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In the realm of horror comedy, two stand-out films have recently made their mark: Happy Death Day and Freaky, both directed by Christopher Landon. Landon’s imaginative approach to the slasher genre has cultivated a dedicated fanbase for both movies. Interestingly, the co-screenwriter of the latter movie pitched a crossover between the two properties. While this mashup didn’t materialize, he has another pitch for an epic Avenger-level horror movie crossover, and it’s an idea that I love even more.
Writer Michael Kennedy, whose new slasher is a takeoff of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Knife, says he once pitched a fusion of the two slasher worlds, calling it Freaky Death Day. However, in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the It’s a Wonderful Knife scribe revealed that while the concept gained initial traction, the ongoing pandemic and its financial challenges ultimately hindered the project. He told the outlet:
It would’ve been a great idea — and one that fans of the genre likely would’ve flocked to the theater for. Despite the setbacks, Michael Kennedy remains enthusiastic about a potential crossover down the line, but not of two properties but four. He shared an exciting idea that hit him after he saw an Internet meme and, frankly, I need this in my life now. He continued:
Freaky, starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, took inspiration from the classic body swap movie Freaky Friday, while Happy Death Day put a scary spin on Groundhog Day. Totally Killer, starring Kiernan Shipka and Julie Bowen, offered a fun time-travel slasher experience described as Back to the Future meets Scream, which was fun for folks who aren’t even horror fans. Jane Widdop is gearing up to star in the upcoming Christmas killer flick It’s a Wonderful Knife. The idea of these worlds colliding sparks the imagination – a cinematic crossover that would be hard to resist. Seriously, take my money now!
Michael Kennedy’s vision of a shared universe, where some of the best modern-day final girls unite against a common foe, injects freshness and excitement into the horror genre. While upcoming superhero movies are plagued with crossovers, the same can’t be said for horror. Yet history shows that it can work – think Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein or Freddy vs. Jason. Though the Freaky Death Day crossover is on hold, Kennedy’s passion makes one hopeful that, in the dynamic world of horror cinema, these iconic characters might eventually cross paths in a collaboration that’s bound to be killer.
There’s been no movement on a third Happy Death Day film in over four years, with director Christopher Landon having conceived an idea for a different kind of take quite some time ago. Still, it’s not hard to imagine him and franchise star Jessica Rothe being on board for a cinematic universe. Only time will reveal the fate of this potential expansion.
While we await and wish for a crossover to materialize, consider checking out Totally Killer, even if you’re not a fan of scary fare. It’s available for streaming with a Prime Video subscription. And for those already enamored with spooky content, explore the upcoming horror movies still slated for release this year.
As for Kennedy’s next movie, It’s a Wonderful Knife, it hit theaters on November 10 as part of the schedule of 2023 new movie release, and there are plans for a Shudder release later this month.