Jason Vorhees is cool. Freddy Krueger is cool. Ash Williams is extremely cool. So tossing all three of them into the same film and letting them bloodily duke it out sounds like the badass monster mash of the century. With that in mind, we have to ask, why did it never happen?
After all, 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason tore up the box office upon its release and neither character is any stranger to chronic sequelitis. Indeed, for the longest time, it was rumored the Ash vs. Jason vs. Freddy was on the brink of being greenlit, only for it to disappear back into development hell.
Now, in an interview at NYCC, Bruce Campbell finally explained why the project never got off the ground:
“We had a five minute conversation with New Line Cinema about Ash vs. Jason vs. Freddy. They approached us. So they go, ‘What do you think about that?’ And we were like, ‘Great, Ash can kill ‘em both.’ There was a long pause, ‘Well actually that’s not something we can entertain.’ And we couldn’t control any other character, only control Ash – what these guys said, or what they did and you can’t kill either one. So right from the start, it’s creatively bankrupt. “
I’m with Campbell on this – no character being allowed to ‘win’ and kill the others sounds like a recipe for a pretty crappy film. Didn’t they realize that Ash is (sort of) a monster-slaying hero, who only really works if he’s choppin’ limbs, shotgunnin’ heads and chainsawin’ demons? Sure, he might lose a couple of pints of blood (or maybe an arm) in the process, but he’s such a doofus that he’s gotta come out on top.
Further in the interview, the actor added:
“Economically, now you’re splitting the pot with two other partners – nah. We’re good. So that’s why – fans may not realize why things don’t happen.”
Fair enough, maybe Ash vs. Jason vs. Freddy is less a tragically missed opportunity and more of a dodged bullet for fans. Besides, we did actually get two comic series exploring the concept (they were okay), so it’s not like we don’t get to find out what might happen.
Meanwhile, all three horror icons have gone their separate ways. Freddy Kruger is rumored to be returning in another reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jason is busy tearing up online teenagers in the excellent Friday the 13th video game and Ash is returning for the third season of Ash vs. Evil Dead, premiering this February on Starz.