Rob Zombie, who originally got his start making music as the founding member of heavy metal band White Zombie, almost got his start in horror by directing the epic grudge match between Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees in Freddy vs. Jason.

Zombie’s passion for horror shows through very clearly in all his projects, which tend to lean more toward a hyper-violent edge with 1970’s stylized exploitation film vibes throughout. Zombie doesn’t shy away from blood, sex, and gore in his films, and even in his music career, he was known for making a splash. His music always had a touch of a horror edge, from the lyrics to his overall image, which made sense given the director’s fondness for the genre.

Many artists have made the jump through different mediums, but Zombie’s decision to direct horror just made sense. Upon completion of his first film, it was clear that he had a clear, aesthetic vision, which could have leant itself well to a huge, studio-funded project like Freddy vs. Jason, but the director turned it down in true artistic style.

Why Rob Zombie Didn’t Direct Freddy Vs. Jason

Though it would have been a sure-fire way to get his name out there, especially as a burgeoning director, Zombie turned down New Line’s attempts to court him for the project. He wasn’t the only director they considered before Ronny Yu, however. Peter Jackson wrote what could have been the sixth installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, and was asked if he’d consider doing Freddy vs. Jason instead. His script lost out to Rachel Talalay’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. After Freddy’s Dead flopped, Jackson was given a second chance to direct the next planned movie, which happened to be Freddy vs. Jason. He turned the project down, citing that he was no longer interested.

Zombie was next in line, and chose not to direct the project not because he wasn’t interested, but because he was in pre-production for House of 1000 Corpses, which ended up launching his career. Though the project was a disaster according to Zombie, it is beloved by horror fans and inspired two other films to follow, The Devil’s Rejects and 3 From Hell. Zombie established himself as a talented director, and was entrusted with a remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 classic, Halloween, which Zombie released in 2007. He also directed a follow-up sequel, Halloween II, in 2009.

Carpenter was not fond of Zombie’s take on his work, and Zombie cites that he didn’t enjoy the experience working on the Halloween movies, which might be why he’s elected to stick with his own projects and own style ever since, going on to direct projects like The Lords of Salem and 31, which got mixed reviews, but were undoubtedly and uniquely Zombie’s aesthetic and style.

Next: Why Rob Zombie’s House Of 1000 Corpses Took Years To Get Released