“SLASH OF THE TITANS: THE ROAD TO FREDDY VS. JASON” – EXCLUSIVE Interview QuotesBooks/Art/Culture,Home,Movies/TV,News Fangoria Staff
SLASH OF THE TITANS takes a look into the long process and stumbles in making FREDDY VS. JASON! We also have a treat for horror fans as we release exclusive interview quotes from the book and the rare 1997 licensing artwork for the film!
SLASH OF THE TITANS includes:
– Comprehensive looks at ten different versions of the screenplay
– Info on early crossover attempts by Friday the 13th filmmakers
– Exclusive details on the never made Freddy vs Jason: Hell Unbound video game
– Insights from producers, executives and developers including Sean Cunningham
– An examination of why the Shannon/Swift script was finally greenlit
– Summaries of the four endings considered for the 2003 film
– Coverage of the never made Freddy vs Jason vs Ash sequel
– New comments from the titans themselves – Robert Englund and Ken Kirzinger
– Appendices full of story details including the outcomes of all ten versions
Author Dustin McNeill gives some insight about SLASH OF THE TITANS:
Freddy vs Jason’s ten year journey to the big screen was one fraught with drama. There were numerous starts, stops, and resets. New Line got a little ahead of themselves in 1997 when they started showing around a poster and teaser trailer for the film. They didn’t even have a finalized script yet, but they had those marketing materials ready to go. The biggest barrier to getting the crossover made was finding a screenplay that would please both New Line and Cunningham Productions. Creative control was split between the two camps, meaning they had to agree on the script before production could begin.
Read all of the exclusive interview quotes below:
Adam Marcus (Writer/Director – Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday)
The development hell on Freddy vs Jason was unbelievable. You’ve just never seen a slave of so many masters. Dean Lorey and I both looked at possibly doing it, but we immediately saw that it was being developed to death, which is why it took a decade to come out. New Line took so long with it that they risked losing the rights to Jason if they didn’t make another movie, which is how Jason X came about. I was approached for Freddy vs Jason, but New Line was in a very tricky place at that time. Ted Turner had just bought the studio right after Jason Goes to Hell. I was in the middle of a deal for Freddy vs Jason and it all fell apart because Ted didn’t want New Line to do horror anymore. He tried to crush it out of the company and suddenly they were making war epics. It was a weird period for the studio.
Lewis Abernathy (Writer – Freddy vs Jason ‘93)
I will say that I don’t think New Line cared for my direction at all. My desire was to turn it into Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. I thought the two franchises had run the gamut of straight horror and it was now time to make it a mildly amusing satire, which neither Sean Cunningham nor the studio were particularly thrilled by. But New Line bought my script anyway, so it was a nice little payday. I don’t think I was being particularly inventive or ingenious with my approach either. That’s simply what Universal had done with their classic franchises when they got a little stale. They turned them into comedies and they were wildly successful. I say if you’re going to steal, steal from the best. I thought it was a good idea.Nobody at New Line liked it, especially the executive in charge.
David Goyer (Writer – Freddy vs Jason ‘97)
I will share an observation I had at the time, which I did voice to the studio. I was telling people, ‘You’re really overthinking this to death.’ By that time, Freddy vs Jason had already become a deeply troubled project. I felt that when you go into something like this, you have to first ask yourself ‘What is the promise of a movie like this?’ Well, it’s Freddy vs Jason, so you need to make sure you hit the key Freddy moments and the key Jason moments. Beyond that, you need to make sure it’s a rollicking good time and that’s it. Don’t overthink it. Look at how many screenwriters had worked on the project, even before Rob Bottin became attached to it. They had been developing it for forever. I even said to New Line that I usually get suspicious when you have something in development that long. Was the problem really the scripts that were coming in? Really? Or was it something else? Surely one or more of those earlier drafts was worth making.
Mark Haslett (Vice President of Development, Cunningham Productions)
New Line was not very good at hiding the fact that they wanted to get rid of us and take over completely.I don’t know where they would’ve taken it. New Line was the wall that we’d hit tennis balls off of. We’d write something, send it over, and they’d send it right back with these enormous documents full of notes.They’d be the kind of notes you’d give if you watched a movie you really didn’t like.
Brian Witten (Senior Vice President, New Line Cinema)
You have to realize that Sean Cunningham’s empire was built on Friday the 13th, which is a brilliant film.When I left New Line for Paramount, the first thing I did was go to Toby Emmerich and say, ‘Let’s reboot Friday the 13th because this brand has been lost.’ So I really loved Sean’s work and Sean as a person,but we did not see eye to eye on Freddy vs Jason. And Sean’s point of view is that he is an artist. Sure,he might also have been a director and a producer, but he created Jason and the world in which Jason lives. That’s big. He was understandably stuck on that point of view. Michael De Luca and I were not. We were trying to make a commercial product. We were like, ‘Okay, let’s build on the mythology of these characters.’ We weren’t beholden to anything because we hadn’t created any of it. Just remember that Sean was the creator of this amazing character and he had a vision for it. We were a studio trying to make something commercial. That put us at odds, but we didn’t hate each other.
Jeff Katz (Development Executive, New Line Cinema)
There were a lot of factors affecting Freddy vs Jason. Jason X had an effect on it. Scream had an effect on it. The corporate shakeup at New Line had a huge effect on it. Lots of things were affecting it, which is kind of crazy because these movies are not that hard to make. How long has it been since the last Friday? Eight years since the remake, right? Why has it been that long? How hard is it to make these movies? Not all that hard, but it becomes incredibly hard when people overthink it or get caught up in budgets and politics. The nature of the beast gets in the way. Really, you could make a Freddy movie with Robert Englund for ten million easily and it would make a very nice return on investment. Don’t you think there would be some interest if today Robert came back to Freddy?
Sean Cunningham (Writer/Director – Friday the 13th, Producer – Freddy vs Jason)
Jason has to win because Freddy’s really a pussy. You can quote me on that! (laughs) There’s really noway to answer that. They’re both unkillable forces. Whoever wins, you win if you find a way to keep it going for more movies. I do think it’s really important that you make sure you don’t change them. Freddy needs to stay Freddy and Jason needs to stay Jason. You can change the circumstances around them,but you have to keep them the same. They’re both boogeymen. I don’t think it’s appropriate or productive to kill them off at the end, to have a definitive ending. The ending that we have on the film now is kind of ambiguous, which works very well for the fans.
Ken Kirzinger (“Jason Voorhees” – Freddy vs Jason)
There were scripts where Jason spoke? I’m glad that wasn’t in our script. You can definitely go out of bounds with a character like this. Having him speak is taking him too far away from the character that audiences and fans have come to know and love. That’s what I thought our screenwriters did really well.They’d obviously taken a really long time to get it right. Our script had this great balance between keeping him this elemental force you shouldn’t mess with, but also making him a little bit sympathetic. And he’s still Jason. As an actor, it’s my job to do justice to both the script and Ronny’s vision for the picture. They would’ve had to have asked me to do something really un-Jason for me to go against it.
Douglas Curtis (Executive Producer – Freddy vs Jason)
You can’t work for New Line and not know about Elm Street, but I didn’t dive into them to catch up.Ronny and I both decided that we didn’t want to get too attached to the older movies. We were wanting to make an original film, not something influenced by someone else’s work. We didn’t so much as even look at a single frame from the other sequels until about two weeks before filming began. That was when we started getting a lot of flack about casting Ken Kirzinger as Jason instead of Kane Hodder. We wanted tobe confident in that choice. So we sat down to watch three of Kane’s Jason movies, which did nothing to change Ronny’s mind. He said, ‘We’re still going to use Ken Kirzinger for this one.’ And I think he was right. Ken was great in the role. I remember the first time I saw him in full wardrobe. We were doing a night shoot on Elm Street. He came up behind me, tapped my shoulder and scared me to death! Standing six-foot-seven in that costume, he was so, so frightening.
Robert Englund – (“Freddy Krueger” – Freddy vs Jason)
Jason’s evil is ex post facto. He was a child who was tormented and bullied and he’s been reacting to that experience ever since. That’s very key to Jason’s core identity. Given that, I think you can sympathize with his revenge on a certain level. Freddy, on the other hand, was simply bad to begin with.His revenge is very different because there’s no sympathy to it. There’s also no joy to Jason’s revenge or at least he doesn’t exhibit it. Freddy is very content in his purgatory and revenge. Freddy likes his work.
Check out the rare 1997 licensing artwork for the film!
(Art by Charles Mineo)
“SLASH OF THE TITANS: THE ROAD TO FREDDY VS. JASON” is OUT NOW! You can pick up a copy HERE!
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