Two of the most famous slashers in the horror genre, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, were brought together in Freddy vs Jason, but they could have met much earlier in Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood. In 1980, Friday the 13th introduced the legend of a new killer, Jason Voorhees, who drowned at a very young age at Camp Crystal Lake, although he didn’t appear in full slasher mode until the sequel, Friday the 13th Part 2.
Four years later, Freddy Krueger arrived with A Nightmare on Elm Street, and continued to terrorize teenagers in their dreams through six sequels. Both Freddy and Jason have acted alone in their respective franchises, and didn’t meet until 2003 in Freddy vs Jason. But if Paramount Pictures had had their way, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees would have crossed paths in the late 1980s.
Jason has been bringing hell to Camp Lake Crystal and its surroundings since 1980, with a sequel coming out every year until 1989 (except in 1983 and 1987. Those were Jason-free years) and then two more before the crossover with A Nightmare on Elm Street. But the original plan for Friday the 13th Part 7 in 1988 was a lot different than the final product: with box office profits decreasing for Friday the 13th and increasing for A Nightmare on Elm Street, Paramount wanted to bring Freddy Krueger to Crystal Lake. The deal that the studio proposed to New Line Cinema, who held the rights to Krueger and Elm Street, was that Paramount would control domestic distribution and New Line would be in charge of international distribution. In the end, they didn’t come to an agreement and Jason had to go solo one more time.
That meant the script had to be re-written, with Freddy being replaced by a telekinetic Tina Shepherd. It took a further 15 years for Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees to finally meet. New Line acquired the rights to the Friday the 13th franchise after Jason Takes Manhattan bombed, allowing Sean Cunningham (co-creator and director of the first film) to make two more films before Freddy vs Jason finally went into production. Ultimately, the film didn’t do well at the box office nor with critics and viewers, who found it to be the same old slasher story retold and with two killers instead of one.
Adding Freddy Krueger to Friday the 13th Part 7 would have probably performed much better than Freddy vs Jason did 15 years later, especially with fans. Both characters were quite popular in the late 1980s, and while they have a place of honor in the horror genre and the hearts of fans, having them trying to kill each other didn’t have the same power it could have had back then.