Max Landis has one dream project he’d love to get his claws into - and it involves a lot of horror icons. Landis is best known as the screenwriter on movies like Chronicle, Victor Frankenstein, and the forthcoming Netflix film Bright. He also serves as the writer on TV series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
Landis has also openly pitched a number of ideas for major franchise over the years, ranging from Ghostbusters to Power Rangers and Fantastic Four. Some of these were concepts that were actually submitted to studios, while others were Landis letting his inner fanboy loose.
During an interview with The Writer’s Panel Podcast on The Nerdist, Landis was asked if there was an existing IP he’d love to tackle. Without hesitation, he says “Yeah, the thing I’ve been pitching for six f***ing years!” before launching into his idea without initially giving away the concept. His story follows a teenager being adopted by a rich couple and taken to their home, but after eating dinner he becomes gravely ill and falls into a coma. In the hospital he wakes inside a dream and realizes his new home is on Elm Street:
“And he hears “One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you." So the street’s Elm St. Freddy stalks the kid, pops out, claws to the face. Dead instantly...except he’s not. Freddy can’t get his claws out of the kid's face...All of a sudden chains, like the movie Hellraiser, like the cube chains go all around Freddy, pull him up like a scarecrow and lock him.”
It's soon revealed the nice new parents are in the hospital room, having drawn the Hellraiser symbol under the boy’s bed. It’s also revealed the parents of Elm Street are really a cult, who sacrificed an innocent man - Fred Krueger - to release a demon that would grant them great fortune in exchange for sacrifices. Now they’re preparing to sacrifice the demon Freddy himself, so Krueger has to team with the boy (who robs him of his power by taking his razor glove) to escape.
They travel through different dreamscapes, including “A dreamlike, nightmare version of Camp Crystal” that features a young Jason Voorhees from Friday The 13th who can “hulk” into the evil version. The gang then finds themselves in the Good Guy doll factory from Child’s Play 2, where they find Chucky being tortured by demons:
“So Jason, Freddy and our kid break Chucky out of the Good Guy doll factory and head into actual hell – the space between the netherrealm – to confront Pinhead and the cenobites who are who the cult worships that originally summon Freddy, who are our actual villains.”
That’s the meat of the pitch, but Landis’ story breakdown goes into more description regarding the various characters and subplots of his proposed movie. Landis also believes that since these characters are the real heroes of their respective franchises, they should just become the lead characters, instead of focusing on teen victims.
It sounds like it could be a fun movie, but like Landis admits it probably won’t happen. It would need a large budget to pull off, and there’s also the thorny issue of rights for these various icons - most of which lie with different studios. That said, horror is experiencing something of a boon right now, thanks to movies like IT and Get Out. With Michael Myers being resurrected for another Halloween, maybe there’s a studio willing to take Landis’ pitch seriously.
Source: The Writer’s Panel Podcast