he still calls Quentin Tarantino “the best director out there.” He may reprise his role in a Django/Zorro crossover reportedly in the works from writer Jerrod Carmichael.
Jamie Foxx next stars alongside Brie Larson and Michael B. Jordan in Just Mercy from upcoming Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton. The court drama is about a defense attorney (Jordan) who clears the name of death row prisoner Walter McMillian (Foxx). Just Mercy comes to theaters on January 10, 2020.
Famous wars and battles have always proven to be great fodder for movies, able to captivate audiences in a visceral way. We’ve seen this in projects ranging from Dunkirk to Pearl Harbor, although the latest addition to the genre is Roland Emmerich’s Midway. The White House Down director’s upcoming drama is based off the Battle of Midway from World War II, and he’s assembled a killer cast to bring the story to life. This includes Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Woody Harrelson, Darren Criss, and Dennis Quaid. The trailer teases an epic and thrilling journey, and the movie will arrive in theaters on November 8th.
Rarely does Adam Sandler get confused with being an Oscar-worthy actor. Don’t get me wrong. Sandler has had a ridiculously successful film career, one that he has extended by shifting predominantly to the streaming giant Netflix, where he entertains his audience and employs close pals like David Spade and Chris Rock in pictures like The Do-Over and The Week Of, respectively.
That’s not to say, though, that Sandler’s name hasn’t been linked with critically-acclaimed performances from time to time, reminding film journalists – perhaps in a frustrating fashion – that the volatile man-child can be utterly captivating when he tries to find a project that fits snuggly in his wheelhouse. Sandler’s patent fits of rage and adolescence were mined for beauty by Paul Thomas Anderson in Punch-Drunk Love and Judd Apatow (for half of Funny People). And the phenomenon is happening again.
Sandler’s new film, Uncut Gems, teams him with the promising filmmaking duo of Benny and Josh Safdie, music and short-film helmers who shocked the community in 2017 with sweaty, sleazy, nail-biting Good Time. That late-night thriller reminded people of Robert Pattinson’s pure talents, and their follow-up is doing the same for the one-time Happy Gilmore.
In Uncut Gems, Sandler owns the role of Howard Ratner, a mid-level Manhattan jeweler who occasionally caters to NBA superstars when his partner, Demany (LaKeith Stanfield), can lure them into their Manhattan shop. When not selling rings or chains to the likes of Kevin Garnett (who plays himself in the movie), Howard nurses a debilitating gambling habit… one that has him into a lot of debt with some seriously bad dudes.
But Howard has a plan. He has obtained a very rare gem from Africa – one that he believes can be auctioned off for more than $1 million. Naturally, the appearance of the stone triggers more problems than Howard anticipated, and anyone who saw the Safdies turn the screws on RPatz in Good Time know just how bad things are about to get for Sandler before his night is through.
The thing about Punch-Drunk Love also becomes the thing for Uncut Games. Neither role required Adam Sandler to stretch too far from what he’s comfortable doing. Instead, the Safdie brothers create a pent-up, fast-talking riff on a persona you might have heard on a Sandler comedy record, or in a Netflix film. Only, they film they built around Sandler is so much better than his usual.
Uncut Gems applies the pressure and never really stops. It’s not as airtight as Good Time, but it’s an uncomfortable trip through some areas of New York City we rarely see on screen, and Sandler is the ideal tour guide. He plays a defensive, beaten-down yet eager-to-please mid-level con artist with ease, and the agitated energy he brings to his comedy ends up being the exact vibe that the Safdie brothers wanted for Uncut Gems. It’s a terrific Sandler performance, and coming on the heels of the also impressive The Meyerowitz Stories, it makes me think the actor might be ready to move into the next phase of his career.
Could Adam Sandler get an Oscar nomination for Uncut Gems? He’s certainly a candidate. The only thing that might hold him up is the stiff competition in the category, as we can also predict solid chances for people like Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix, Adam Driver and Christian Bale.
But at the very least, Adam Sandler’s an Oscar contender for Uncut Gems in September, and when’s the last time you could say that with a straight face.
To the surprise of many, Sony’s Venom was a massive success at the box office last year, earning over $856 million worldwide. This success all but ensured that Tom Hardy’s anti-hero movie would be getting a sequel and sure enough it is. That sequel has been coming together recently and it now looks like Venom 2 will actually begin filming soon.
According to Production Weekly, Venom 2 is set to begin filming this fall on November 25, a little over a year and a month since the first film debuted in theaters. The sequel film will also be shooting under the working title “Fillmore.” The production listing revealed nothing else about what we can expect from this huge sequel.
That working title for Venom 2 doesn’t seem to be a reference to the comics or offer any obvious clues towards what this film will be. The Fillmore is a historic music venue in San Francisco, where the first Venom took place, but that’s about it. There was also a Disney cartoon called Fillmore!, where every character was named after a street in San Francisco. So as far as insight we can glean from this working title goes, that’s about it, which is to say, nothing.
Venom 2 shooting so soon should be exciting for fans, who helped Ruben Fleischer’s film become a smashing success despite an absolutely miserable critical reception. One imagines that Sony wants to get Venom 2 out as soon as possible and with it going before cameras in the very near future, fans hopefully won’t have too long to wait to see Tom Hardy’s symbiote once more.
Although an official release date has not been announced, Venom 2 is expected to hit theaters on October 2, 2020. This would be right in line with the original’s October 5 release date, showing that Sony wants to recreate the conditions that resulted in the first one being such a success.
In addition to directing, Andy Serkis is also crafting the story for the film alongside star Tom Hardy and writer Kelly Marcel. We’ll have to see what that team can come up with, but no matter what Venom 2 should look pretty darn good. In a surprising hire, legendary cinematographer Robert Richardson will be shooting Venom 2.
Richardson previously worked on Serkis’ directorial debut Breathe, as well as serving as the DP for many of the films of Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
Besides star Tom Hardy, Venom 2 will also be bringing back Michelle Williams and Woody Harrelson, who showed up in the original’s end credits scene as Cletus Kasady, a serial killer who in the comics eventually becomes Carnage.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest Venom 2 news as it develops. In the meantime, check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what movies you can look forward to this fall.
Now Spider-Man: Far From Home’s theatrical run is almost over, but that just means you don’t have much longer to wait to watch it on home media, and a new trailer is out teasing the special features that also has some new footage sprinkled in. Check it out!
You’ll recall in the months leading up to Spider-Man: Far From Home’s theatrical release that one of the trailers showed an Iron Spider-suited Spidey fighting off some mobsters in a restaurant. But when the movie arrived in theaters, this fight was nowhere to be seen, with Peter Parker, Tom Holland, explaining that the sequence and some scenes of Peter running errands before his trip to Europe were removed because they “slowed down the beginning of the movie.”
This footage was later added back in for the Spider-Man: Far From Home Labor day weekend re-release, but in case you didn’t catch that re-release, you can watch Spider-Man’s tussle with the Manfredi crime family and these other deleted scenes as a short film, titled “Peter’s To-Do List.” The snippet included in this trailer shows Peter making easy work of these mobsters with the Iron Spider’s high-tech webbing. Maybe if he’d been wearing that suit while in Europe, he might have had better luck dealing with Mysterio.
Although Spider-Man: Far From Home’s mid-credits scene overthrew the character’s status quo and included a shocking, yet oh-so-welcome cameo, now that Sony has taken Spidey out the MCU, it’s unclear what’s next for the Web-Slinger. Tom Holland will keep playing the superhero, but given how much of his superhero journey was tied to other corners of the MCU, we still have yet to learn if future Spider-Man movies will at least be able to reference those events or if this will be a full split from the franchise.
Which is what makes Spider-Man: Far From Home’s home release so bittersweet. Yes, fans can now watch the most commercially successful Spider-Man movie in the comfort of their own home, but while many of those who saw the movie in theaters left excited for what was to come, now we’re left wondering what could have been had Disney and Sony been able to keep working together.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige claims the Spider-Man deal “was never meant to last forever,” but I suspect he and the MCU brass would have like Spidey to stick around longer than five movies. In any case, Spider-Man: Far From Home drops on Digital HD next Tuesday, September 17, and the Blu-ray and DVD copies will arrive on October 1.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates concerning the Spider-Man film franchise, and keep up-to-date on what’s coming next in the MCU with our handy guide.
One of horror’s most prolific monsters, Jason Voorhees has spent a lot of time causing blood-splattering chaos in the Friday the 13th movies, to the point where one might think he’d get tired of all swinging all those machetes and gouging all those eye sockets. But that’s the thing about unexplainable vengeance-driven monsters with muddied origin stories: they only stop killing when audiences stop watching.
To celebrate Friday the 13th popping up just a month ahead of the Halloween season’s arrival, I thought I’d take a look back at Jason Voorhees’ reign of terror to celebrate the most iconic kills from each of the Friday the 13th movies. Note that by “iconic,” I’m not necessarily talking about the most gory or effects-driven death, even though some of those do indeed pop up. I’m rounding up the kill scenes that had the most people talking after the movie for any number of reasons.
And just remember, it’s perfectly fine if you don’t agree with my picks, since Jason Voorhees, and Pamela Voorhees and Part V’s Rod Burns, have more than enough victims for everyone to have their own personal rankings. For now, though, let’s kick things off with a little Six Degrees of Friday the 13th.
Friday the 13th (1980)
The very first Friday the 13th movie was, simplistically speaking, a cash-grab in the wake of Halloween‘s success at the box office, and director Sean Cunningham had no clue the franchise would become such a premiere horror staple. He also likely had zero inklings that the first film’s Kevin Bacon would become one of the biggest movie stars on the planet in the coming decades.
Kevin Bacon’s Jack wasn’t killed by Jason Voorhees proper – he was one of murderous mommy Pamela Voorhees’ nine victims – which almost makes his death even more special. He was killed via an arrow through the neck, as delivered from beneath the bed he was lying on, so clearly Wu-Tang Clan’s “Check Ya Neck” hadn’t come out yet. The special effects work seen here comes from horror mastermind Tom Savini, and though it wasn’t the most complicated shot, Bacon’s neck splurts remain as effective as any effects in the entire Friday the 13th film franchise.
Friday the 13th Part 2
Directed by future horror mainstay Steve Miner, Friday the 13th Part 2 marks the true introduction of Jason Voorhees as the central killer of the franchise, with his dearly missed mommy getting killed off at the end of the previous movie. That was about all it did, story-wise, with the sequel mostly retreading Camp Crystal Lake visitors getting picked off one by one; or by two, in Jef and Sandra’s case, which was all sexy until it suddenly wasn’t at all.
Some might say that Adrienne King’s Alice gets the most iconic death, since she was the first film’s Final Girl Alice, but Jason’s big revenge was a rather bland icepick to the head. The second death was not only another reprisal, that of Walt Gorney’s Crazy Ralph, but it was also more chilling, and also logistically IMPOSSIBLE even by Friday the 13th‘s wacky logic. Ralph is voyeuristically perving while standing against a tree (not the impossible part), and Jason pulls wire across Ralph’s throat, even though there’s no feasible way Jason could have maneuvered that while standing behind the tree. The death of a series wackadoo, along with the immediate embrace of supernatural weirdness, makes Crazy Ralph the top pick for Friday the 13th Part 2.
Friday the 13 Part 3
At just the third film in the franchise, Friday the 13th joined the 3-D bandwagon, giving a loosely plotted film the advantage of such unforgettable shots as “having a pitchfork handle’s end come at your face slowly” and “having an eyeball pop out in your general direction for half a second.” (That second one is legitimately awesome, for the record.) Jason also got his signature hockey mask in Friday the 13th Part III (which arbitrarily jumped to Roman numerals for some of the rest of the sequels).
As far as iconic deaths go, Friday the 13th Part III wasn’t exactly an embarrassment of riches. But we did get a post-coital Andy walking around on his hands, and then taking a machete to the groin and getting his lower bits lopped in half. This might have lost out to the guy who got killed while trying to take a shit – because we’re already at that point of stretching the term “iconic” out – if not for Jason somehow then shoving Andy’s spatchcocked body into the rafters in order to freak his pregnant girlfriend out right before stabbing her through a hammock. Jason already proving himself the Bobby Fischer of slasher movies.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter‘s most iconic death would be the death of THE TRUTH, since there were so many movies that came after this. It was meant to be the last one, which is why Tom Savini returned, which is likely why there are so many great kills in this fourth film. There’s the guy who directly acknowledged his death by screaming “He’s killing me!” over and over. There’s that face being smashed against shower tiles, the woman being thrown slow-motion onto a car, the weirdo coroner’s hacksaw head-twist and more.
But because we’re talking iconic, I have to go with a kill-shot centered on another soon-to-be-famous actor, Crispin Glover, whose character Jimmy gets his hand impaled by a corkscrew and then takes a cleaver straight to the face. And. He. Deserves. It. Combine all of the above, and it’s Friday the 13th magic at its best.
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
You know what isn’t beginning in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning? My appreciation for Jason Voorhees ripoff artists like Roy Burns. The fifth film in the Friday the 13th franchise takes a detour from the norm by actually keeping Jason dead while a copycat killer rises up and terrorizes a halfway house inhabited by franchise character Tommy Jarvis. There are a ton of deaths in this flick, but to me, the most memorable and different one of all was suffered by another of the franchise’s more insufferable characters.
While Mother Ethel Hubbard threw raw vegetables into a pot of water, which she called believed was already a meal, her miffed son Junior was tearing ass around the yard on a motorcycle was whine-screaming. As Junior is passing by a tree, Roy Burns swings a cleaver out and clothesline-decapitates Junior, whose head goes tumbling as his body crashes along with the motorcycle. It’s a solid death that’s punctuated by Roy killing Mother, who squeezes a tomato as she dies. Not quite worthy of a chef’s kiss, but it’s the best that Roy Burns could do.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Jason Voorhees returns! Lives! Does More Things! Friday the 13th‘s sixth entry turns the supernatural dial to 11, where it remains for the rest of the franchise. This movie offers up the ridiculousness where someone tries to offer Jason money not to kill her, and then a credit card is seen floating away from her cold, dead hand. Jason also literally rips someone’s heart out, and if that don’t beat all…
The most iconic death in Friday the 13th Part VI, though, involves one of the series’ very few car stunts, which was a huge deal at the time. After crushing Nikki’s head inside the RV that Cort is driving (while also rocking the fuck out), Jason stabs Cort in the head with a knife, which sends the RV off the road, where it flips onto its side and bursts into flames. And out comes Jason to stand atop the fallen RV like the wreck-surviving undead warrior that he now is.
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
Showcasing actor Kane Hodder’s first time behind Jason’s mask, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood is not memorable for a whole lot of other things. It’s basically “Jason vs. Carrie,” with a telekinetic girl battling Jason and…people die.
However, what makes (a very small part of) this movie great is the scene in which Judy gets slammed into a tree while inside of her sleeping bag. While not as gruesome as it might have been had the censors not been all over this movie, Jason using a woman as a baseball bat remains one of the most revered kills all the Friday the 13th movies. It’s all about the crunch you hear, and also what you don’t hear.
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Another movie title that lies to audiences, with Jason spending very little time actually in New York. He also spends very little time doing anything amazing in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. This is not a standout movie.
As such, there aren’t a lot of kills that go down in iconic fashions, but videocamera enthusiast Wayne Webber gets stuck with a pretty devastating death when looking at the big picture. First, Jason tosses him onto a control panel, and it’s the most hectic of all the control panel deaths in these movies. He immediately catches on fire, and sparks are flying nowhere near his point of impact. It’s kind of amazing, and his twitching hand at the end is comically disturbing. Plus, his death definitely causes problems for that boat and everyone in it, so Jason was going for victims by proxy with this one.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
And now for something completely different…a Friday the 13th movie that doesn’t have the franchise title in the name, and also features the evil spirit of Jason Voorhees traveling from person to person. It’s not exactly the most celebrated movie, which is like saying liver and onions isn’t the most celebrated breakfast cereal.
But for all its issues, Jason Goes to Hell does feature perhaps the most fucked-up sex death in any Friday the 13th movie. Taking things back to basics, Deborah and Luke are getting it on inside a tent when Jason picks up a rail spike and plunges it into the tent and through Deborah’s nude torso, cutting her in half. WHILE LUKE IS STILL ALL UP IN THAT. Granted, he doesn’t live much longer to craft a tale for the grandchildren that he won’t be having with Deborah. Jason straight-up hates orgasms.
No one in their right mind would think sending Jason Voorhees to space is a good idea. Ipso facto, no one in the movie Jason X is in their right mind, because they sent Jason to space. This is a movie that somehow features a cameo and on-screen death for David Cronenberg, the highly lauded director of such classics as The Fly, Videodrome and A History of Violence. He gets impaled through the stomach while trying to run away, and it’s pretty badass.
However, everyone who watched Jason X immediately committed to memory the moment when Jason pushed Adrienne’s face into the liquid nitrogen, and then smashed her frozen face into bloodied smithereens. If the rest of the movie had been this cheer-worthy, then…well, I seriously can’t even hyperbolize what that kind of world would be like.
Freddy vs. Jason
No, Freddy vs. Jason isn’t technically a Friday the 13th movie, but it’s a “Jason Voorhees” movie, so it fits in as much as Jason Goes to Hell does. This mash-up horror-comedy with Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger featured one of the weirdest kill sequences in any horror movie: the stoner guy’s caterpillar dream sequence. But that was more of a Freddy thing, even if Jason was the one who did the murdering.
As such, the most iconic kill in Freddy vs. Jason ups the ante on one of Jason’s previous highlights. He stabs the turdball Trey repeatedly in the back before bending the dude’s bed in half, crushing his body backwards in the process. Bodies don’t work like that, Jason! But this kill worked better than any of his others in Freddy vs. Jason, and it still makes me uncomfortable to think about Trey’s calves hitting his shoulder blades.
Friday the 13th (2009)
For the franchise’s first big reboot, Friday the 13th gave Jason Voorhees a psychological spin that gave his actions more motivational purpose than they’d had in many of the prior films, and once again made him feel like more of a victim than just a pure killer. Of course, he also felt more vicious at times, such as when he strung Amanda up inside a sleeping bag over a burning fire, or when he stabbed the lovable Chewie in the throat so many times with that screwdriver.
This truly almost went to the shocking death of Danielle Panabaker’s Jenna, since she was presumed to be a survivor by that point during the characters’ escape. But no, Jason brutally murdering the piece of shit Trent is Friday the 13th‘s most iconic death in 2009. The guy was the character most deserving of having his body meet a blade, and Jason introduced them in the nastiest of ways. Plus, instead of just dumping the body on the ground like he normally does, Jason speared him onto the back of a guy’s truck just before he drove away.
Fans have been waiting years to see a 13th film come out of the Friday the 13th franchise, but every time it looks like one is going to happen, some kind of legal snafu pops up and stalls things anew. So there’s a chance we won’t get to see one for quite a while still, but always know that Jason is out there watching, and waiting for the best moment to strike, and also figuring out the best way to shove your body into a pantry so that there’s maximum jump-scare potential when someone else opens it.