The Five Nights at Freddy's (FNAF) movie director broke down why the upcoming horror film had to include the franchise's ghost kids.
Coming off years as a terrifying hit video game franchise, Blumhouse Productions will bring the world of Freddy Fazbear's Pizzaria to the big screen for the first time with a movie adaptation starring Hunger Games actor Josh Hutcherson.
The series is known for its colorful world of jump scares courtesy of a decrepit band of haunted animatronic animals.
As the lore goes, the murderous Freddy Fazbear Band is possessed by the spirits of children murdered by the former owner of the franchise's central defunct pizzeria and arcade. However, these kids have never actually been seen as a part of FNAF video games.
FNAF Director on the Movie's Ghost Kids
After not popping up in any of the video games, Five Nights at Freddy's movie director Emma Tammi revealed why the ghost kids possessing the franchise's terrifying animatronics had to appear in the film.
In a conversation with Screen Rant at New York Comic Con, Tammi remarked that "childhood wonderment" was the number one thing the FNAF creative team wanted to bring to the forefront with the movie:
"Well, I think one of the things that we wanted to do with the movie is bring a) the character of Abby into the forefront and really being able to see the pizzeria and the world of Freddy’s through her eyes, which is completely filled with childhood wonderment before things get really scary for her."
This child-like wonder will mainly be seen through the eyes of Abby (played by Piper Rubio), the younger sister of protagonist Mike (Josh Hutcherson), but it was also an opportunity to "bring the ghost kids from the lore into the fold" and mark a "really cool additional element breathing new life into the film adaptation:"
"But on top of that, what Mike is grappling with, our lead protagonist, he’s dealing with past trauma and the abduction of his brother that happened years ago. So there was an opportunity to bring the ghost kids from the lore into the fold in his dreamscape, that, I think was a really cool additional element breathing new life into the film adaptation."
She added, "The DNA of the game [was] so important in [the] adaptation," but "it’s hard to watch a full feature-length film without real characters to hang your hat on," so including the ghost kids was vitally important:
"Yeah, I mean, the DNA of the game is so important in that adaptation. So we knew we needed to land the scares, and really recreate the atmosphere that FNAF so effectively creates in the game which is this creepy factor that is really rich, and always unsettling. But it’s hard to watch a full feature-length film without real characters to hang your hat on and fully dimensional people with arcs. So we knew that was equally important to achieve as well. So we’re really hoping to deal with Mike and Abby."
Why FNAF's Ghost Kids Are So Important
The Five Nights at Freddy's games have not explicitly explored the origins of the children that inhabit the Freddy Fazbear Band animatronics, but it makes sense why the film adaptation would.
Not to say director Emma Tammi and the FNAF creative team want audiences to sympathize with the franchise's murder bots, but there is an element of sympathy introduced when plainly showing the victims of the Freddy Fazbear killings.
While the bloodthirsty animatronic band is a problem that the main character Mike will have to solve, ultimately, it is Matthew Lillard's Steve Raglan/William Afton who is the big bad of the film adaptation.
Lillard's character is the former president of the now-defunct Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria and is responsible for the death of the five kids now haunting Freddy's.
The story of the FNAF animatronics is a tragic one.
So in connecting the ghost kids to Josh Hutcherson's Mike (with one of them being his younger brother) and showing them on-screen, audiences will have an easier time buying in that Lillard's Steve Raglan is, in fact, the primary antagonist and not the killer quintet of colorful creatures.
Five Nights at Freddy's comes to theaters and Peacock on Friday, October 27.