Five Nights At Freddy’s: Release Date, Cast, And Other Things We Know About The Horror Adaptation

Freddy Fazbear on stage in Five Nights at Freddy's movie
(Image credit: Peacock)

Plenty of (hopefully) amazing video game adaptations are coming in 2023 and beyond, both on the big and small screens, with HBO’s The Last of Us and Illumination's Super Mario Bros. Movie striking high bar for such fare. From the God of War series getting the greenlight at Amazon Studios to a Death Stranding movie somehow taking shape, to Sonic 3 being set for a holiday release, there's something for everyone on the way. For those primed for jump-scares and freaky AF animatronics, Five Nights at Freddy's will be the (s)cream of the (s)crop for the Halloween season.

Starting off as a series of increasingly popular (and sporadically bizarro) indie games created by Scott Cawthon, Five Nights at Freddy's has become the kind of franchise branding behemoth that could legitimately inspire its own real-life pizza restaurant, with the games' lore being bolstered by several book series. For now, the closest we'll get to this Showbiz Pizza-inspired universe is the upcoming Blumhouse Productions film, which will no doubt spawn a host of new toys, comics, coloring books and more for Freddy Fazbear's most loyal followers. 

From the talented cast to the first full-length trailer to the team responsible for the impending Five Nights at Freddy’s film franchise, here are all the details we know so far!

When Is The Five Nights At Freddy’s Release Date?

Freddy Fazbear Pizza sign from Five Nights at Freddy's Movie

(Image credit: Peacock)

Five Nights at Freddy’s is set to wreak its tomato sauce-covered havoc in theaters on October 27, 2023, though fans won't necessarily need to enter the confines of dark public spaces in order to enjoy the fun. The Universal Pictures release will also be available that very same day for fans with Peacock subscriptions, though I'm willing to bet the theatrical screenings will be a hoot and a holler to be a part of, considering the franchise's appeal for younger demographics of horror hounds, especially since it's entering the 2023 movie schedule as a proper Halloween release. 

The Cast Includes Matthew Lillard, Josh Hutcherson And More

Mike in blue light for Five Nights at Freddy's movie

(Image credit: Peacock)

The Hunger Games franchise vet Josh Hutcherson will be the audience surrogate for Five Nights at Freddy's, and will be portraying the character Mike Schmidt, who lands the oh-so-familiar job as a security guard within a Freddy Fazbear Pizza restaurant that has so far escaped being destroyed following the brand's downfall in the '80s. Young actress Piper Rubio (Holly & Ivy) will be taking on the role of Mike's younger sister Abby, who unwisely starts joining him at work.

Arguably the bigget name to be announced beyond Hutcherson was Matthew Lillard, best known to horror fans for his work in the Scream franchise, while also being known for serving up kid-leaning scares as the voice of Shaggy in a variety of Scooby-Doo projects, which obviously includes his live-action roles. During a St. Jude Charity Stream, YouTube Dawko confirmed that Lillard would play the canonical antagonist William Afton, co-founder of all things Fazbear-ian, even though that's not the name his character is given in the first trailer.

Mary Stuart Masterson, of Fried Green Tomatoes and Daniel Isn't Real, is set to bring her talents to the world of Five Nights at Freddy's in the form of an as-yet-unidentified female antagonist. (Presumably of the human variety, but not entirely confirmed.) You and Once Upon a Time vet Elizabeth Lail will portray a cop named Vanessa, while musician Kat Conner Sterling will take on a description-lite character named Max.

As far as the creepy animatronics go, Freddy Fazbear will be portrayed in part by stuntman Kevin Foster (WandaVision), Bonnie will be played by high-wire specialist Jade Kindar-Martin, and Chica will be played by Mayfair Wishes and Parish stuntwoman Jessica Weiss.

The Five Nights At Freddy's Trailer Looks Awesome

As seen above, the first full trailer released by Peacock and Universal Pictures is chock-full of familiar Five Nights at Freddy's sights and sounds. From the posters and prizes seen within the pizza restaurant, to the various forms of animatronic characters that are teased throughout, to the usage of the "Toreador March" music box tune. 

Noted above, the trailer also reveals Matthew Lillard's character name to be Steve Raglan, which isn't a name taken from the game lore, because it's obviously a misdirect, since Lillard is almost definitely playing the nightmarish co-creator responsible for the film's missing children.

The Film Will Stick To The Events Of The Game Series, Mostly

Vanessa and Mike in restaurant for Five Nights at Freddy's

(Image credit: Peacock)

The basic synopsis for Five Nights at Freddy's, seen below, remains the same as it was before the trailer was revealed, though the footage fills in a lot of the narrative blanks that fans have been theorizing about. 

The film follows a troubled security guard as he begins working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. While spending his first night on the job, he realizes the night shift at Freddy’s won’t be so easy to make it through.

The trailer also confirms that the movie will take on the game's backstory involving child visitors to Freddy Fazbear's Pizza going missing, getting killed, and then having their vengeful souls possessing the animatronic band members, who then aim to kill others by incorporating the victims into the animatronic bodies. 

By bringing in other characters and taking the film's action outside of the restaurant and into other real-world locations, the adaptation will possibly add new twists and details into the narrative to keep game fanatics on their toes. 

The Wind's Emma Tammi Served As Director And Co-Writer

The Wind, which Emma Tammi directed.

(Image credit: IFC Midnight)

Emma Tammi, primarily known for her work on the 2018 western horror The Wind, as well as her work on the television show, Into the Dark, took on directorial duties for Five Nights at Freddy's, and there's no reason to think she won't knock it out of the park with this highly anticipated flick. 

Tammi also served as the co-writer for the Five Nights screenplay, which was also co-written by Scott Cawthon and Seth Cuddeback, the writer/director for 2014's drama Mateo and various short films.

The Film Is Being Developed by Blumhouse, After Previous Attempts By Other Producers

Blumhouse logo 2022

(Image credit: Blumhouse)

For those who don’t know, the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie has been in production hell for some time. Back in 2015 when this movie was first announced, it was picked up by Warner Bros., according to The Hollywood Reporter, but has gone through various phases and potential directors (such as Chris Columbus) on the road to landing its final creative collective.

October 2022 was when Blumhouse Productions stepped in as the film's production studio banner, according to The Wrap, with company founder and horror producer mastermind Jason Blum holding some of the reins. Blumhouse has made some excellent horror movies in recent years, and Five Nights at Freddy’s is no doubt in good hands.

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Is Going To Bring The Animatronics To Life

five nights at freddy's freddy, chica and bonnie

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

The inherent horrifying nature of Freddy's animatronics were developed for live-action by the mega-talented team from Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The company has delivered untold numbers of unforgettable characters over the decades, from the felt-covered Muppets to the stop-motion world of films as Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

They really are a super versatile company, and it's hard to imagine anyone else in Hollywood being better fit to bring Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, Foxy and more to life than Jim Henson's Creature Shop. And as seen in the trailer and official images, the film versions are indeed top-quality versions of the characters gamers have loved since 2014.

Filming Took Place Between February-April 2023

Chica in Five Night's at Freddy's.

(Image credit: ScottGames)

Filming for the new movie has been well underway. Jason Blum, one of the producers of the film, posted a picture to his Twitter account back on February 1st, 2023, celebrating the start of production. And it was three days after production ended when Blum took to social media to announce the film's release date.

While there have been enough really bad adaptations of video games for it to become a trope in and of itself, some awesome adaptations definitely exist, and I really hope that all the right pieces are in place for Five Nights at Freddy’s to cement its place as a go-to horror franchise, since sequels are already in various stages of development. Anyone else hungry for cupcakes while waiting for October to get here?

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.