Happy 10th Anniversary to New Line Cinema’s ‘Freddy vs. Jason’!

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We all know that Hollywood works slow, but waiting for new Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street sequels is like waiting for rain in a drought: useless and disappointing.

New Line Cinema likes to brag that they’re the house that Freddy [Krueger] built, but just like most people I know, they forget to show any sort of appreciation.

After the 1993 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday teased a battle between franchise icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees (see video below), the studio released Wes Craven’s New Nightmare in 1994 before taking several more years to get Jason X into theaters (barely). And during that time the long-promised Freddy vs. Jason remained in development hell.

After a plethora of pitches, scripts and failed starts, the movie finally happened. The two most popular horror icons in the history of cinema were actually going to duke it out the big screen.

I remember being so excited that my friend and myself had purchased a flight to Las Vegas in order to attend the World Premiere, where Freddy and Jason would weight-in before the film’s big debut. Only, it was canceled, which actually didn’t even come as a shock. It never felt like Robert Shaye or New Line was really into either franchise anymore…

The film was screened just a few times before the release, and New Line had made the bold decision not to show critics the final moments. Who won? Well, you’d have to wait to find out.

I recall sitting in the theater on August 15, 2003 in a complete state of shock. My friend and I had decided we were going to see the movie 10 times over the course of the release, since we had been talking about it since middle school. Even with a ticket in hand, I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that it was actually happening – Freddy vs. Jason was about to play right before my very eyes.

Even though the movie wasn’t the best in either franchise, I personally found it fulfilling and still enjoy it to this day (here’s my review). It felt as if this was the beginning, and not the end of both franchises. With its insane $80M box office take, it was only a matter of time before a sequel was in production, right? Wrong. It took another 6 years for New Line to decide to remake Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, instead of continuing on with a unique new franchise they had built. And their love and dedication couldn’t be hidden anymore as they gave the Jason Voorhees rights back to Paramount Pictures in exchange for partnership in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. I mean, seriously?

So, happy 10th anniversary Freddy vs. Jason. August 15, 2003 will always be a special day in my life, where it felt like anything was possible. Who knew that ten years later I’d be shaking my head in disbelief that we have to beg the studios to make more Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween sequels…

  • Voorhees83

    I’d take a Freddy Vs Jason sequel any day over another reboot or a sequel to a reboot for that matter.

    After the terrible remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street, I have no idea where that series is headed anymore, especially with Englund getting older now.

  • theboogeymanplays

    there were sequels. two of them. they were in comic form. the first one is freddy vs jason vs ash and is based on an actual screenplay that never reached production. in it ash moves to a struggling s-mart at forest green and freddy uses jason to get him the necronomicon. he uses it to gain power over the real world like he has in the dream world.

    then there is the sequel to this titled freddy vs jason vs ash: nightmare warriors. if this had been a movie, it’s budget would have easily quadrupled the original fvj. freddy leads an army of jason and hundreds of deadites against the white house and it’s up to the nightmare warriors to stop them. the nightmare warriors being a team lead by ash which is comprised of ALL the survivors from prior friday and elm st films, including an extremely badass tommy jarvis. this series wraps up the entire thing because the ending is quite final for 2 of the 3 starring characters.

  • Skull-And-Crossbones

    i actually love Freddy vs Jason. i remember me and my friends having to sneak into the movie theater on opening weekend because it was sold out. i thought for sure there would be a sequel considering the way it ended. me and my friends often speculated if they would bring michael myers into the next one.

  • Sick_skwerl

    Haha, holy shit, it’s been 10 years? I had to sneak into that flick because I was still 16. And now I feel old…

    *SPOILER ALERT*(even though it’s just an opinion)
    And 10 years later, I STILL maintain Freddy wins.

    • Bouncy X

      i agree, Freddy won. but i think fans of both got what they wanted. they got to see Jason pretty much throw his ass around, sometimes literally, and Freddy fans got to see him give back just as good as he got and end with the typical “oh but Freddy will be back” scene.

      as for the weigh in, it was cancelled? well that sucks cuz they did eventually do one so i guess it was reschedualed or something. its always bugged me that despite the fact it apparently only lasted 20ish minutes, they only put an edited down to 5min version on the dvd. wish the whole thing was there.

      as for the movie itself, its forever connected to the 2003 blackout for me. i got my hands on tickets for a sneak preview the day before the movie opened and of course that blackout hit on that very day, literally mins after i bragged that i’d be seeing it before anyone else….life is mean. :P but the light at the end of the tunnel is that the theater let me use the pass to get in when i finally did see it! the first 30mins are a little bad, especially most of the kids acting but that last half starting with the hospital visit all the way to the end is great.

  • dr.lamb

    It was not a good movie, but a fun movie. But I am still very disappointed by the dream sequences – mostly set in the boiler room, the precedent movies showd more creativity – and the WWE showdown. These two points prevented it from being a classic. Btw, as much as I hate the reboots of Nightmare, Friday 13th and Halloween, they are pretty easy to forget about. The other day I was thinking “What if they did Nightmare today ?” then I suddenly remembered the remake ! I think we don’t need our “heroes” anymore, it’s time to say goodbye. Just one more “Friday”-film, to make it 13 parts (including Freddy vs. Jason).

  • TwistedCritic

    I can’t believe it’s been 10 years either. I’m probably in the minority but I’m glad the sequel with Ash never made it to the screen, that always seemed like something better done in comic form. Nothing will ever top the ’80s, when these two had new movies out almost every year. Sad to think back and realize that the past decade was just as big a drought for them as the ’90s.

  • KingCujo

    Waiting for a new F13 or NOES sequel is useless and disappointing? I’d say those words pretty much describe the sequels and remakes themselves — useless and disappointing.
    I went to see FvJ twice in movie theatres in 2003 because I hated it so much the first time, I had to go back a second time to see if I was missing something that horror fans at the time seemed to be going crazy over. Nope — pretty much hated it the second time too. I remember thinking, “This is what it took them 10 years to make??!”
    Instead of being on New Line’s or Paramount’s or whoever owns these films cases for not giving us new films in rapid succession, how about we demand that they make decent original horror movies from filmmakers with vision and passion?

  • ThunderDragoon

    It is funny, right? How these big franchises make good money at the box office and it takes them years to do anything more with them. Meanwhile, a new Paranormal Activity gets released every year, except for this year, and our slashers get left in the dust. It’s not fair sometimes. There’s nothing we can do about it, though.

  • SuperKilla

    Bravo for this article. I had the same feeling of being so happy in the theatre that I could not believe I was about to watch Freddy and Jason in the same movie. I was pissed about Hodder not playing Jason but I was still souped to watch the film. I still think the dialog and some of the acting was terrible in this film but the Freddy and Jason sequences were on point. I saw it twice in the theatre. Happy 10 year anniversary Freddy vs. Jason!

  • doomas10

    I personally loved the film.Not sure what people expected but the storyline that brought these two fighting was a solid one. Plus I believe it has some great cinematography in it too! And the final fight- obvious touches from Ronny Yu and the Hong Kong cinema!- is a classic!

  • Krug09

    !!! 10 years? Damn… i remember the day on or before release east coast black out fucking stopped me from seeing it opening night so i had to go on august 17th… So hard to believe its been a decade. i was 15. its an awesome movie. i loved it when i saw it in theaters, then bought the 2 disc dvd. Its a perfect Freddy Vs Jason movie.

  • xtiandf78

    I really liked Freddy vs Jason, the only detail that bothered me to no end was that stupid “Jason is afraid of water” bullshit, dumb fucks! Jason was in the water for like 3 movies in a row: Part VI, VII & VIII!!

  • ElmStreetKid93

    Freddy vs Jason is a fun slasher flick! Not the best for either franchise but a good entertaining watch! I personally would’ve preferred a darker version but hey what can you do? Took over a decade to make a script that can intertwine both characters. They decided on a script that made more sense than alot of the other nonsense that was turned in. I knew this film wasn’t going to be the best. It was a film that every fan of the horror genre and of the franchises wanted to see happen for years and they finally got it! There was some stuff in it that was stupid & didn’t make sense like the whole Freddy wasn’t powerful anymore because the kids had forgotten about him. If you look back to the original NOES, Nancy & her friends didn’t even know who Krueger was! Actually if you look back at all the nightmare films, none of the kids knew Freddy was or why he was after them! Another thing that really bothered me was the fact that they can drive from Springwood to Camp Crytsal Lake just like that!

  • Darkness69

    Has it really been 10 years? Wow. It was definitely a fun movie, although, like some of the commentators above, I would’ve liked it a bit more dark and with more attention to the mythology of both characters. As for the sequel(s) that will probably never happen, I still get goosebumps at the moment in the Never Sleep Again documentary when they discuss the idea of adding Pinhead to the slasher line-up.

  • VictorCrowley

    Unbelievable it’s already been 10 years, and more shocking is since that time all we’ve gotten are two shitty remakes instead of continuning on from F vs J and possibly bringing in Michael Myers as was speculated about during that time. Would’ve been freakin stellar.

    Only good news is the word of New Line giving the rights to F13 back to Paramount. Maybe now we’ll get a Friday film done right. I’ve certainly had my fill of Jason’s soul jumping bodies, Jason in space, and Jason guest starring in an Elm Street film (oh yea, and remakes). Put him back in Crystal Lake, make the kills awesome again, and recapture that old feel of the 80′s.