Freddy vs. Jason might have been the boom we’ve all been waiting for with two slasher legends, but while the film had the payoff we all wanted, the painful realization of a potential future, one with Evil Dead’s Ash Williams, has us in tangled knots. Evil Dead was supposed to enter the fray at some point with many ideas thrown and studio talks, but with nothing coming out of it when scripts and rights couldn’t agree, and once Robert Englund decided retirement, the future of that series faded. The Evil Dead series ended up coming back full throttle years later with a reboot and a tv series entitled Ash vs. Evil Dead, with the beloved Bruce Campbell returning.
However, is it too late to see that groovy-ness get in the mix with dream killers and hockey mask murderers? Bruce Campbell seems to think so. Talking to callers on promoting his latest season on MovieWeb, Campbell responded to a giddy caller with some concrete truth:
“I hate to break your little fanboy bubble, but that will never happen.”
But with some compromising words from the same caller hoping that something can still be around, Campbell did respond more positively to a potential cameo of the actors:
“Those actors, they’re both pals of mine. Robert Englund I see all the time. Kane Hodder is a real sweetheart. He just put out his book. So yeah, as an actor? Like, have Robert Englund play a bitchy hotel clerk, you know? Something like that. So, maybe! We could do that. Sure, why not.”
You can check out the video below:
Before the rise of cinematic universes being popularized with comic book films from Marvel and DC, the idea of iconic characters coming together was a feat that clashed with rights and how much screen time, but the rare moments of pay-off it was well worth it. Sure, we had the Universal monsters going at it pretty well in the early days(which despite being the original cinematic crossover fest, it is already shooting itself in the foot with its first film in the modern cinematic universe), but the 2000s horror collaborations really looked like they were going somewhere with Freddy vs. Jason and the iconic Alien vs. Predator.
Campbell himself actually talked about the proposed Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash movie that ultimately never happened:
“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. 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.”
Speaking of studio interference, Hellraiser’s Pinhead has also been originally planned for the Freddy vs. Jason universe. He was meant to have a cameo at the end with Freddy and Jason in Hell, approaching them with “Gentlemen, what seems to be the problem?” as the screen goes black. That of course didn’t get filmed because character rights were argued upon, leaving our favorite Cenobite still in a long string of his own production-complicated films, his latest film released as Hellraiser: Judgement.
Needless to say, studio interference got the best of it and separate paths and reboots were branched off instead. Thomas Dekker of the Nightmare on Elm Street reboot spoke with us exactly on that during our interview back in 2016:
“I think the issue at hand with that movie can’t really be thrown at the director because the director was basically a gun for hire to make it look good, and he did that. It looked great. But it’s basically like, you know, most good films tell a story, that film was to sell a tuxedo. It’s a sales movie. It’s” okay, we got this idea we’re going to take and we’re going to make money off it, so let’s just do that”. Even though the intentions of the artistic forces behind it were “Okay, we’re going to open up the mythology of Freddy Krueger, we’re going to make him darker and actually explore the idea of child sexual abuse” and those are all the things that interested me. Of course, at the end of the day when you have to put it in 1,000 theaters or more, obviously more, you have to shy away from those things and just make it a sellable entity. So I think you can’t really start judging the leaves of a tree if the seed is f-cked.”
As for now, Ash vs. Evil Dead is currently airing on Starz.