When Jason Voorhees speaks, we listen. Rather than seeking out more crossover dalliances like the kind we got with 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason, the man behind the mask for the better part of the Friday the 13th franchise believes the series should return to its roots at Camp Crystal Lake — and when it’s coming from Kane Hodder, who are we to argue?
The iconic Jason actor recently dialed in on the back-to-basics approach while reflecting on his time with Friday the 13th, which ended on the big screen with 2001’s Jason X (though he did a motion-capture performance Jason’s role in 2017’s Friday the 13th: The Game). Speaking with Comicbook.com, Hodder admitted that horror crossovers like Freddy vs. Jason, which cast Ken Kirzinger behind the hockey mask despite Hodder’s willingness to reprise the part, might be popular with fans — but, in his opinion, they “cheapen” things in the long run.
Saying he’s “conflicted” about Jason ever squaring off again opposite another horror franchise’s boogeyman, Hodder said even fans’ eyes can start to glaze over if the crossover approach comes off as a gimmick.
“[B]y the time you do 10 movies of a standalone franchise, some fans are starting to tire of it,” he explained. “You have to think of something to regenerate the excitement again and that's where the pitting one character against another one is somewhat desirable. But I was never a huge fan of it. I thought it was starting to cheapen both franchises, but obviously it worked because the movie was a big success.”
For Hodder, though, finding a way to revisit the setting and tone that made the original Friday the 13th such a breakout horror hit, all the way back in 1980, offers a better creative path for future directors seeking to reinvent the franchise. “I'd like to just go back to, somehow, the original Crystal Lake setting,” he said. “I don't know how you can come up with a story that's interesting enough, but somebody could.”
Though he has well-honed ideas about what makes his character so terrifyingly great, Hodder always gamely went wherever Friday the 13th took him. From Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood in 1988, all the way through Jason X in 2001, he clawed his way out of the grave, stormed Manhattan, went to Hell, and even found a couple of nifty high-tech ways to take out hapless victims in outer space.
With recent legal clouds lifting from film rights to the franchise, and a hugely-buzzed (if still light on details) reboot from LeBron James in the works, there’s always the chance that Hodder could show up in a future Friday the 13th project — whether as Jason or perhaps even in some kind of Easter egg cameo role to please the fans. But wherever he turns up next, just be sure to listen closely if Jason, y'know, actually says something.