A Letter From Bob Shaye…Or Atleast His Secretary.

Growing up on genre films in the 80s and 90s and wanting to be a writer in my younger years the ultimate dream was coming up with a screenplay that could help contribute to the wonderful world of cinema that we loved. And as a horror movie fan nothing would have been better than creating a story that movie nerds would be talking about for years if the right people took that script and filmed it with love, style, and passion. Atleast as much passion as you put into writing the script itself. Which brings me to the year 1998/1999. Working at good old HMV movies were always surrounding me like the videostore does now and my imagination to want to put words on paper was always going.

Trying to write something original based on what I knew back then all I found myself doing was channelling in my best Tarantino or Kevin Smith which many of us 90s movie nerds did. Whether I wrote a vampire flick, a sex comedy, or a serial killer tale they all felt kinda flat. A struggle just to finish these projects for the sake of finishing them. Not because they were good. But then one day sitting and talking nerd stuff with my good friend Steve, an old friend that would always be over every night to watch flicks, talk life, and more importantly along with myself try to solve the problems of shitty movie sequels, we decided to put our movie minds together and try and solve the biggest cluster fuck of an idea that had been kicked around Hollywood for years. An idea that had script after script written but none of them were any good or simply WTF? ideas. No, we, single handledly, were gonna solve the biggest story idea problem in the horror movie world during that time. We were gonna become heroes to the masses as the two people that finally deliver the story the world of movie nerds needed. We were gonna create the perfect screenplay for FREDDY VS. JASON.

Now don’t laugh. It was a different time. A different era of thinking. Jason Goes To Hell had been 6 years gone and still us fans were waiting. And while dying to get that Versus movie we kept hearing rumblings of script after script being written from sources like Fangoria and random websites from our old dial up internet that simply did not cut it. Well, there was no way we could let these hacks down in Hollywood screw up what should be the single greatest horror film ever made for us fans. Again, we were naive back then. But regardless we were gonna write the story that would make sense and Robert Shaye himself would give us his praise for saving this trainwreck of a project. Well, it did not work out that way but just for shits and giggles I wanted to share with you today the story we had come up with over the next couple weeks sitting infront of that computer on those late nights. Or atleast to the best of my memory. It has been 20 years afterall. Much Jager has been drunk since then.

So let me take you on a journey kids. A journey of what could have been for better or worse.The Obvious start being the setting. Now as bad as Friday The 13th Part VIII was taking place in New York City was a good move. It was just sad they could not afford for the film to be made there except for the one scene. Our story right away jumps to NYC as it’s starting ground regardless of that film.

So the setting is set but what is the story? Well after many cigarettes and drinks Steve and myself figured that shit out real quick. Now we were no Hollywood paid writers but we decided right out of the gates we needed characters from both franchises not named Freddy or Jason to represent. There would have to be a connection to each character that would bring them together. Any normal story telling person could figure that out…or not?

Right out of the gates was the character of Dr. Neil Gordon from Nightmare 3. Now, we all wanted Nancy back but her character was basically dead so who else could represent the Nightmare franchise but the man that fell in love with Nancy, Neil Gordon from Dream Warriors. He saw some shit after that movie and would bring some info to this flick. But who could he team up with from the Friday franchise to fight the evil? All fans already know what I’m gonna type but who I pick to play the age appropiate version might be not so obvious. I love Corey Feldman but when it comes to grown up if not old man TOMMY JARVIS the choice is Thom Mathews. Even though Friday 4 is my personal favourite Mathews killed it as Tommy Jarvis and might as well keep on rolling in the later years.

So we had our setting, NYC. We had our two linking characters, Tommy Jarvis and Neil Gordon. But how did this all work into a sorta decent story. Easy. After Steve and I drank more and starred at the old school computer monitor that was begging us to type something the plot was put together. And so the story that never was began….

If my memory serves me well enough the story began with a new exhibition premiering at a famous New York Museum dedicated to true crime on the 20th century. The movie literally opens with the artifacts and props being shipped into the building getting ready for opening night. And also if I rememeber right two certain objects were seen be the camera with an ominous sound when moved…

Now it turns out many years later Dr, Neil Gordon has moved to New York and been married, divorced, and is now a single dad with a daughter named “Nancy”. Yes, named after his lost love that lost her battle to one Freddy in Nigtmare 3. He is killing it at his profession, a master of dream psychology. He and his daughter are able to get a sneak peak at the new display because he’s kind of a big deal.

So they check out the cool stuff in the display that will be soon open to the public in a few days times. Neil, seeing the Freddy glove, has an emtional meltdown to a certain degree. His daughter Nancy can’t help herself when dad is not looking and touch it. BAM! She cuts her finger on the blade of the glove. Neil does not see this and she says nothing because it’s just a scratch. But sometimes that’s all it takes. The two leave after Dr. Gordon gets over his fears and 1987 Dream Warriors flashbacks about Nancy. Now he promises his daughter they will go back when the display is open to all. But at the time he can’t help but think about Heather Langenkamp”s Nancy. Anyways, the two leave so we can see Dr. Gordon at work in office which ties into the Friday world. But I have to mention this, the moment daughter Nancy cuts her finger on the glove a quick cut to the afterlife/ hell is shown and weak,sad, and pathetic Freddy is seen with a sudden expression of excitment on his face. Trapped in a supernatural world of limbo he just sensed a chance of escape.

Now we cut to Tommy Jarvis, also living in New York, and he has switched his name to Tommy Kingdom. You see, as fucked up mentally as he is he’s now a best selling auther ALA Stephen King writing the craziest shit based on his years of darkness dealing with one Jason Voorhees. He has turned a negative into a positive even though he truly has never been honest with his wife who is clueless of his past. You would think life is good but damn those dreams and night terrors keep messing with him. No matter how much money, how many books sold, he still wakes up in a sweaty heap hoping to make the emotional pain of many years ago go away once and for all.

One night Tommy takes the advice of a friend to seek out the best Doctor of dream phychology in all of New York, and you guessed it, it’s Dr. Neil Gordon! I know, huge city, millions of people to meet and what are the odds? I’ll tell in a movie those odds are pretty damn high so just deal with this plot device for the love of god. Moving on…

Now Tommy and Neil meet in their first official session. Neil asks about Tommy’s past knowing he’s this very famous “horror” writer and wanting to get to the root of what causes his stress, nightmares, and sleepless nights. Neil is very sympathetic to these issues because of the whole “Nightmare On Elm Street ” back story he’s dealing with. Infact while in Neil’s office Tommy sees a picture of “Nancy” and asks if that’s his wife. Neil says “It’s a long story. She’s no longer around but she will never leave me. Tommy tells Neil of his past issues with a certain place called Crystal Lake…

While this discussion is going on the two are bonding in a strange way as Tommy telling Neil and opening up to him about Jason makes him relate to a brutal killer more than he ever thought he could. This Jason character seems more similiar to Freddy more than any other perosn he has spoken to before. Infact Dr. Gordon recommends the same medication that was experimental to his kids in Nightmare 3 to stop the dreams for Tommy. While this late night meeting is going on we cut back to Neil’s daughter Nancy trying to sleep at home but that small cut/ scatch on her hand is leading to surreal and hellish dreams of one Freddy. He is speaking to her. Telling her to come to him. She is tossing and turning in bed trying to get away from the “Nightmare” man but to no luck. He tells her to come to him over and and over again and in a surreal fashion we see young Nancy begin to sleep walk out of her home and make her way to the closed museum of modern crime,

In the underworld/ afterlife/ hell land we see Freddy geting more and more excited watching young Nancy appoach the Museum. As we cut back to her in the real world she stands asleep infront of the locked building but the power of the supernatural opens the doors and she walks in with the doors closing behind her. Freddy is getting closer and closer to coming back to the real world. He even quotes a line along the lines of “almost there..”. But as he watches young Nancy get closer to letting him out another demon in his land is close by. A creature equally as evil in murder but one that loathes everything Freddy stands for. You see, this is where the actual FVJ got something right. Jason is the sympathetic character out of the two for the simple reason. Jason dies as an innocent child. Freddy kills innocent children. So their entire time in “hell” together Jason has been hunting Freddy desperately wanting to make him pay for his child killing ways.

Now we would see the young girl Nancy in the vast and large museum all by herself in a trance. She is looking towards the glass covered display of Freddy’s glove and Jason’s Mask next to it. Her arm reaches out towards the glove and we cut back to Freddy in his hell world looking to the red burning skies. His evil smirk gets bigger as he can sense his escape to the real world getting closer. A portal begins to form in the sky above him.

As the portal opens more and more in the museum we see the glove smash through the protective glass and attach itself on the young girl. Her arm begins to turn and morph into the red and green striped sweater of Krueger and slowly her body starts taking form of the man himself. Back in hell the portal opens to a point where Freddy begins to ascend upwards in the sky and prepares to enter it. Unfortunate for him though a certain hockey masked slasher has found him and leaps into the sky as well much to his shock. Cutting back to the museum again the hockey mask explodes from it’s secure display case and flys onto the face of the girl and now her upper boy begins to morph into the hulking killer. She is literally split down the middle as half Freddy and half Jason. Both killers are seen flying through the portal now grabbing and fighting each other as they close in on the light.

In the museum Nancy’s body is now simply a morphing mashup for Freddy and Jason until it finally tears in two. Both halves finally form into their own and Freddy and Jason are now back in the real world so the fun can begin. Right out of the gates Freddy books it as the hulking Jason is on the on mission gravy train of killing the ferdora waering maniac. But security in the museum show up and Jason is left to hack and slasher his way through the uniformed men. By the time the carnage is done Freddy is long gone and loose in the streets of NYC.

Now in the middle of the night Neil is having a dream that turns to a nightmare. Knowing his daughter is missing he finally passes out from stress but in the world of dreamland she appears to him and tells him she is trapped in the otherside because of Freddy. Ths is a Poltergeist trope to be sure but it works. She goes on to tell him about Jason as well and when Neil wakes up he must seek out Tommy for help. Not sure if what his daughter has told him is real or not but still not taking any chances. After this the plot is vague in my head, wish I still had those pages, but I will give some cool things I remembered that take place as well.

A new element I wanted to bring in to this world was now that Freddy was back in the world he had the power to look as he did before the townspeople burnt him up. So here we have a weak but hungry to regain power Robert Englund and what is the first thing he wants to do with his new found freedom? The bar ofcourse…

In a surreal scene Freddy Krueger sits at the dimly lit bar with a bottle and glass enjoying his whiskey and making clever small talk with the bartender. He is blending into society again and already plotting getting back to work as a child killer because he just can’t help himself but like more times in the script a pissed off Jason is hot on heels and disrupts his return to the real world.

To the shock of the staff, customers, and Freddy Jason crashes into the bar. Freddy notices a shotgun behind the wood and leaps over it tossing the bartender into the killing hands of Jason. He slices and tears apart everyone around again trying to get to his target. Freddy grabs the shotgun and leaps on the bar turning this into an action scene more than horror movie. blasting shots at the unstoppable killer Krueger resorts to making so fire using the liquor bottles and matches to light up and engulf the hulking man. When all is said and done he once again gets away and with no living witnesses the scene of the crime is looking more like a fire gone out of control to the authorities.

Another scene I loved later in the film is watching non-burnt Freddy stalking and lurking through a quiet playground park. Again, Freddy being able to blend in changes a lot for him. Anyways, he notices a lone child on a swing set with no one else in sight. This scene had all types of wrong when thinking about it. The real life horror and reminder to the audience of Krueger is…a child killer. We see Freddy slowly put his glove on and begin to approach the child from behind. But when he gets up close to kid the young lad stops swinging and sits there with his back still to Freddy. Kueger looks slightly confused until the child truns his head and faces Freddy.

Freddy soon sees the face of the child and realizes he’s fucked with the wrong kid. Jason has laid a trap for the sick bastard. He stands and forms back into hulking masked Jason. And once again the fight is on. I don’t remember what happens directly after this scene sadly. Ugh…

Now with Jason and Freddy out of hell and causing havoc everywhere they do get the attention of a certain someone down below. Old Scrath himself is none too pleased that these assholes escaped so he’s coming up to collect them. That’s right…Satan is walking the streets of New York to claim his prisoners back.

Meanwhile Jason continues his destrution path on the New York subways. It was only teased at in Jason Takes Manhattan where in our script we went full on massacre with Tommy Jarvis also on board confronting Jason for the first time. Infact Jason’s bodycount of dozens in this scene is simply him trying to get to Tommy. The actual violence in the sequence was inspired by a movie that came out a few years earlier…Christopher Lambert’s THE HUNTED! And that movie had one hell of a subway scene! Bloodbath central.

Other chaotic scenes would have taken place on the Brooklyn Bridge and of course in loving tribute to Part VIII Time Square would be the climax of the movie. Now unfortunately I simply can not remember the fine details of Tommy, Neil, and the Devil but I do know they must strike a deal with Satan as Tommy holds a key to getting Jason back to him. Neil just wants to be reunited with his daughter but if memory serves right he is killed by Freddy saving a life and as he fades to the other side he sees Nancy from Elm Street waiting for him. I also recall after all the crazy shit is settled Nail’s daughter does come back in time to see her dad pass away (bummer, I know) but she gets a sorta happy ending living with Tommy and his wife.

I remember the Time Square scene itself would have cost millions alone. The carnage the two cause on each other would have been similiar to the over the top WWE style match we saw in the 2003 movie but the body count and amount of cabs destroyed would have been nuts. I even remember a scene where Jason literally throws Freddy hundreds of feet into the air sending him crashing into a giant COKE A COLA neon sign exploding it on impact. Great product placement!

While all of this goes on the Devil himself is perched high above looking down like a gargoyle loving every second of the destruction the two are causing and all the innocent lives they are taking. Tommy and Neil are in the middle of this as they hold a key to take one of them out if only they can get close enough. Again I can not for the life of me remember it. 20 years is a long time. Krueger did make some sort of deal with the Devil that if you could deliver “something” he would be allowed to stay and Hell would have forgiven him to continue being a prick on earth. If I recall by the end Freddy succeeds but the twist was he simply becomes a mere mortal again and Neil in his last dying moments kills Krueger himself having Freddy’s “beating the odds” short lived and sending him back to hell. Now Jason was a different story. Regardless of his killing ways he was still portrayed as more of an innocent because he had the mind of a child and in his final death the soul of youth was released and sent up to the stars. Again…memory is vague. Bummer again.

In the end I think we were both happy with what we had written. Atleast it made more sense than having Freddy as a camp counselor at Crystal Lake killing Jason or having a cult of Freddy worshippers called “Fredheads”. Really? Yup, that was a real thing. Ugh…

Anyways, wasting no time we sent it away to NEW LINE CINEMA. I will never forget that we included a note basically saying “Dear New Line, we are two super fans and amateur writers. We want no money for this script. We are giving you permission to use any or all of it because we just wanna make sure you guys make a good movie and feel we can help. Please use as you wish. No charge. Cheers!” Ya, we thought we were gonna save both franchises. Haha! Anyways, as it would be no surprise a couple weeks go by and I look in the mail box and there is a package from New Line Cinema. At first my heart dropped because they got back to us. But the reality is they “gave” back to us. The script was in there BUT along with a note on official NEW LINE CINEMA paper with the logo on the corner and everything. The letter was short and simple basically going “Thank you for your interest in our project but we legally can not look at this script as it is unsolicitated material.” The cool thing though…it was signed in ink by either Bob Shaye or his secretary. Honestly, it was a the coolest rejection letter I ever got. I kept it for quite some time but it got lost after many moves. It’s too bad. Would have been pretty sweet to hang in the shop 20 years later.

Well in August of 2003 we all went to finally see what became of the two icons in their epic battle film and honestly…it was okay. A bit goofier than I was hoping for and the lack of any returning characters was disappointing. But there was one thing we had in our script that I noticed they used in theirs…

That would be the Neil Gordon prescribed drug “Hypnocil”. So who knows? Maybe they atleast opened it to page 11 of the screenplay and saw the mention of the drug and took it. Probably not but a fanboy can dream. Many of our ideas have been used in movies in the last 20 years as they are pretty common these days but back then we felt we gave it our all on those late nights talking movies, Freddy, Jason, ideas, and having the odd drink. It was a great experience regardless. Some writers wanna create an Oscar winning script where I would be the guy way more excited being able to write Hellraiser XII or My Bloody Valentine 2. True story.

As always guys thanks for reading and listening to my random words. I enjoy sharing these memories with you all from one film nerd to another even if this one sady is vague because to this day we have no idea where that script went. And for the record because I am a bigger Jason fan our script was titled The Glove and The Mask: Jason Vs. Freddy. Not Freddy Vs. Jason. Crystal Lake for life! Cheers!

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