FNaF movie: age rating, cast with Matthew Lillard and Josh Hutcherson, 2023 release date, who plays William Afton

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Will the game’s jump scares and creepy animatronics translate to the big screen?

The first trailer for Blumhouse horror movie Five Nights at Freddy’s has been released by Universal, offering fans their first peek at the scary animatronics that will be brought to life from the well-known survival horror video game.

Initial filming on the film wrapped last month, with Universal Pictures exciting fans further by revealing the movie’s suitably Halloween-adjacent release date.

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The film - a supernatural horror film based on the video game franchise of the same name - has been in development for years, with Warner Bros. Pictures initially announcing the film all the way back in 2015.

The project faced multiple production delays, and eventually, Warner Bros. abandoned the project, after which Blumhouse Productions - which has brought us recent horror classics like Paranormal Activity, Get Out and M3GAN - took over production of the film.

Shooting began in February in New Orleans, and just a couple of short months later, is complete. Here is everything you need to know about it, including that all important confirmed release date.

What is Five Nights at Freddy’s?

Five Nights at Freddy’s is a supernatural horror film based on the video game franchise of the same name.

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The first game in the Five Nights at Freddy’s (often abbreviated as FNaF) series was released in August 2014, and was created by Scott Cawthon, who also serves as a co-writer on the film. Since then, several sequels and spin-offs have been released.

The games take place in fictional locations such as Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, where the player takes on the role of a night security guard tasked with monitoring the animatronic mascots of the Chuck E. Cheese-like establishment throughout the night.

The creepy animatronic characters as seen in the first FNaF game (Image: Scott Cawthon/ Clickteam LLC USA)The creepy animatronic characters as seen in the first FNaF game (Image: Scott Cawthon/ Clickteam LLC USA)
The creepy animatronic characters as seen in the first FNaF game (Image: Scott Cawthon/ Clickteam LLC USA) | Scott Cawthon/ Clickteam LLC USA

The animatronic puppets - which include Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Chicken, and Foxy the Pirate Fox - are programmed to entertain children during the day, but at night they become unpredictable and hostile.

The player must use various tools to prevent the animatronics from entering the security office and attacking the player. The series has gained a large following due to its unique gameplay mechanics, jump scares, and creepy atmosphere. The new teaser shows how those game mechanics have been incorporated into the adaptation.

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Who’s in the cast?

The film version’s plot won’t surprise many fans already familiar with the source material, and follows nighttime security guard Mike Schmidt (played by The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson) who, upon taking a job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, realises that the family entertainment centre’s animatronic mascots come to life and attack anyone remaining on the premises after midnight.

The film also stars Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo!’s Shaggy Rogers) as main villain William Afton; Mary Stuart Masterson (Daniel Isn’t Real) as an unnamed villain; Piper Rubio as Schmidt’s younger sister Abby: Kat Conner Sterling as Max; and You’s Elizabeth Lail as Vanessa. Five Nights at Freddy’s is directed by Emma Tammi.

As to who might be providing the voices of the animatroinic characters at the centre f the film’s horror (if indeed, they have any at all), that remains to be seen. Could Kellen Goff, who has provided the voice of Freddy Fazbear throughout the series, return? Time will tell.

When can I watch it?

Universal Pictures has announced that Five Nights at Freddy’s will be released on 27 October 2023, both in cinemas and on the Peacock streaming service in the United States.

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Peacock’s content is accessible in the UK through two different options. The first is by having a Sky TV package, which allows you to access Peacock’s content via this link. The second option is to subscribe to Now’s Entertainment Membership, which costs £9.99 per month.

It should be noted that although some shows and movies are available on the UK version of Peacock, not all content is included. For those seeking full, unfiltered access to Peacock’s offerings, subscribing to the US version is necessary.

What age rating will it be?

Seeing as shooting as only just wrapped on the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, that means there are still months of post-production work to go until it hits that 27 October 2023 release date.

That means we’re a little way off from finding out exactly what age rating the finished film will receive. However, since many of the games in the series are rated 12+, it’s likely that producers will be aiming for a 12A certificate, to ensure that as many fans of the game can get into cinemas to see the film when it is released.

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Will there be a sequel?

Even before the first film adaptation has been announced, rumours are already swirling about potential sequels. After all, there are eight games in the main series (not to mention the many spin-offs), so there is plenty of material to potentially mine.

Five Nights at Freddy’s creator (and a co-writer on the film) Scott Cawthon stated in August 2018 that if the first film proved to be successful, there could be sequels based on the second and third games.

In January 2023, during an episode of the WeeklyMTG podcast, it was revealed that Matthew Lillard had signed a three-picture deal with the studios.

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