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Director Tom McLoughlin almost went from Jason Lives to The Dream Master

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master Robert Englund

A couple days ago, we shared a snippet from an interview with JASON LIVES: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI writer/director Tom McLoughlin in which he revealed that his initial treatment for the film included a moment where iconic slasher Jason Voorhees would have used an Uzi to shoot a couple characters to death. Later in that same interview, McLoughlin admits to a decision he calls one of the greatest mistakes of his career: fresh off of directing JASON LIVES, he was offered the chance to direct A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER... and he turned it down.

McLoughlin explains, 

When I finished FRIDAY, I was offered NIGHTMARE 4 and went to New Line, met with them, and I said, 'I love Freddy, I would love to do one of these, but I really want to do what I just did, where I had creative control.' And they go, 'Well, we're already shooting.' 'What?' 'Yeah, we're already shooting, we're shooting like two different units for the visual effects' and something else, puppets or something. And I said, 'Without a director?' 'Yeah, we kind of know how we're going to make these things.' And I went, 'That's not the way I work.' So I turned it down, which of course made (NIGHTMARE 4 director) Renny Harlin's career."

THE DREAM MASTER was a very rushed production, the film being cobbled together while speeding toward a release date that had already been set in stone. Somehow Harlin made it work, and the finished product became the highest grossing entry in the ELM STREET franchise.

With the way McLoughlin was able to stretch JASON LIVES' budget and deliver one of the most visually impressive entries in the FRIDAY series, it would have been very interesting to see what he could have done with Freddy Krueger and the dream world. He took part in FREDDY VS. JASON conversations at a couple different points during that project's long stay in development hell, including when it first came up in the late 1980s, but didn't end up directing that film, either.

McLoughlin did helm an episode of the infamous Freddy's Nightmares TV series, but it's a shame he never got to direct an actual ELM STREET movie.

Interestingly, THE DREAM MASTER wasn't the only time Renny Harlin took on a project McLoughlin had passed on. The JASON LIVES director was attached to direct the prequel to THE EXORCIST, but dropped out due to issues with the script that director Paul Schrader then turned into DOMINION: PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST. Unsatisfied with DOMINION, the studio brought in Harlin to reshoot the film. Harlin's version of the concept was released as EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING.

Extra Tidbit: Would you want to see a McLoughlin NIGHTMARE?
Source: Midnight's Edge

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