It turns out the Foxy animatronic for Five Nights at Freddy’s proved to be an issue during production—at least, compared to his fellow Freddy performers.
The FNAF movie proved that the franchise certainly has an audience hungry to see this story play out on screen. As it stands, Freddy’s is the biggest opening weekend box office for Blumhouse ever, making roughly $78 million domestically and about $130 million worldwide.
While it’s made a ton of money, it has not done so well in the eyes of critics. The film is the worst-rated video game adaptation in the last seven years.
Despite that, one thing seems consistent: the animatronics are the stars of the show.
The Issue With Foxy in FNAF Movie
In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Five Nights at Freddy’s Project Supervisor and Lead Designer Robert Bennett revealed why Foxy was an issue on set.
As a reminder, Foxy is the one animatronic not part of Freddy’s band in the film. In Freddy Fazbear’s, the pirate-themed entertainer has his own stage to the side of the musical trio
Bennett admitted “Bonnie, Chica, and Freddy are suits that a stunt performer would be inside,” but Foxy “was a full animatronic” that took “six puppeteers” to portray properly:
“Bonnie, Chica, and Freddy are suits that a stunt performer would be inside, and then the head would be performed by a puppeteer off-stage… But Foxy was a full animatronic, and when Foxy was completely up and going, it took six puppeteers. There’d be one on each leg, one on the arms, one on the torso, the head, and then there was a big arm that moved him up and down and could roll him down the hallway.”
He noted that “the issue with Foxy” was in “his design,” as “he has holes all over his body:”
“The issue with Foxy, with his design, is he has holes all over his body, and it’s just cheaper to have the thing there than to have someone in a green suit, then you have to replace it. And just for the performers to have that on set and have this full animatronic that they could light from any angle, I think it helped the feel of the movie.”
In a separate interview with SFX Magazine, Bennet shared, “Foxy was the most difficult” animatronic and how if they tried to utilize greenscreen in the suit, “it would be so expensive:”
“Foxy was the most difficult, I guess if we’re going to talk about humans being in the costumes. Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica all were suit-performed. But Foxy has holes in his chest; if it has holes all over it and damage scars, there’s no way that we’d ever get a person in there. Even if we did it with greenscreen, it would be so expensive to fix it and put everything back in.”
He went on to share just how Foxy was puppeteered, including how they had “to paint out a little bit” of a big boom arm attached to the animatronic:
“So because of his design, we made Foxy as a full animatronic. His torso all the way up, his arms, torso, head, neck is all animatronic, and then his legs and feet were rod-puppeteered. We got a big boom arm and attached him to the end of that. So when he’s walking through set or down the hallway, we would position the boom arm where you couldn’t see it – they would have to paint out a little bit of it.”
Bennet admitted Foxy was “the most impressive on set because he is an actual animatronic:”
“Then there would be a performer on the head and face and on the arms. I think it took seven people to perform him when he was all up and going. But he was, in my opinion, the most impressive on set because he is an actual animatronic. So when we got him set up, and it was all lit and everything, it was very impressive.”
Will There Be More Foxy in FNAF 2?
While the animatronics are easily the best part of the FNAF movie, some fans wish Foxy got a little more screen time. He never feels like the extremely scary threat that he is in the games and doesn't act much differently than the others.
In the game, Foxy is the only original animatronic capable of running, and he can surprise and kill the player in a matter of seconds.
As for what a FNAF 2 would look like, a sequel that is almost certainly going to happen given Five Nights at Freddy’s box office performance, it’s hard to tell. Will the next installment use all of the same animatronics, or could it introduce some new faces?
One of those new faces might be Mangle, who is the evolution of Foxy—a super mangled Endoskeleton that was originally based on Freddy’s pirate pal (it even has the nickname Funtime Foxy). Though, with Mangle, they’re white with pink cheeks instead, and there’s no pirate-theme leftover.
Mangle is a pretty terrifying animatronic, though, and could prove harder to bring to life than Foxy. It's hard to know if it would even be feasible to have it puppeteered or if the filmmakers might need to lean into CGI to help bring it to life.
Five Nights at Freddy’s is now playing in theaters worldwide and is streaming on Peacock.