Final Destination: Jon (Spider-Man: No Way Home) Watts to Relaunch for New Line, HBO Max

Jon Watts also wrote the treatment for what would be the first installment of the horror franchise since 2011.

 

The director behind the record-breaking Spider-Man: No Way Home, has joined the creative team behind New Line’s relaunch of its horror franchise, Final Destination.

Watts has boarded the project, titled simply Final Destination 6, as a producer and wrote the treatment and story for what will be an HBO Max original release. Lori Evans Taylor (Bed Rest) and Guy Busick, who wrote Ready or Not and worked on the upcoming Scream reboot, are now writing the screenplay.

The director joins a producing team that includes Final Destination franchise producer and steward Craig Perry, and franchise veteran Sheila Hanahan Taylor.

Dianne McGunigle, Watts’ wife and manager, is also joining the producing team.

Final Destination was a surprise hit franchise for New Line in the early 2000s, with a concept that proved easy to transfer from movie to movie, locale to locale, victim to unwitting victim. Each movie centered on a character who has a premonition of a horrific and deadly event, cheats his or her own death and saves several other lives in the process, only to have Death, as a personified but unstoppable force, come for the survivors one by one.

The first movie was directed by James Wong and starred Devon Sawa and Ali Larter, making $112 million worldwide on only a $23 million budget.

Four more installments followed through 2011, earning almost 700 million worldwide to date. It is New Line’s third-biggest horror franchise, coming in behind the $2 billion-plus generated by The Conjuring universe of movies and $1 billion-plus by the two It movies.

The company has attempted to restart the franchise previously, and in 2019 hired Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, who wrote four Saw movies, to pen a script.

Watts is known for helming the Tom Holland-starring Spider-Man movies for Sony and Marvel.

The latest, No Way Home, released December 13, defied pandemic gravity to become the sixth-highest film domestically and eight-highest grossing film of all time worldwide at over $1.53 billion and counting.

No Way Home became the second-highest domestic opening in history and passed $1 billion worldwide in just over a week.