It took New Line Cinemas 16 years, about $7 million, and dozens upon dozens of drafts by even more scriptwriters to finally decide how to pit slasher icons Freddy Kreuger and Jason Voorhees against each other on screen. The 2003 final result, Freddy vs. Jason—directed by Ronny Yu from a screenplay by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift—is a perfectly fine horror mash-up. Freddy tells some one-liners, Jason kills some teens, and no one even wins in the end of a film that is, unfortunately, most memorable for Kelly Rowland of all people calling Freddy Krueger a slur that immediately guaranteed this film would age into 2018 terribly. Afterward, both the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises were rebooted, Robert Englund never played Kreuger again, and Freddy vs. Jason just sort of exists in limbo as a final monument to a time when Hollywood still created memorable monsters.
But what could have been. Oh, what Could. Have. Been. In the frenzy to be the person fortunate enough to write these two titans of horror at the same time, more than a dozen writers turned in some beautifully wonky ideas, scripts filled with time-travel, sorcery, court cases, beyond over-the-top violence, and impossible-to-film surprise cameos from other horror legends.
Here, as Freddy vs. Jason turns 15 this week, we shine a spotlight on the six most insane ideas that never saw the light of day. Welcome to primetime, bitch.