Freddy vs. Jason is a 2003 American slasher film directed by Ronny Yu. The film is a crossover between A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises, the eighth and eleventh entries in their respective series, and puts their respective villains, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, against each other. In the series continuity for both franchises, the film is set after Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare and Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. This film wound up being the highest grossing feature throughout the history of either of the two franchises.
In the film's storyline, Freddy has grown weak, as the citizens of Springwood have suppressed their fear of him. In order to regain his power, Freddy resurrects Jason and manipulates him into traveling to Springwood to cause panic and fear.
PlotFreddy Krueger is trapped in Hell, and enraged as the parents of Springwood have emerged from their psychosis and figured how to keep the children from remembering him, rendering him powerless and unable to escape. Determined to make them remember and fear him, Freddy locates Jason Voorhees in Hell and disguises himself as Jason's mother, Pamela Voorhees, convincing him to rise again and go to Springwood to slaughter the teens; though Jason will kill, Freddy will be blamed, and thus be able to escape. Jason arrives on Elm Street, sneaking into the house where Nancy Thompson and Jesse Walsh used to live, now owned by Lori Campbell and her widowed father. While Lori, her friends Kia, Gibb, Blake and Trey, are in the house, Trey is brutally murdered by Jason using his machete. The group is taken in for questioning. After overhearing several police officers accidentally discussing Freddy, Lori falls asleep and has a dream about Freddy, allowing him to gain some of his powers back. Freddy then tries to attack Blake. However, he is unable to harm him, so he decides to rest for now and "let Jason have some fun." Blake then awakens to find his father beheaded, sitting next to him, and is, a moment later, killed by Jason.
Lori has recurring dreams about Freddy and tells Kia and Gibb about it. She is reunited with her boyfriend, Will Rollins and his friend Mark, who were institutionalized in Westin Hills Asylum and escaped after hearing of the murders on Elm Street. At a rave party, Gibb falls asleep and has a dream where she is attacked by Freddy after he took the form of the deceased Trey to lure her into his trap. Another raver attempts to rape her, but Jason appears and kills the two, angering Freddy, who realizes that Jason will not stop killing and that the public is becoming more afraid of Jason than him. Jason goes on a rampage around the rave, killing several others. Afterward, Will, Lori, Kia, and two fellow students Freeburg and Linderman escape and meet up with Stubbs. The group formulate a plan to defeat Freddy and Jason: they will take Jason back to Camp Crystal Lake, and Lori will pull Freddy into the real world to fight Jason; in the real world, Freddy will be vulnerable, and Jason, at home in Crystal Lake, will have the "home field advantage" and remain in his territory, and thus no longer terrorize Springwood. Freddy kills Mark while leaving a bloody "message" on his back that says "FREDDY'S BACK", and then possesses Freeburg's body to stop the group from taking Hypnocil, a drug that will prevent them from sleeping and dreaming. Jason electrocutes Stubbs and is then confronted by Freddy in Freeburg's body, who injects Jason with two vials of tranquilizer. Jason bisects Freeburg before passing out.
Once inside Freddy's dream world, Jason realizes he was tricked and engages Freddy. At first Freddy thinks that Jason is afraid of nothing, which combined with his real-world invincibility makes him impossible to kill even in the dream-world. But then Freddy accidentally discovers Jason's fear of water, then exploits it to turn Jason back into a child, then brings him to a nightmare of his childhood, and starts to drown him.But before Freddy can kill Jason, Lori enters the Dream World and interrupts the fight, causing Jason to wake up and attack the group, who are now at Crystal Lake. Freddy, enraged, attempts to kill Lori, after revealing that he was the one, who killed her mother, but she awakens and drags him into a burning cabin in reality. Jason turns his attention to Freddy, who is somewhat paralyzed by his fear of fire and whom Jason beats up and throws through the burning cabin's roof. Lori, Will, Kia and Linderman try to escape, but Linderman is wounded and dies soon afterwards. Kia tries to save Lori and Will from Freddy, but is killed suddenly by Jason. Freddy and Jason continue their battle and Lori decides to stay until Freddy is dead. While Freddy seems to be no match for Jason's physical power, he still heavily wounds Jason because of his superior speed. During their fight, Lori and Will burn the gas tanks at the docks to blow both Freddy and Jason up. Until then Jason already lost four fingers and his eyes. When the fire starts to spread Jason rips off Freddy's arm with the claws and Freddy stabs Jason's heart with the machete. The resulting explosion sends both of them into the lake. Freddy comes back and attempts to kill Lori with Jason's machete. Suddenly Jason ultimately defeats Freddy despite appearing to die in the process, stabbing him with Freddy's own claws before falling into Crystal Lake, though if he did this to continue battling Freddy or for some reason save Lori for saving him earlier is unknown. Lori picks up Jason's machete, while Freddy kneels on the dock helplessly. She shouts at Freddy "Welcome to my world bitch!" then uses the machete to behead Freddy and throws the machete to Jason as he sinks. Lori and Will depart, but the next morning Jason rises from the water, carrying his machete and Freddy's severed head, which smirks and winks at the audience before laughing maniacally, leaving the winner undecided (Though this could be just a dream sequence Jason created and Freddy might have survived)
- Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger
- Ken Kirzinger as Jason Voorhees
- Monica Keena as Lori Campbell
- Jason Ritter as Will Rollins
- Kelly Rowland as Kia Waterson
- Chris Marquette as Charlie Linderman
- Lochlyn Munro as Deputy Scott Stubbs
- Brendan Fletcher as Mark Davis
- Katharine Isabelle as Gibb Smith
- Kyle Labine as Bill Freeburg
- Tom Butler as Dr. Campbell
- Zack Ward as Bobby Davis
- Gary Chalk as Sheriff Williams
- Jesse Hutch as Trey
- David Kopp as Blake
- Odessa Munroe as Heather
- Paula Shaw as Pamela Voorhees
- Sharon Peters as Lori's Mother
- Katherine Isabelle was originally asked to audition to play "Lori", but when she arrived, director Ronny Yu asked her to audition for the role of "Gibb", claiming she would better suit a more liberal role. Katharine reluctantly accepted. Yu failed to tell her she would be expected to do the nude scenes, which would spark friction between the two during shooting when she made it clear she would not do the nude scenes.
New Line and Paramount tried to make a Freddy vs. Jason movie in 1987. But the two studios failed to agree on a story or what to do with the two franchises. When Jason Takes Manhattan failed to perform successfully at the box office, Sean Cunningham decided that he wanted to reacquire the rights to Friday the 13th and start working with New Line Cinema on Freddy vs. Jason, as New Line owned the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The concept of a fight between Freddy and Jason was not new; Paramount had approached New Line about filming a crossover years before the latter had gained the licensing rights to Friday the 13th. At that time, both companies wanted the license to the other's character so that they could control the making of the film. Negotiations on the project were never finalized, which led Paramount to make The New Blood. After Jason Takes Manhattan was released in 1989 the rights reverted to Scuderi, Minasian and Barsamianto, who sold them to New Line. Before Cunningham could start working on Freddy vs. Jason, Wes Craven returned to New Line to make New Nightmare. This effectively put Freddy vs. Jason on hold, but allowed Cunningham the chance to bring Jason back into the spotlight with Jason Goes to Hell. The ninth installment "turned a healthy profit", though it was only intended to open the door for a crossover with Freddy Krueger, rather than start a new series for New Line. Ultimately, the film series would go through another sequel before that would happen. Cunningham's "frustration" with the delayed development of the Freddy vs. Jason project forced him to create another sequel in an effort to keep the franchise in the minds of audiences. Based on Jason Takes Manhattan's concept of taking Jason away from Crystal Lake, the tenth film would put the titular character in space. The film suffered from the loss of its biggest supporter, President of Production Michael De Luca, when he resigned from his position. Lack of support forced the finished film to sit for two years before finally being released on April 26, 2002; it would go on to become the lowest grossing film in the franchise at the domestic box office; it also held the distinction of having the largest budget of any of the previous films at that time.
After more than fifteen years of off-and-on development, and approximately $6 million spent in eighteen unused scripts from more than a dozen screenwriters, New Line finally produced Freddy vs. Jason for 2003. One of the biggest hurdles for the film was developing a story that managed to bring the two horror icons together. Potential stories varied widely, from Freddy having molested and drowned Jason as a child, to a cult of Freddy worshipers called the "Fred Heads".
Kane Hodder controversy
New Line believed Freddy vs. Jason needed a fresh start, and chose a new actor for Jason. Cunningham disagreed with their decision, believing Hodder was the best choice for the role. Hodder did receive the script for Freddy vs. Jason, and had a meeting with director Ronny Yu and New Line executives, but Matthew Barry and Yu felt the role should be recast to fit Yu's image of Jason. According to Hodder, New Line failed to provide him with a reason for the recasting, but Yu has explained he wanted a slower, more deliberate Jason, and less of the aggressive movements that Hodder had used in the previous films. Yu and development executive Jeff Katz recognized the outcry among fans over the replacement of Hodder as Jason, but stood by their choice in recasting. The role eventually went to Ken Kirzinger, a Canadian stuntperson who worked on Jason Takes Manhattan. There are conflicting reports over the reason Kirzinger was cast. According to Yu, Kirzinger was hired because he was taller than Robert Englund, the actor who portrays Freddy Krueger. Kirzinger stands 6' 5", compared to the 6' 3" of Kane Hodder, and Yu wanted a much larger actor to tower over the 5' 10" Englund. Kirzinger believes his experience on Part VIII helped him land the part, as Kirzinger doubled for Hodder on two scenes for the film, but also believes he was simply sized up and handed the job. Although he was hired by the crew, New Line did not officially cast Kirzinger until first seeing him on film. Kirzinger's first scene was Jason walking down Elm Street. New Line wanted a specific movement in Jason's walk; Kirzinger met their expectations and signed a contract with the studio. Even though Hodder expresses some resentment at not being chosen, he and Kirzinger are still good friends.
Alternate Ending #1
Originally shot was a scene in which Lori and Will begin to have sex for the first time. However, Will starts acting like a maniac and eventually sprouts a Freddy Krueger claw, then proceeds to slash at his girlfriend. This was cut due to miserable test scores, in which the audience thought the acting was terrible and asked, "Does this mean Freddy won? Where's Jason? Is this a dream? Is Will turning evil and is now some sort of Son-of-Freddy?" This can be viewed on DVD 2 of the movie.
Another ending that was considered had Freddy and Jason battling to the death on the dock. After the explosion, they end up in the fiery lake, and then something strange starts to happen. The water begins to move, churning... and the lake begins to drain. Within the water, there is a hole that has opened at the bottom of the lake bed, glowing red. Freddy tries to swim away, but Jason puts a death lock on his ankle, and they're both dragged down. The next day, Crystal Lake is completely dry. And Lori is reunited with her father. Then they walk down into the dry lake. Dr. Campbell sees Freddy's claw on the ground and he picks it up, vowing to destroy it for good. Then a red and green striped arm bursts through the earth, grabs Dr. Campbell's leg and pulls him down. With one leg buried in the ground, he screams for Lori, but is yanked again, his other leg breaking against his chest at an impossible angle. Then he's gone. Lori claws at the dirt for him, screaming, and then there is a scene that takes place somewhere very dark. Freddy puts his claw back on his hand. He sees Jason near him, machete gleaming. They go at each other...but then, chains shoot out, slicing into both of them. They're separated, struggling to go at each other...when out from the darkness comes Pinhead and he says "Now, what seems to be the problem?" However, New Line didn't like the idea because they didn't like the fact that they'd have to buy the rights to use the character, and they thought Pinhead was too low rent.
A sequel to Freddy vs. Jason was in development before New Line made remakes of both A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. The Sequel was rumored to be titled Freddy vs Jason vs Ash featuring the character of Ash Williams from The Evil Dead movies. The premise would have been Freddy tries to use the Book of the Dead to re-enter the real world a more powerful and evil being. Ash who is in Crystal Lake supervising the new S-Mart store in the town comes in to help stop Freddy and a resurrected Jason. Kane Hodder who was turned down from playing Jason in the film would have returned. However, Sam Rami was against the idea and the film was stuck in development hell. In 2006, Robert Englund mentioned in an interview that New Line were in talks with John Carpenter about using his Michael Myers character in the sequel. By 2009, the movie was effectively cancelled.
- This film explains why Jason is alive in Jason X, after the events of Jason Goes to Hell
- Stephen Norrington was one of the early choices to direct the film after his success with Blade in 1998.
- This is the second film to show that Jason clearly survived (the first being Friday the 13th Part 2), the second to have him resurrected from an actual death (the first being Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives), and the third to have Freddy pulled into the real world (the other two being the first A Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddy's Dead).
- Mark is the only victim to be killed by Freddy in this film (unless you also count the flashback/dream sequence of Freddy killing Lori's mother), all the other murders were committed by Jason. Comparing their series, Jason has the higher average kill count per film.
- After the time that has passed between A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and this film, Hypnocil is still an experimental drug.
- Standing six feet, five inches (1.96 meters) tall, Ken Kirzinger is the tallest actor to date to play Jason Voorhees.
- When the original script proved to be too long, the characters of Tommy Jarvis and Kelly were eliminated. Jarvis was to have been played Jason Bateman, and Jenny by Katharine Isabelle. The producers felt Isabelle had the makings of a scream queen with a horror-loaded resume, so her part was then switched with Lauren Lee Smith. So Katherine Isabelle became Gibb and Lauren Lee Smith became Jenny, who unfortunately was no longer in the script.
- The goat seen in Blake's early nightmare sequence is a reference to Tina's nightmare involving a sheep in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
- 17 scripts were submitted which eventually turned into one script. The producers decided for some time to go ahead with this script but changed their mind as they could not agree with the ideas proposed. Eventually, Damian Shannon and Mark Swift came in and created their own script which the producers felt were much more closer to the Freddy and Jason back stories. Most of the earlier scripts dealt with Cults that were attempting to resurrect Freddy and Jason to come back and fight.