When Freddy vs. Jason finally became a reality, fans rejoiced. And so did New Line, which had been trying to make the epic battle actually happen for 16 years.
New Line and Paramount (which owned the Friday the 13th franchise back in the day) first tried to make FvJ back in 1987, which had brought us to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors with Freddy and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives with Jason. The two studios ultimately wanted to license the other’s character so they could control the making of FvJ, though no one could agree on a story and negotiations were never finalized. Paramount went on to make Friday Part VII: The New Blood (1987) and New Line continued with Nightmare 4: The Dream Master (1988).
After Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) performed poorly at the box office, producer Sean Cunningham decided he wanted to reacquire the rights to the Friday the 13th franchise and start working with New Line on making FvJ happen. However, FvJ was put on hold again when Wes Craven returned to New Line to work on Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), which allowed Cunningham to go all-out with Jason Goes to Hell (1993), which was only intended to open the door to the crossover with Freddy (the final shot features Freddy’s glove emerging from the ground and grabbing Jason’s mask).
However, FvJ would still face delays, so Cunningham was forced to create yet another sequel to keep the Friday the 13th franchise fresh in the minds of audiences. Jason X (2002) put Jason in outer space and ended up being a fan favorite further down the road, though it was the lowest grossing of the Friday films at the box office (and also had the largest budget).
At this point, FvJ had spent over 15 years in development hell and $6 million had been spent on 18 unused scripts from more than 12 screenwriters. However, Freddy vs. Jason fianlly saw the light of day in 2003 and went on to gross over $114 million on a budget of $30 million.
The success of the film, of course, prompted a whole slew of proposed “Vs.” movies — and not one of them ever became a reality. Maybe everyone became hesitant at attempting yet another “Vs.” team-up after FvJ took so long to make. Maybe everyone realized that a “Vs.” movie has the danger of being all concept and no story. Whatever the reasons, here are a few projects where no one showed up for battle.
Freddy vs. Jason 2
After your movie makes over $100 million, of course you’re going to start thinking about a sequel. The ending of FvJ left the door open for a sequel (or two, or three…), after all. Alas, it would turn out that Freddy and Jason would only engage in mortal combat once, and both franchises went on to be rebooted with Friday the 13th (2009) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010).
Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash
This would’ve been any fan boy’s biggest dream come true — New Line was actually developing a story that would throw Ashley J. Williams of The Evil Dead into the mix with the two horror icons. It would’ve been a battle of wits as well as muscle this time around, as Ash and Freddy tried to wisecrack each other to death. Development on this one ceased after no one could come up with a good reason (excuse?) as to why these three would ever end up in the same universe in the first place — and how Ash could ever stand a chance of surviving such an encounter.
Helloween: Pinhead vs. Michael Myers
After Dimension saw how much New Line made on FvJ, they started envisioning a battle between their two horror icons. The idea of Pinhead of the Hellraiser franchise going up against Michael Myers of the Halloween series is actually just as exciting as Freddy taking on Jason, but it was not meant to be. You kind of turn in part of your “Horror Card” when you do a “Vs.” film — there’s something rather comedic about the whole “Vs.” premise, and Dimension maybe decided that they didn’t want to take Pinhead or Michael in that direction.
Chucky vs. Leprechaun
We don’t think this ever went beyond someone putting together a poster in Photoshop. But it would be sweet, wouldn’t it?
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