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Wednesday 18th August, 2004
Proving there is life after franchise death, Director Sam Raimi is in talks with New Line Cinema about loaning the studio the zombie slayer from his Evil Dead movies to co-star in a three-way, big-screen bout, Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash.
New Line has been looking for a way to sequelize its 2003 hit Freddy vs. Jason since even before the movie grossed $114.3 million worldwide.

A franchise-melding flick on its own, Freddy vs. Jason teamed psycho Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street series with hockey-masked madman Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th franchise.

Last August, reported that New Line was considering Evil Dead's Ash for the lineup of a Freddy vs. Jason 2 project.

In March, Freddy vs. Jason director Ronny Yu told the Website he was interested in corralling the three iconic horror characters.

"I would definitely do it," Yu said on "They're still working on the script. I haven't seen anything yet. I hope they won't work on it for 10 years."

Though Raimi is best known as a director, he would not call the shots on Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, Tuesday's Hollywood Reporter said.

The filmmaker, now graduated to the box-office big leagues thanks to the Spider-Man movies, owns the rights to the Evil Dead characters, having cranked out the original 1979 movie independent of the studio system on a barely there budget of about $350,000.

B-movie legend Bruce Campbell played zombie-besieged Ash Williams in Evil Dead and its two sequels, 1987's Evil Dead 2--Dead by Dawn and 1992's Army of Darkness. The Reporter said Campbell, now 46, would be back in battle if the Freddy vs. et al. deal gets done.

Though it never worked for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez , costarring projects seem to work wonders for the careers of long-in-the-fangs genre characters.

Prior to Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy's series bottomed out with 1994's Wes Craven's New Nightmare ($18.1 million at the U.S. box office); Jason's hit a new low with 2002's Jason X ($13.1 million).

Alien and Predator are also benefiting by sharing screen time. AVP scared up $38.3 million in its first three days in theaters. As a solo space bad seed, Alien grossed a disappointing $42.2 million for the entire run of 1997's Alien Resurrection. Predator managed just $30.7 million for 1990's Predator 2.

Other characters in need of box-office boosts who might consider checking their egos at the door: Child's Play's Chucky, Halloween's Michael Myers, the shark from Jaws and Kevin Costner .

"Fancy a threeway?"

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