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Rare Internal Memo Reveals Ash Was to Kill Freddy for Good in ‘Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash’

Rare Internal Memo Reveals Ash Was to Kill Freddy for Good in ‘Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash’

After years in development hell, New Line Cinema’s Freddy vs. Jason finally hit theaters on August 13, 2003. It was a monster success for New Line, whose identity was built around Robert Englund‘s Freddy Krueger and the A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise. The film ended with a wink to fans, lending credence that this was only the beginning for the two slasher icons. In fact, internally they had immediately begun discussing how to up the ante on a sequel. While there were multiple rumors of potential villainous crossovers – including Halloween‘s Michael Myers and Hellraiser‘s Pinhead – the only one that was legitimately in contention was to bring The Evil Dead‘s Ashley J. Williams into the horrorverse. With the support of New Line’s senior executives – including President and COO Toby Emmerich – Creative Executive Jeff Katz and Sr. VP Stokely Chaffin fought tooth and nail to pit Bruce Campbell‘s Ash against both Freddy and Friday the 13th‘s Jason Voorhees (played by Ken Kirzinger at the time). A treatment circulated internally (one that Bloody Disgusting leaked exclusively back in 2004) but ultimately the huge success of Sam Raimi’s The Grudge reboot in 2004 turned Ghost House’s focus to remaking The Evil Dead (which eventually happened in 2013 with Fede Alvarez at the helm) instead.

Katz reached out to Bloody Disgusting this weekend with a discovery that is going to blow horror fans’ minds. While packing up a few items he came across an old internal memo that he and Chaffin sent to Emmerich on October 30, 2003. The title of said memo: “ROUND TWO: FREDDY VS. JASON – ‘Why Ash Works‘”.

What we’ve shared exclusively below is this document that breaks down the internal pitch as to why Ash would work in the Freddy vs. Jason universe. There are all sorts of really big reveals hiding within the doc, including the confirmation that they had played with and discussed mixing in Michael Myers, Pinhead, Leprechaun, Chucky (Child’s Play), and even the Tall Man (Phantasm), only that the aforementioned horror icons “flat out [don’t] fit in the Freddy and Jason worlds,” adding the complexity of making a deal with other studios.

If that isn’t big enough news for you guys, the memo reveals the shocking revelation that Robert Englund had been growing tired of the Freddy Krueger makeup as early as 2003. In fact, there had been early conversations with Englund as to the fate of Freddy: “Per our conversations with him [Englund] in the past, he agrees that the fans will embrace and accept the idea of Ash killing off our burned villain for good, as opposed to their reaction should a 16-year-old virgin girl do the job (again).” Yes, Ash was not only to be the film’s hero but was also set to be the device that would end Freddy’s reign of terror once and for all. When they failed to make a deal with Raimi, New Line, unfortunately, remade the film in 2010 and recast Englund with Jackie Earle Haley.

It’s also interesting that Freddy vs. Jason. vs. Ash looked to take a budget cut, although Katz, a known horror fan, had been selling the idea of Ash adding value to the sequel to avoiding retread. (He also points to Halloween: H2O and Halloween Resurrection as how to hurt a franchise.) Even more intriguing was that making this movie would NOT have affected Raimi’s Evil Dead remake or New Line’s future plans with Freddy and Jason (which all failed to come to fruition anyhow).

We can only hope that New Line executives are reflecting back on this, especially with the rise of the cinematic universes across Hollywood. Freddy vs. Jason was ahead of the curve and Katz’s vision for Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash would have blown it wide open. Now, New Line is heavily focused on their Conjuring universe, and with the Friday the 13th rights reverting back to them at the end of the year, it’s highly probable we see a new universe created with both Freddy and Jason doing battle once again. As for Freddy and/or Jason fighting Ash, feel free to put money on it never happening.

Note: Katz has donated the physical copy to Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA



COMMENTS

42 Comments
  • jasonlives1986

    So this confirmed it.

    Ash was added soley for the money.

    And now we know why it fell through.

    • DrewHamster

      Well no it sounds like Ash was going to be added based on fans/ some behind the scenes wanting him to appear. The letter above mainly focuses on the monetary aspect because it was a pitch and at the end of the day money is solely what the studios care about.

    • Ocelot006 .

      And we know all those box offices records those Evil Dead films smashed…..

  • Darkknight2149

    Like how Freddy’s Dead was supposed to kill Freddy “for good”? Or how Jason Goes to Hell claimed to kill Jason “for good”, but was really meant to get Jason in the same place as Freddy for a crossover? Or how Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter killed Jason off for a whopping one movie before he came back as a zombie? Thankfully for us, these characters can’t really be killed “for good” when profit is involved.

    • ChampionOfLight

      “Jason Goes to Hell” was never actually meant to kill Jason “for good”. “The Final Chapter” was until Paramount realized their mistake and course corrected with “Jason Lives”.

      “Goes to Hell” was the first New Line production and was clearly leading into “Freddy vs Jason”.

      • Darkknight2149

        Jason Goes to Hell was never actually meant to kill Jason ‘for good’.”

        Re-read my comment, please.

        • ChampionOfLight

          I guess I just don’t recall them pushing that it was “for good” as part of their marketing buuuttttt the teaser poster did heavily suggest that.

          • Darkknight2149

            They marketed it as being the final death of Jason Voorhees and as being “The Final Friday”, similar to Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, but they clearly had plans for a crossover while the film was being made.

  • Darkknight2149

    I do hope they eventually start making these horror crossovers again (especially in an age of cinematic universes). Who doesn’t want to see Jason fight Michael Myers, or Harry D’Amour take on Pinhead on the big screen? They could even make a Jason vs. Leatherface film to redeem that mediocre comic book from the 90s. It’s a shame that Freddy vs. Jason 2 never happened.

    • zombie84_41

      seems like they slowly are.

    • Cappy Tally

      I’d love to see Jason and Leatherface go at it for basically the same reason I’d like to see Jason and Michael go at it: they’re both variations of a more similar archetype. Freddy and Jason are very different from each other, so their fight wound up complicated, not that I minded at all. Meanwhile if Jason and Leatherface went at it, you’d have two huge brutish guys trying to take each other out with raw physical force. That’s a fun fight to watch, if you ask me.

      I’m not sure they still have the rights to Leatherface, though. Didn’t he end up at Lionsgate? The rights issue is a big problem. Marvel’s lucky enough to have most of their properties under one roof, but even they have problems with rights issues (X-Men, Fantastic Four). I doubt a slasher crossover would succeed at bridging that kind of divide where giants like Marvel have failed. They only JUST got Spider-Man back and he’s still dangling by a thread (no pun intended).

      • Darkknight2149

        If I’m not mistaken, I believe that New Line/Warner Bros. licensed the Texas Chainsaw movie rights to Lionsgate for a total of seven films (which would likely mean that the rights revert when those films are made). Leatherface has appeared in non-movies from Warner Bros., such as the Mortal Kombat X game. However, in terms of the films, the rights currently reside with Lionsgate and Millennium Films.

        • Ocelot006 .

          I believe it was Platinum Dunes that held the rights and then they did want to do anything more with them. Rights went back to Kim Henkel and then he sold them to Twisted Pictures for Texas Chainsaw 3D and then from there more nonsense and here we are today.

          • Darkknight2149

            That sounds about right. Texas Chainsaw 3D went through at least two different titles changes and multiple script ideas, with the original poster saying “From the producers of Saw” (who weren’t involved with the final film, for some odd reason). There were probably some substantial shake-ups behind the scenes, because Twisted Pictures were attached to the project, but weren’t involved with the final film either.

          • Ocelot006 .

            Well Carl Mazzocone is still the credited producer of Chainsaw 3D who I believe was the president when Twisted Pictures made the Chainsaw deal, but I think stepped down from Twisted while Chainsaw 3D was in development and then obviously stayed on the project while Twisted did….I don’t know what. Some business politics nonsense. I’m sure the demise of the Saw franchise put them in a rut. They got the TCM rights in 2009 and the film didn’t come out till 2013 so a bumpy road did occur. So technically Twisted was involved and not involved in the end if that makes sense. 😛

            And Carl is still on Leatherface so he’s still really sticking with it. A shame what I assume his plans were to turn it into an annual franchise didn’t pan out.

          • Darkknight2149

            Yeah, my impression at the time was that Lionsgate (who was involved with Twisted on Saw) wanted Texas Chainsaw to become their next big franchise after Saw: The Final Chapter. Then, after being announced back in 2014, the new Leatherface film disappeared for a while, before being announced as a straight-to-V.O.D. film just as the studio is bringing back Jigsaw and Blair Witch (their other attempt to re-engergise a horror franchise) under-performed at the box office.

            I agree that a lot of business politics went on with Texas Chainsaw 3D, and still seems to be going on. If Jigsaw makes a lot of money and Saw makes a comeback, I won’t be surprised if they put a lot less focus on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series .

  • zombie84_41

    I still wouldn’t mind seeing this. but is better we did’nt get anymore.

  • Daniel Moran

    The two comic sequels were at least enjoyable

  • ShadowInc

    I’d have rather seen FREDDY VS JASON VS ASH than that forgettable EVIL DEAD remake.

    • Corey

      Evil Dead was one of the best remakes they’ve made. I really enjoyed it.

      • Josh_the_Jawa

        But the characters were so shitty.

      • ShadowInc

        I found it to be very flat experience, and thus, pointless. And as far as remakes go, I wouldn’t put it on par with great remakes like THE FLY, THE THING, or INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Nor is it as entertaining as the DAWN OF THE DEAD, and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remakes.

    • gabriel

      Doubt it.

      • Sean Robert Hart

        How can you doubt someones opinion? You sound like a very arrogant person

        • gabriel

          Nah, just a troll

  • ShadowInc

    I’d always wished someone could have made a film where all the horror monsters (Freddy, Jason, Myers, Leatherface, Chucky, Pinhead etc) were somehow being held in a (government ?)containment facility. Then, somehow they would all escape to fight each other, as well as some humans who were stuck in the building with them. At some point, CABIN IN THE WOODS came out, and (sort of) did that, but It’s a shame CITW couldn’t get the rights to all those monsters.

  • ChrisDACase95

    Oh, you mean like how the Nightmare Warriors Comic ended ? Yeah, that ain’t news to me.

  • AdamX

    Pinhead could’ve worked as a bounty hunter of sorts coming to right the wrongs of both escaping punishment for so long. Chucky/Freddy needed to have at least one on screen interaction in my lifetime.

  • Geno1987

    I wish they pushed for Michael Myers instead. Have Freddy trick Michael into thinking Jason is a long lost relative of his. Set it during halloween in Springwood with Jason being lured back there by Freddy to force the two to fight and steal their power.

  • Corey

    Give me a sequel to the 2013 Evil Dead remake and a Freddy vs Jason 2 and I’ll be happy.

    • gabriel

      Yes

  • Evan3

    damn, Damn, DAMN. That’s three damns for the greatness of this idea that will never come to pass outside of the comics. I still hold out hope, however, that they add Ash to the Mortal Kombat games.

    It’s also amazing that this memo shows more thought in building a shared universe than any of the DC films or the Universal monsters films have put into it.

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    Glad this never happened.

    • gabriel

      Wrong

      • Flu-Like Symptoms

        Um, no. It never happened, which would make my comment CORRECT (for which I am glad since it would’ve been a shit-storm fiasco).

        • gabriel

          Wrong, it would’ve been epic af. I don’t know you, but I bet you would’ve loved it.

          • Flu-Like Symptoms

            No way New Line was going to let someone like Ash come in and kill their golden boy. Never would’ve happened (and for good reason).

  • Philip Bouchelle

    What if the Necronomicon brought freddy and jason into the world of evil dead along with the other villains. A huge crossover with evil teams and Ash and a small group of people having to save the world. You could have pinhead, myers, leatherface, chucky, pumpkin head, and the leperacon. All after the ultimate power, the Necronomican. Make it a trilogy.

  • dukeblues1

    Introducing Ash to any of these series is a bad idea. Who the hell wants that much comedic relief in something that is supposed to be scary? Not me. Freddie’s comedy was lame enough

  • boxcar182

    With stuff like this I always say “Well, why not?”. Have them make it and if it works then awesome and if it fails then learn from it and try and make a better product.

  • MODOK

    Cool article. I love that kind of behind-the-scenes stuff. Thanks, Brad!

    They have a good point that Freddy v. Jason vs. another slasher might have gotten tedious. I don’t think Ash was quite as popular then as they suggest, but having Freddy and Jason fight an actual genre hero and not just more teens would’ve been a smart move.

  • Fettzilla

    The events should lead up into Jason X. Ash kills Freddy off for good with The Book, the government takes Jason in custody and takes him to Crystal Lake Research Facility. End of story.

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