One, two, Freddy's coming for you … no, not that Freddy.

An adaptation of Scott Cawthon's indie horror game sensation "Five Nights at Freddy's" has been marinating in development hell since 2015, not long after the first video game in the now-expansive series was released. Now, according to Deadline, Freddy has found his stars: Matthew Lillard ("Scream," "Scooby-Doo") and Josh Hutcherson (known for "Bridge to Terabithia" and for turning himself into a rock in "The Hunger Games").

Warner Bros. and Vertigo Entertainment were first in line to turn "FNaF" (an abbreviation of the franchise name, and also one of the many strange and embarrassing noises that might escape you when you're hit with one of the games' signature jump scares) into a film. It seemed like a no-brainer: the premise of the original game is that the player is a newly-hired night guard at a shabby Chuck E. Cheese-style family restaurant with malfunctioning animatronics that wander around at night looking for people to murder. The player is armed only with CCTV monitors, two security doors, an unreliable power supply, and minimum wage. It's all very unfair, which makes it perfect horror movie material.

Yet after "Monster House" director Gil Kenan was tapped for the project, things went quiet. Kenan's version at Warner Bros. was eventually canceled, and Blumhouse Productions took up the flashlight. In 2018, Cawthon took responsibility for the continued delay, explaining that he had a script that producer Jason Blum had liked, but he "tossed it" after coming up with a new idea. "Home Alone" director Chris Columbus was attached to direct instead, and then he wasn't. But now, it looks like the night shift at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza is finally kicking off.

A Magical Place For Kids And Grown-Ups Alike

After a few false starts, "Five Nights at Freddy's" recently found a new director in Emma Tammi ("The Wind"), recruited Jim Henson's Creature Shop to build the nightmarish Freddy Fazbear and his animatronic pals, and set a production start date for February 2023. This casting news indicates that things are still on track; while there are no details about which characters Matthew Lillard and Josh Hutcherson will be playing, if the movie is very faithful to the original game they may be the only cast members.

Aside from the horrors wandering the halls, there are really only two characters in "Five Nights at Freddy's" — the player character, Mike Schmidt, and "Phone Guy." As Mike gets settled in for each of his five nights at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza (each night more difficult to survive than the last), he gets a phone call from his predecessor to offer advice about the role and its duties. There are unsettling references to damage and death and "The Bite of '87," and a general warning that if any of the animatronics spot the player they will attempt to forcefully and fatally stuff them inside a Freddy Fazbear suit. You know, the usual first day on the job advice.

If the "Five Nights at Freddy's" movie does stick to the game's minimalist story and cast, then Lillard seems like a natural choice for Phone Guy, with Hutcherson as the unfortunate newbie on the job. Maybe he should just turn himself into a rock again.

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The post The Five Nights at Freddy's Movie Is On The Move, Casts Matthew Lillard and Josh Hutcherson appeared first on /Film.