The showdown of the millennium.
It didn’t actually come to fruition until 2003, but most fans of the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises know that New Line had been trying to get Freddy vs. Jason off the ground for many years by that point.
As teased at the end of Jason Goes to Hell, Freddy and Jason were supposed to clash in the 90s, and various writing/directing teams were brought on board to crack the mash-up. We’ve talked extensively about all that in the past, but one thing we haven’t mentioned is that makeup master Rob Bottin was at one point attached to direct!
Bottin, the man responsible for the insane effects in John Carpenter’s The Thing, was announced as the director of Freddy vs. Jason in the summer of 1997, and it would’ve marked Bottin’s debut as a director. Bottin had this to say about the project when it was announced, which we dug up from Variety‘s archives…
“Rather than revisit old territory, my intention is to celebrate these characters by way of re-invention — elevating them both to a completely new level of horror, using state-of-the-art techniques. They will be reborn in a bigger-than-life way.”
Of course, the Bottin-directed iteration of the project never came to be, but what we did recently discover is that a short promo teaser for the film was shown off to exhibitors at the 1997 ShoWest trade convention. “It received wild applause and howling,” Variety noted in the aforementioned article.
Guess what? That 1997 promo trailer for Rob Bottin’s Freddy vs. Jason just surfaced on YouTube. Using clips from both franchises, it teased “the fight of the century“… a fight that, unbeknownst to New Line at the time, wouldn’t go down until six years later.
Enjoy this fascinating piece of horror history.