In 2003, Freddy vs. Jason hit theaters and breathed new life into both the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises, with the film ending with a stalemate between the two characters. The open-ended nature of the film's final shot seemingly set the stage for an even bigger brawl, with ideas circulating about incorporating Michael Myers from Halloween or Pinhead from Hellraiser.
New Line Cinema's Creative Executive Jeff Katz shared an internal memo from the studio circulated late in 2003 entitled "ROUND TWO: FREDDY VS. JASON – ‘Why Ash Works‘.” The memo details that, in addition to Myers and Pinhead being considered, the Leprechaun from Leprechaun, Chucky from Child's Play, and the Tall Man from the Phantasm series were considered for the next battle royale. However, the memo detailed exactly why the worlds of these films didn't work as well as Ash.
Englund also preferred the idea of Bruce Campbell's character killing Freddy off for good, with the memo reading, “Per our conversations with him [Englund] in the past, he agrees that the fans will embrace and accept the idea of Ash killing off our burned villain for good, as opposed to their reaction should a 16-year-old virgin girl do the job (again).” The actor departed the series regardless, with Jackie Earle Haley taking on the iconic role in the 2010 remake.
The memo also points out how easily Ash could've fit into the shared universe of Freddy and Jason, as he regularly used the Necronomicon, which allowed him to travel to various universes and dimensions. All it would've taken is one incorrect reciting of a passage to transport him into their world for the huge showdown.
With no new Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street, fans will have to settle for seeing Ash on a weekly basis when Ash vs. Evil Dead returns to Starz for its third season this fall.