Why Kane Hodder Was Absent From Freddy Vs. Jason

Freddy vs. Jason

Kane Hodder is arguably the actor with the closest connection to Jason Voorhees, having played the character four times in the Friday the 13th series, while also lending his voice to the recent video game adaptation of the franchise. Furthermore, Hodder isn’t shy about giving his opinion about the property and reprising his iconic performances for fan conventions. In this context, it was surprising then that he was dropped from the part for Ronny Yu’s Freddy vs. Jason in 2003. A set of explanations have now been collected over on Screen Rant though as to why Hodder was cut from the movie.

As fans of the Friday the 13th series are well-aware, Freddy vs. Jason was a long time coming, with multiple scripts eventually resulting in a production that delivered box office success for New Line Cinema. With Robert Englund on board to play Freddy, Hodder seemed like the natural choice for Jason, having just portrayed him again for 2002’s Jason X. However, Yu and Freddy vs. Jason‘s producers decided to go with Canadian stunt performer Ken Kirzinger instead.

While Hodder has claimed in past interviews that he’s never received a straight answer for why he was passed over, one of the most popular explanations was that Yu simply wanted a taller actor. Despite Hodder’s size, Yu wanted a larger man to better show off a height difference with Robert Englund. Screen Rant’s explanation goes into more detail, though, leaning on interviews with Freddy vs. Jason‘s casting director Matthew Berry and the comprehensive Crystal Lake Memories documentary for answers.

According to Berry, Yu felt that Hodder’s performances as Jason were too “cartoony” for the tone the director was looking for. However, Yu has also claimed that the casting decision came down from New Line, and he wasn’t involved. To make things more complicated, franchise producer Sean S. Cunningham was reportedly unhappy with losing Hodder, although he didn’t think that Kirzinger did a bad job in the role.

Of course, Hodder does actually appear in Freddy vs. Jason in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from a different horror franchise, although this was more than likely unintentional. Based on the different explanations we now have, though, it does seem pretty clear to us why Hodder missed out on Jason, and to all appearances there doesn’t appear to be any bad blood behind the decision.