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Five Nights At Freddy's Characters Left On The Cutting Room Floor

"Five Nights At Freddy's" was a surprise hit, even for its creator, Scott Cawthon. Prior to the horror series getting big, he almost gave up on game design when his early efforts proved to be financial failures. The same year that the original "FNaF" came out, Cawthon found himself operating a cash register at Dollar General. "Before that I worked at Target in the backroom freezer, unloading frozen foods," he recalled (via Polygon). "I haven't had a successful life."

Despite the setbacks he faced, Cawthon couldn't get past his desire to make games, a drive that eventually led him to "Five Nights at Freddy's." He hadn't always set his sights on crafting horror experiences for players though. He kicked off his career as a developer by creating titles more geared towards Christians and families, such as the well-reviewed if controversial side-scrolling platformer "The Desolate Hope."

As demonstrated by his winding path to success, Cawthon isn't afraid to experiment when it comes to finding the best way forward. In the years since he chose to give development another go, Cawthon and later Steel Wool Games have tried out lots of ideas for the "FNaF" franchise. Not all of those ideas panned out, however, with several characters left to languish on the cutting room floor.

Beaver animatronic - Five Nights at Freddy's

In 2013, Cawthon released "Chipper & Sons Lumber Co," an adventure about a lumber company run by a father-son beaver duo. While the game didn't draw the type of reception that Cawthon had hoped for, the feedback led to the creation of his most iconic IP.

Cawthon shared this part of his journey during an interview with Geeks Under Grace. "People said the main character looked like a scary animatronic. I went into a pretty deep depression and was ready to give up game-making," he told the outlet. "Then something in me snapped and I thought to myself that I bet I could make something a lot scarier than that!"

The developer decided to lean into this angle, dredging up memories of the frightening animatronic animals he had encountered as a child. While the core trio in the first "FNaF" entry came together easily, he had trouble settling on the fourth member slated to have their own stage at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. Eventually, he went with Foxy, but a beaver animatronic served as the initial main contender. "I decided against that because I thought that was too on-the-nose from 'Chipper,'" he explained to content creator Dawko.

While it didn't make the cut for the original game, a beaver animatronic named El Chip later debuted in "Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator." Mr. Chipper also appeared as an unlockable character in "FNaF World," as did the secret boss Chipper's Revenge, a robotic beaver that resembles the Lumberbot 5.0 from "Chipper & Sons Lumber Co."

Wolf animatronic - Five Nights at Freddy's

Though Cawthon leaned towards a beaver character for the fourth "Five Nights at Freddy's" antagonist at the outset, he did have other options in mind. As the developer divulged to Dawko, the list also included a wolf animatronic. He didn't provide any details regarding the character's behavior or what it might have looked like. Foxy ultimately beat out both of his competitors, but the franchise revisited the wolf concept on at least three separate occasions.

A wolf appeared as an antagonist in the novel "Five Nights at Freddy's: The Twisted Ones." The second book in a trilogy penned by Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley, the events of "Twisted Ones" take place a year after the plot of its predecessor, "The Silver Eyes." Pirate Wolves later turned up in the 2019 spinoff side-scroller "Freddy in Space 2." Finally, the glamrock animatronic Roxanne Wolf, or Roxy, debuted in Steel Wool Studios' "Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach" in 2021.

Blacklight animatronics - Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted

In 2018, Funko put out a run of "Five Nights at Freddy's" merchandise sporting black light-inspired color motifs. Fans had lots of options to choose from, as the special lineup featured pen toppers, Mystery Mini and Keychain plushes, action figures, breakfast cereal, and Pops for Cupcake and the four main animatronics. As reported by multiple sources, blacklight versions of Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy based on the merchandise were supposed to appear in the seventh mainline entry, "Help Wanted." However, Steel Wool Studios scrapped the inclusion before releasing the title.

Fans discovered the existence of the blacklight iterations by examining the game files, which included full models and textures for Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica. It appears the developers didn't complete work on Blacklight Foxy before abandoning the character alternates. According to a poster on Reddit, it's also possible to see the blacklight versions in the game using the Unreal Engine console, as they appear in a cut sequence called Showtime, as well as on stage behind closed curtains in the lobby. One player even created a mod that replaces Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica's textures with their blacklight counterparts.

Burnt Freddles - Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted - Curse of Dreadbear

The Freddles, or Mini-Freddies, have long been a source of speculation for "FNaf" fans. These small baddies made their first showing in "Five Nights at Freddy's 4," where they served as the summoning mechanism for Nightmare Freddy if enough of them congregated in a key location. They fulfilled a similar function in "Ultimate Custom Night."

The "Help Wanted" DLC "Curse of Dreadbear" utilized the Freddles for a different purpose, tossing them in as particularly pesky distractions during the Build-A-Mangle mini-game. While searching through the files for the DLC, players discovered a cut texture for the Mini-Freddies that gave them a singed quality. This led to the designation "Burnt Freddles," which stuck with the community. It's unclear why the alternate texture existed, but the developers might have planned to use it for a hard mode that didn't make it into "Curse of Dreadbear."

The F screenplay - FNaF movie

In mid-2015, Warner Bros. Pictures revealed that it had acquired the film rights to the "Five Nights at Freddy's" franchise. Over the years, the project went through several iterations, including making the leap from Warner Bros. Pictures to Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures. By the time filming finally began in early 2023, multiple versions of the script had been left on the cutting room floor.

Cawthon offered a glimpse of the different scripts in a post on Reddit. Many of them featured "FNaF" characters that never saw the light of day due to getting the axe. One such case was The "F'" Screenplay, which followed "teenage trouble-makers" who found their way into Freddy's via less-than-legal means. The plot concluded with the crew uncovering a government-backed robot production operation. While he liked aspects of it, Cawthon ultimately vetoed the concept, as he felt it "strayed way too far from [the] source material." As a result, the public never got to meet its group of oddballs.

The Pawn Shop and Misfit Kid screenplays - FNaF movie

Another script option for the "Five Nights at Freddy's" movie centered on a boy tasked with overseeing a pawn shop. He and his friends found themselves in trouble after one of Freddy's animatronics ended up at the pawn shop in the wake of a robbery. Cawthon thought this was a unique angle through which to explore the material, but that it deviated too far from the "FNaF" horror roots. It "felt a little too much like 'a boy and his animatronic'" and an "after-school adventure," he said. So, it was bye-bye pawn shop kid.

The "Misfit Kid" script followed a similar setup to "Pawn Shop." This take threw a mother raising her child by herself into the mix. After moving to a new area, said child stumbled upon Freddy's restaurant. Cawthon liked the take, stating that it was the frontrunner for quite some time. However, he took issue with the setup, stating that the excuses used to get and keep the kid at Freddy's felt "too contrived and too forced." And just like that, at least two more characters went into the trash bin.

The Ghost Trackers screenplays - FNaF movie

According to Cawthon, the writers tested out two different scripts that focused on amateur ghost hunters. He felt the concept made sense for setting the stage for the deadly animatronics, but that both versions had problems that would have detracted from the franchise. In one, the characters didn't have strong enough ties to the titular location. It spent too much time examining the experiences of the protagonists. Simply put, there was not enough emphasis on the restaurant and its history.

The other ghost trackers screenplay tried to pack in too much at once. "This one involved the Funtime Animatronics, underground ball-pit tunnels, and a Marionette out for revenge!" stated Cawthon. It was hard to keep track of everything that was happening, causing the script to veer strongly into the action genre. The horror got lost in the mix of elements, so Cawthon decided to pass, leaving the ghost hunters as little more than specters of what might have been.

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