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Feature: Freddy vs Jason
The battle of the Titans…?
As the long-awaited deathmatch between the kings of Horror enters production, Robert Englund gives us a sneak preview of the scares in store.
It’s been a long time coming, but 10 years after Jason Voorhees picked up Freddy Kreuger’s metal-bladed glove at the end of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, the ultimate Celebrity Serial Killer Deathmatch is on. As Freddy vs Jason enters production, the man underneath Freddy’s striped jersey, Robert Englund, is brimming over with enthusiasm for the film, and his latest DVD release Boogeymen.
“Ronny Yu is on board as the director, and I just got back from Vancouver, where we’re shooting the film, on Sunday. I’m actually in the middle of makeup tests. I’ve done my first series of body casts and head casts and even eyeball casts. Fake arms too, because my arms are going to be amputated by Jason in one sequence, and these little sprouts, ugly Freddy-cloth sprouts, grow back. So I’ve been up there doing the tests, getting ready to shoot, and I think we actually begin on September 9.”
The date’s set, with Mutant X’s Lauren Lee Smith in line to play the female lead, but it’s still uncertain who’ll be donning Jason’s hockeymask. “They’re still casting,” comments Englund. “I certainly hope Kane Hodder is still in the running, but the thing is that we’re going to see Jason younger again. Without tipping too much of the hat, there’s a whole bunch of flashbacks and dream sequences, so they may be looking for a younger actor to play Jason, before he became this killing machine. I talked to Ronny at lunch once in Beverly Hills, and he mentioned he’d seen a tall, thin Jason somewhere in storyboards, or a Friday the 13th comic book, and he may be considering showing Jason more with a physique like Anthony Perkins. So that may be why they’re having such difficulty finding someone.”
Though the fans will be disappointed if Kane Hodder isn’t back, the one and only Freddy will at least be back in harness, seven years after the reality-bending Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, and Englund’s having no trouble reconnecting with the role. “Well it has been a long time, but I’ve had various incarnations of this script sitting by my bed for a year and a half, and he’s almost automatic pilot by now, once I’ve sat in that make-up chair for four hours, with whatever sequences I’m doing that day in front of me. By the time the makeup’s dried and stopped itching, I’m half in character anyway because it’s so uncomfortable. So it’s pretty easy to get Freddy up to speed.”
by Anthony Brown
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