Given the immensely rising popularity of Mixed Martial Arts, I would not be at all shocked if some enterprising filmmaker eventually devises a slasher movie based around the world of MMA. But contrary to what some of you may have heard on the Internet in the past 24 hours, no, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight is not the new Jason Voorhees.
The story originated at Fighters.com that former UFC champion Tim Sylvia would be playing the role of Jason in the next Friday the 13th sequel already filming in Boston. The author even claims to have gotten it confirmed from an undisclosed source close to the washed-up ultimate fighter.
I say “washed-up” because his contract got dropped by UFC not long after he lost the heavyweight title, and in his last match, an unsanctioned cage fighting show in Alabama, Sylvia showed up fat and out-of-shape and proceeded to get knocked out in nine seconds by retired 48-year-old boxer Ray Mercer (in his first ever MMA fight).
Now you can imagine what surprising news this was to those of us that follow the horror genre because A) this was the first any of us had heard that they were planning to go with someone besides Derek Mears to play Jason in the sequel and B) it was amazing to find out that Platinum Dunes has already begun filming the sequel even though they’ve said they have no script or studio greenlight as of yet. Then again, this is Platinum Dunes and it’s not like Michael Bay had a working script in place when he began filming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, so maybe B isn’t so far-fetched.
But this rumor we can confirm is a load of crap. Not true. According to Brad Fuller himself: “Don’t believe the rumor. We are NOT shooting F13 right now, and the only person I want to work with as JASON is Derek Mears.”
So Tim Sylvia is not the new Jason. Given Sylvia’s career trajectory, maybe the source close to the fighter meant to say he’ll be playing Jason in a Halloween haunted house in Boston for a few extra dollars. Who knows? The magic of the Internet; even Yahoo picked up this story and reported it as fact.
A shame though. It would be interesting to see a Friday the 13th movie where Jason has a glass jaw and gets laid out in the opening ten minutes. What would happen for the rest of the film? Would the teens just party, smoke weed, and have sex without any repercussions as if it were another Meatballs sequel?
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