“Tommy Jarvis Almost Returned In The Friday The 13th Remake (Why He Was Cut)”
Friday the 13th‘s 2009 remake was originally planned to include Jason’s former nemesis Tommy Jarvis, but unfortunately, he ended up cut from the film. While most slashers meet their greatest foe early on – such as Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street or Laurie Strode in Halloween – Jason Voorhees didn’t meet his until the hulking mama’s boy embarked on his third killing spree at or near Camp Crystal Lake. As played by a young Corey Feldman, Tommy Jarvis debuted in 1984’s Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, and did the impossible by managing to actually kill Jason, hacking him to bits with his own machete.
An older Tommy, now played by John Shepherd, appeared in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning, in what seemed like a clear attempt to set Tommy up as the one to follow in Jason’s footsteps as a serial killer. But when that movie tanked, the decision was made to bring Jason back for Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives. Tommy (now played by Return of the Living Dead star Thom Mathews) is still haunted by his past with Jason, so he makes the boneheaded decision to dig up his body. A bit of sanity slippage leads Tommy to impale Jason’s corpse with a metal rod, and lightning brings the slasher back Frankenstein-style.
Tommy at least managed to subdue Jason by the end of Part 6, risking his own neck to trap Mr. Voorhees at the bottom of Crystal Lake. While Tommy Jarvis hasn’t appeared in a Friday the 13th film since, he remains a fan-favorite character, and a renewed showdown between him and Jason has long been demanded. It turns out such a reunion almost occurred in 2009’s Friday the 13th remake, and here’s why that plan fell through.
The 2009 Friday the 13th remake was the final film in the franchise to be released by New Line Cinema, as the rights have since gone back to Paramount Pictures. Producing the remake was Platinum Dunes, who had previously produced remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror. In a 2007 interview, Platinum Dunes execs Brad Fuller and Andrew Form revealed that they had plans to include Tommy Jarvis in the new film, although they hadn’t decided the best way to do so yet.
Obviously, Tommy Jarvis didn’t make it into the finished film, and in a 2009 interview, Fuller and Form clarified that while Tommy had indeed been present in several drafts of the remake’s script, it was ultimately decided that including him would unnecessarily complicate the story. After all, this wasn’t intended to be a sequel to the 11 prior Friday the 13th films, it was a continuity reboot. To include Tommy, a new version of his character would’ve needed to be introduced and his relationship with Jason reestablished over the course of the film. With the rights lawsuit keeping Friday the 13th on ice looking to be resolved this year, hopefully a new project eventually does materialize in which Tommy can return properly.
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