Spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched Five Nights at Freddy’s in theaters or with a Peacock subscription, so be warned!
Despite any and all negative takes from critics, Five Nights at Freddy’s soared out of the gate with the biggest horror box office debut of 2023, with millions of franchise fanatics turning up in droves alongside viewers unfamiliar with the games. (All this, despite also debuting the same day on Peacock.) The film’s instant success makes Universal and Blumhouse’s sequel plans all the more likely, giving the creative team a chance to follow up on the end credits teaser and more. CinemaBlend spoke with director and co-writer Emma Tammi ahead of the horror adaptation’s premiere, and she tiptoed around what the final message meant, while also addressing her high hopes for another chance to tell stories within this universe.
What FNAF's Director Told Us About The End Credits Message
Audience members who stuck around past the mid-credits teaser with Balloon Boy and CoryxKenshin’s cab driver were treated to a familiar tune from the video games on the opposite end of the bop-spectrum from The Living Tombstone’s theme: FNAF 2’s music box. Which was followed by a creepy and easy-to-miss electronic voice spelling out a message that had FNAF fanatics bouncing in their seats: “Come find me.”
Without yet knowing what the future of the franchise would be, Emma Tammi couldn’t directly address what the final message meant, but implied that the clues are there for Five Nights familiars to put together. Here’s how she put it:
Oh, that I won't speak to. [Laughs.] We had to tease something for the end. And if you know, you know. I'll leave it at that.
While the film obviously already set up Balloon Boy as a potential antagonist for a live-action Five Nights at Freddy's 2, the fact that the character was used solely for comedic pops made the teensy character less likely to feature as the overarching threat. (I'm definitely hoping for some heady backstory for that character in a follow-up feature, regardless of the narrative role he plays.) But it definitely makes contextual sense for "Come Find Me" to follow the cab-set capper, which we'll get into below.
Who The "Come Find Me" Message Was Likely Referring To
Though the robotic voice itself isn't specific to this game reference, at least as far as my own knowledge is concerned, the music box certainly is. That melody is synonymous with the second game's central villain, the Puppet (also known as the Marionette). Which would imply that the creepy looking creation will fill in as the film sequel's not-so-big bad, albeit with some probably differences from how that story was laid out in the source material.
Without going too far into game spoilers here, for those who haven't played, the Puppet's backstory is quite a tragic one, and ties into William Afton's very first victim, as well as the actual founder of the Fazbear Entertainment brand. The first movie made no mention of said founder Henry Emily, with only Matthew Lillard's Afton noted as the person behind the restaurant. So if we apply that to what took place in Emma Tammi's first film, which was co-written by game developer Scott Cawthon and Seth Cuddeback, it's possible that the "Come find me" message was to Mike from his long-missing, long-dead brother Garrett, whose spirit may be possessing the as-yet-unseen Puppet animatronic. Otherwise, it's not quite clear what happened to that li'l dude.
Five Nights At Freddy's Director On The Ending And Sequel Hopes
Even before the surprises peppered through the credits, Five Nights at Freddy's had already delivered an unexpected ending that seemingly killed off Lillard's William Afton, who did indeed spend decades locked inside the Springtrap suit in a storage room within the game lore. And that was after he stabbed his own daughter Vanessa, which was itself a remix of a game twist tied to Afton's offspring.
I asked Emma Tammi about their approach to ending the first FNAF movie in such a big way, and how much of those choices were guided by the unspoken notion that this might be a one-and-done project. Here's what she told me:
Yeah, I mean, we were really focused on this first one and just wanting to put all of our efforts and focus into this, so that it could stand on its own even if no sequels were ever made. Of course, knowing what a big world the franchise is, it was always the hope in the back of everyone's mind that we might be able to keep making these films and success. But yeah, everything hangs on this first one, so fingers crossed.
The movie definitely kept Mike and Abby open as potential returning characters, with Vanessa also still alive despite her stab wounds. (Though seriously, Mike should drop her as a friend ASAP, even if she's back in the next one.) And even William Afton addressed the fact that he always comes back, despite that messaging being a little unclear in terms of his own history. So even though this first chapter featured a beginning, middle, and end, it's still 100% possible to continue bringing the games' stories to life in future movies.
To that end, I asked Emma Tammi about what other FNAF character she would be interested in bringing to life in the future, but even that kind of speculation wasn't possible, as she implied to speak to those ideas would be to spoil the early plans in place for the franchise's future. She said:
I'm not going to get specific about that, because that could get into dangerous spoiler territory. However, what I will say is I'm so excited to keep creating more with Jim Henson's Creature Shop, and the prospect of starting the design and build phase on a whole additional team of characters is something that has me, just talking to you right now, smiling from ear to ear. So I'm really, really hopeful that we get to do that.
Tammi did name Balloon Boy as a possible favorite creation from the Jim Henson's Creature Shop team, so I think we can count on seeing that little bugger again no matter where his cab ride took him.
Five Nights at Freddy's is currently raking in the money in theaters, and is also available to stream among Peacock's best horror movies.