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Since the franchise’s early days, Five Nights At Freddy’s lore has always been a bit of a mess. I’m not complaining; in fact, I’d say the (albeit messy) mystery is the main thing that keeps me coming back to the series; but at the end of the day, there are a lot of weird and out-of-place details that don’t quite line up.
Like virtually every piece of FNAF content before it, the movie continues this trend of strange choices that further throw a wrench in the pre-existing lore. But worry not- today I’ll be walking you through all of the Five Nights At Freddys movie spoilers and lore of the movie and how exactly it connects to the games, if at all.
Every Important Spoiler in the Five Nights at Freddys Movie
#1 – Vanessa is William’s Daughter
When Vanessa was revealed as a character for the movie, we were all pretty confused as to how she would fit into the story, considering aside from foreshadowing in Help Wanted, she doesn’t show up in the games until Security Breach, and the movie aimed to adapt content mainly from the first game.
In its boldest choice, however, the movie opts to construct a Vanessa almost completely disconnected from her in-game counterpart. Instead, this Vanessa is William Afton‘s daughter and generally agreed to be this universe’s Elizabeth.
Like her in-game self, Vanessa is still controlled by Afton and trying to break free- but here, it’s due to emotional manipulation on the part of a parent rather than “there is an evil rabbit NFT virus man downloaded into my brain.”
At the film’s end, Vanessa is in a coma and Afton’s rotting corpse is shut away in the pizzeria, so it’s unknown how their storyline will continue in a sequel. A future movie could even have Vanessa as the film version of Michael Afton– going after her father and trying to right both his sins and the wrongs of her past.
#2 – Mike is not an Afton
Another big lore shake-up came with the reveal that Mike Schmidt is likely not an Afton at all, at least in the movie timeline. When interviewing Mike, William shows no recognition towards him until he realizes he’s the brother of one of his victims.
Even in the film’s climax, William only sees Mike as Garrett’s brother- Mike only matters because he can cause more pain to a family he destroyed.
This is another massive deviation from the game lore- though it was never directly confirmed, the games and Security Logbook always pointed in the direction of Mike Schmidt being an alias for Michael Afton.
Michael Afton as the game’s main protagonist added more drama; the hero versus their parent is a classic tragic story trope, and without Michael, it’s just William versus some random guy… not quite as compelling.
Mike could still be Michael Afton – he could’ve been adopted young, or abandoned. But the way the movie plays out makes it highly unlikely.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we won’t see Michael at all; Vanessa could later be a Michael stand-in, or Michael could later come into the picture as her brother. Or perhaps the movie makes an even bigger change than any of us could’ve ever seen coming.
#3 – The Family-Swap Theory
Given the massive changes to the main families of FNAF, there are several different fan theories about what exactly the movie is trying to do here.
One of those fan theories posits that Scott decided to swap these families around, making Charlie William’s only child, and Michael, Elizabeth, and the Crying Child Henry’s– their movie counterparts being Vanessa, Mike, Abby, and Garrett respectively.
That would make Mike Henry’s son instead, which would add some more dramatic layers and depth to the movie. For starters, William would have the motive to kidnap and kill Garrett- Garrett was taken in Nebraska, and while it’s not fully clear where the movie takes place (most fans theorize around Minnesota) Vanessa makes it clear that it isn’t Nebraska.
The detail about Afton traveling cross-state to nab one specific kid feels out of place- unless Garrett is Henry’s kid. William is a man full of spite and intent on destroying Henry specifically, so it would make sense to travel that far to get his kid, in a move that ultimately tore his family apart.
Mike and William are unfamiliar with each other, but this doesn’t remove the possibility that Henry either split off from Afton early or simply didn’t take his kids to work.
In both the games and books, Henry is someone who has trouble dealing with loss- in the games he commits himself to freeing the animatronics and taking out Afton after his daughter’s murder, and in the books, he not only tries to recreate his daughter but takes his own life when she doesn’t fill the void in his life.
This characteristic is also present in Mike’s dad- while dumping his backstory to Vanessa, Mike mentions that his dad is still alive but “couldn’t take it”- making it possible that he as Henry is working behind the scenes to track down Afton, or is stuck in a depression.
#4 – Ella is a Springlock Suit
In the Silver Eyes trilogy of novels, Ella is a doll created by Henry Emily for his daughter Charlie, and going into the movie I didn’t expect to see her make an appearance, especially not like this.
Upon my first viewing, I assumed Ella was intended to be an older variant of Baby, considering the similar design, Afton as the creator, and the connections to Abby and Vanessa. When I rewatched it, however, I realized the animatronic is almost a picture-perfect recreation of Ella.
Ella’s role in the movie universe isn’t fully clear, but based on the fact that she’s seemingly made by Afton (likely for Vanessa based on her knowledge of it), this could support the family-swap theory. Or it could simply be a little Easter egg- until a sequel releases, it’s unlikely we’ll have more than just speculation.
#5 – Chica’s Sentient Cupcake
There hasn’t been much lore surrounding Chica’s Cupcake, that is, until the movie. The movie depicts Chica’s Cupcake not only separate from Chica but almost as a distinct character. The Cupcake is shown going through vents, chasing victims, and generally acting very feral.
Due to its wild characterization, many fans have theorized that the Cupcake is also meant to be possessed- not by a child, but by a dog. In the game lore, William Afton leads the child haunting Chica, Susie, to her death by claiming to have her dead dog.
We even see a missing dog poster in the background of one shot- a chihuahua, one of the most aggressive dog breeds known to man.
It’s not clear yet if the Cupcake is just an extension of Chica, the ghost of a dog, or some other entity- but regardless of the answer, the way it’s written is certainly interesting enough to set it apart from other depictions of the Cupcake.
The Future of the Series
Considering the movie was a smash hit with the box office and its core audience, we’ll likely see more movies soon. Matthew Lillard, the movie’s William Afton, signed a three-movie-deal; the film ends with him being Springlocked and then dragged off by the animatronics and sealed in a back room, so he’ll most likely return as SpringTrap in a sequel.
Emma Tammi has also expressed interest in doing more FNAF movies, saying in an interview with Variety: “We would probably focus on tying the second one into the second game, and so on and so forth. But anything could happen.”
Considering the second FNAF game is generally regarded as a prequel, it’s unclear how the story would carry out. However, it’s said the crew is listening to criticism of the movie and is committed to making any future films as great as they possibly can be, and based on how good the first movie was, I personally have a lot of hope for the future of the franchise.