Scribes make date for next 'Friday'

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Don't look now, but Jason could be coming back.

New Line and Platinum Dunes are moving forward on a new "Friday the 13th," with Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, who wrote the recently released reboot, beginning work on a new picture.

Unlike the sophomore efforts of other franchises, the new "Friday" is expected to be more in the vein of a follow-up than a sequel, those familiar with the project have said. Jason Voorhees will be the villain, of course, but the picture is expected to use elements of the original franchise more as a jumping-off point than as a template.

The reason: The reboot drew from the first four pictures in the "Friday" series, and producers are said not to be keen on the plot elements of the half-dozen movies that followed.

Marcus Nispel, who directed the latest film and helmed a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake as well, is a possible but unlikely candidate to helm the "Friday" follow-up, with the director believed to be fielding offers for movies across other genres.

The wild cards are stars Jared Padalecki and Amanda Righetti; though both survive in the latest film and are considered rising young stars, they also are on hit TV shows ("Supernatural" and "The Mentalist," respectively) and could see their schedules too busy.

Insiders caution that there is no greenlight and Platinum Dunes and New Line are actively working together on another franchise reboot, "A Nightmare on Elm Street," which is set to start shooting in two months.

Still, the "Friday" property is a desirable one, and in a best-case scenario the next film could be ready as early as the second half of 2010.

The reboot, which brought a group of attractive young victims to the Camp Crystal Lake of the original, has earned a strong $70 million worldwide. New Line and Paramount split domestic and international rights on the recent release and likely would do so again on a new picture.
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