‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Movie Preview: Everything We Know So Far

Anticipation for the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is high. Read on to stay informed about all of the latest developments leading up to its release later this year.

The first teaser trailer for Five Nights at Freddy’s gives just a taste of the animatronic horrors to come this October.

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Five Nights at Freddy’s is easily one of the most highly-anticipated horror movies of the year. The film, often shortened to “FNaF” by its legions of fans, has taken years to finally make it to the big screen after debuting as a hit indie video game in 2014. But the wait is almost over. Five Nights at Freddy’s hits theaters and streaming this October. This page will help keep you up to date on all the latest information about the FNaF movie as we all anxiously await its release.

What is Five Night’s at Freddy’s About?

Here’s the second trailer for Five Nights at Freddy’s:

The second trailer was released in August 30, 2023.

And here is the first full trailer:

The first full trailer for Five Nights at Freddy’s was released on June 27, 2023.

Specific plot details about Five Night’s at Freddy’s are limited. Here is the official plot summary from Universal Pictures’ web site:

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.

Here is the teaser trailer first released in May of 2023.

Judging by the trailers and Universal’s description, the movie looks like it will follow the same basic structure of the first Five Nights at Freddy’s video game along with additional backstory from subsequent games. The original game from 2014 puts the player in the role of a security guard, Mike Schmidt, hired to work the night shift at Freddy Fazbera’s Pizza, a pizzeria modeled in the style of ShowBiz Pizza and Chuck E. Cheese with animatronic animal entertainers. The animatronics move around on their own at night, and Mike learns that if they find him, they will kill him. From his security office, Mike must survive five consecutive nights by tracking the movements of the animatronics through security cameras and keeping them away by managing his use of lights and doors in the building.

Five Nights at Freddy's (2023).
Images like this are familiar to anyone who has played the games.

Clearly, we won’t just be watching Mike sit in an office and watch monitors for the entire movie. It looks like the film will include what appear to be flashbacks that will dive into the lore behind Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, the man who created the animatronics, and the reasons why the animatronics move and kill. It will also be more than only Mike inside Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. Mike’s younger sister Abby and a police officer named Vanessa are also seen inside the building.

Five Nights at Freddy's (2023).
The character descriptions from Geek Vibes Nation described below are not official, so treat them as speculation.

An article from Geek Vibes Nation describes Mike as someone who feels guilt over a past tragedy, and as someone who is obsessed with “digging for truth.” The article describes Abby as “a loner” who takes care of herself, and Vanessa as a police officer with knowledge about the dark history of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. These are, of course, not officially confirmed descriptions, but they can give us a sense of what to expect if they’re accurate. It’s all speculation at this point though. We’ll add more details here as they become available.

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The Cast of Five Nights at Freddy’s

Josh Hutcherson as Mike Schmidt

Josh Hutcherson as Mike Schmidt in Five Nights at Freddy's (2023).
Josh Hutcherson plays the lead role of Mike Schmidt, a newly-hired security guard who must survive the night shift inside Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.

Josh Hutcherson’s most famous role is playing Peeta in the Hunger Games franchise. He also appeared in movies including Red Dawn (2012) with Chris Hemsworth, and Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) with Brendan Fraser. Hutcherson has appeared in various projects since The Hunger Games, like the series Future Man (2017-2020) on Hulu, but his fans are excited to see him in a lead role in a highly-anticipated movie like Five Nights at Freddy’s. Just take a look: Fans Excitedly Await the Josh Hutcherson Renaissance as the Five Nights at Freddy’s Trailer Drops.

Matthew Lillard as William Afton

Matthew Lillard as William Afton in Five Nights at Freddy's (2023).
Matthew Lillard’s first film role was in Ghoulies III: Goulies Go to College (1990) as a nerdy character named Stork.

Matthew Lillard is a prolific actor in film, television, and animation. His most enduring roles include Stu Macher in Scream (1996), and Shaggy in various movies, animated series, and video games. The character Lillard plays in Five Nights at Freddy’s, William Afton, plays a significant role in the lore of the game series. To speculate about how Afton will be portrayed in the movie could lead to major spoilers, so we’ll wait until we learn more about the movie before making any predictions.

Elizabeth Lail as Vanessa

Elizabeth Lail as Vanessa in Five Nights at Freddy's (2023).
Some people speculate that the character Vanessa in the movie might be a version of the character of the same name from the game Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach, but this is unconfirmed.

Elizabeth Lail starred in the horror movie Countdown (2019), and she appeared as the main character Guinevere Beck in the first season of the Netflix series You (2018). In Five Nights at Freddy’s, Lail plays Vanessa, someone who, according to early reports, knows something about the secret of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, and who aids Mike in his ordeal.

Piper Rubio as Abby

Piper Rubio as Abby in Five Nights at Freddy's (2023).
There are theories about which video-game character Abby could possibly be a stand-in for, but revealing them would lead to one of two things: major spoilers or disappointment when the ideas turn out to be completely wrong.

Five Nights at Freddy’s is Piper Rubio’s first major role in a theatrical film. Her character, Abby, doesn’t appear to have any direct correlation to a character from the game franchise. Abby, according to unsubstantiated reports, is Mike’s younger sister whom Mike is raising in place of their parents.

According to IMDB, the following actor will also appear in Five Nights at Freddy’s:

  • Mary Stuart Masterson as an unknown villain
  • Kevin Foster as Freddy Fazbear
  • Jess Weiss as Chica
  • Jade Kindar-Martin as Bonnie
  • Kat Conner Sterling as Max

Who is Making the Five Nights at Freddy’s Movie?

Five Nights at Freddy's (2023).
With Jim Henson’s Creature Shop involved in bringing Freddy Fazbear and his friends to life, Five Nights at Freddy’s will definitely look amazing.

Five Nights at Freddy’s is being directed by Emma Tammi. Tammi previously directed the standout Western-horror movie The Wind (2018), and two of Hulu’s Into the Dark movies (Delivered and Blood Moon). Seth Cuddeback and Scott Cawthon (the creator of the FNaF game series) also have writing credits for the Five Nights at Freddy’s screenplay.

Jason Blum of Blumhouse is producing while working closely with the game’s creator Scott Cawthon. In-demand composer Tyler Bates (Pearl, the John Wick movies) is writing the film’s music, and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop is creating the animatronic animals.

Five Nights at Freddy’s Release Date

Five Nights at Freddy's (2023).
Soon, the curtains will open and we’ll finally be able to see Freddy Fazbear in his live-action film debut.

Five Nights at Freddy’s is scheduled for a dual release in theaters and streaming on Peacock on October 27, 2023. That means you’ll be able to watch FNaF on October 27 whether you prefer the big screen experience or watching in the comfort of your own home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Five Nights at Freddy's (2023).
Speculation about the movie is rampant, but here are a few things we do know for sure.

Why are some fans complaining about the red eyes?

By most accounts, the footage seen in the teaser trailer for Five Nights at Freddy’s does justice to the look and feel of the video games. One point of contention for some fans concerns the eyes of the animatronics. In the movie, the animatronic animals have red, glowing eyes. In the video games, the eyes are usually completely normal looking, or the eye sockets appear black, occasionally with dots of light where the pupils should be. As the franchise expanded and more characters were introduced, the variety of eye styles grew, but they’ve never looked exactly like the eyes seen in the teaser trailer for the movie.

The main arguments most people make against the red eyes are that they make the animatronics look more stereotypically “evil,” and that they are less creepy than normal eyes. The idea is that the normal eyes allow the animatronics to retain some of their cuteness which makes it more unsettling when they are stalking and attacking. Some even jokingly think the red eyes make the characters look high. A few people online are calling for changes to be made to the movie before its release, similar to how the makers of the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog movie changed the design of Sonic after negative reactions from fans.

A comparison of Freddy Fazbear's eyes in the FNaF movie trailer and in the game Five Nights at Freddy's 2.
An image of Freddy Fazbear in the movie’s teaser trailer (on the left) compared with Freddy Fazbear from the game Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 (on the right).

In the full trailer seen at the top of this article, it appears as if the filmmakers have adjusted the looks of the animatronics’ eyes. While one clip does show orange-red glowing eyes, there is a much greater variety in the eye colors. From full-eye glowing yellow, to pupils and irises of white, blue, and red, it does appear that extra attention was paid to making the animatronics’s eyes feel like more like their eyes from the games.

Is James A. Janisse in Five Nights at Freddy’s?

James A. Janisse, the host of the popular YouTube horror channel Dead Meat, is no stranger to making appearances in horror movies. One of his most recognizable on-screen appearances is his cameo in Scream (2022). However, the rumor that Janisse will be in FNaF is not true. He took to Twitter to debunk the claim.

Why did Five Nights at Freddy’s take so long to make?

The production of FNaF has been long and difficult. Shortly after it was announced in 2015 that a FnaF movie was going to be made, Gil Kenan (Monster House) was attached to direct. Kenan dropped out after the production switched from Warner Bros. to Blumhouse in 2017, and Chris Columbus (Gremlins, The Goonies) was set as the director. Jason Blum spoke in 2021 about the difficulties the production had with getting the script right (and, more importantly, meeting the approval of Scott Cawthon). It was at that time Chris Columbus dropped out.

By October of 2022, they’d apparently moved beyond their problems. Emma Tammi was announced as the new director, and production went forward. Despite having to wait years after its initial announcement, waiting to make sure everything came together correctly was probably the best idea. Video game movies don’t always have the best reputation, so ensuring that the creator of the games agrees with the film’s vision will create the best result for fans old and new.

Further Reading

Meet The Author

Chris has a degree in film studies at Temple University’s campus in Tokyo, Japan. He is a renowned expert on horror cinema.