April 6-7, 2024
For the past 10 years, fans from across the world have been trying to piece together the lore behind Five Nights at Freddy’s, a video game that rose to popularity back in 2014.
Originally created by Scott Cawthon, Five Nights At Freddy’s started out as a simple game that had a few jump scares. Throughout the game, you start your new job as the night security guard of ‘Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza’. It’s a pretty easy-going gig with one main goal – to survive the night.
What had started out as an underground horror game, quickly became an international entity. The world of a fictional pizza parlour has spanned numerous games, novels, and a slew of merchandise since its inception.
After many years of anticipation, the franchise is finally getting its first feature film.
Blumhouse is the production company behind the operation, so you know the film is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s directed by Emma Tammi, and features Matthew Lillard, Josh Hutcherson, and Elizabeth Lail among the top-billed cast.
Throughout the years, fans have spent countless hours trying to connect the fragments of information sewn into the seams of the various media, but it always felt like pieces were missing to thread together a sufficient canon timeline.
However, for the film, Cawthon has scavenged through the best storylines to create something the world has never seen before.
Ahead of the film’s release this week, Supanova caught up with Robert Bennett, Project Supervisor and Lead Designer at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, to get the inside scoop on how they brought the beloved, iconic creatures to life.
“As a child of the ‘80s and someone who loves theme parks and animatronics, it’s right up my alley. It’s what I live for,” Bennett said.
“When we first got the project, I played the game, but I’m not really a gamer. I watched a lot of people playing the game on YouTube. One hundred percent of the lore came directly from Scott. So, whenever we had a question, he really guided us to make sure we stayed on brand throughout the whole project.”
Bennett went on to explain how his previous work prepared him for the task: “I come from the theme park world, before I started for The Jim Henson Company, so I kind of knew that side of it. I also had suit performed for Disney years and years ago when I first started in the industry.
“I think meshing those two together kind of gave me the foundation. I work with an incredible team of artists, who have been doing this for a very long time. So, we all got together and tackled each costume to figure out what was the most efficient way to build it and how it would be puppeteered best for the actions required.”
With the franchise having such a diehard following, Bennett said it was important that they stayed “as true as [they] could to the characters, the colours, the shapes and all of that”.
“It’s so important to the franchise,” he emphasised. “There were several different versions of the costumes.
“We had a fully robotic version that we could put on the stage if they weren’t going to have a bunch of movement. If the stunt performers were going to be walking or doing any sort of movements, we’d suit them up and put silver balls where the joints would be, so the light reflects that way. We had fully robotic arms that we could attach to their suits. It’s pretty impressive.”
It was “respect for fandom” that was the driving force for Bennett, who said, “We made this movie for the fans.”
“[The response] that I’ve seen so far has been extremely positive. I think people are going to be blown away. I can’t think of another film that’s out right now or has come out recently that’s even remotely like it.
“It’s just the uniqueness of it. I think the fans will love it, and I think it’s going to bring in a whole new audience.”
Lastly, we asked Bennett if he thought he could survive Five Nights at Freddy’s. He paused for a moment, and nodded with confidence, “You know, since I helped build them, I think so. I know their Achilles’ heel. I have inside information!”
‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ is in cinemas now!