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Script to Pieces: Hack/Slash

Hack/Slash - Lesser known horror comics that should become movies or series.

Welcome to Script to Pieces, a recurring feature at Wicked Horror where we look at the best, most interesting and at times most unbelievable horror movies that never happened. Sometimes these will be productions that never came together at all, other times, they will be original incarnations that were completely different from what we wound up with. Each should be fascinating in its own way, because the stories of movies that never see the light of day can sometimes be even more interesting than the stories of those that do.

You wouldn’t think, in this day and age, that a comic book property would have any trouble making it to the big screen. After all, we’ve seen major event movies based on Marvel’s most popular characters like Spider-Man and Captain America as well as their lesser known, obscure counterparts, like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. Creator owned independent horror comics like The Walking Dead have gone on to become the biggest show on television.

Yet for other horror comics, namely Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash, it hasn’t been as easy. The frustrating thing, however, is that it’s come very close a number of times. While it may not be as popular as the Marvel or DC titles, Hack/Slash is an acclaimed comic that’s built up a very loyal fan base.

The story centers on a young woman named Cassie Hack. Cassie was the sole survivor, the final girl, who survived the attack of a slasher known as the Lunch Lady. This supernatural, vengeful monster was also her mother. Now, Cassie’s taken matters into her own hands. She teams up with Vlad, a juggernaut who looks like your average slasher but has a heart of gold, and goes cross-country hunting down supernatural boogeymen who go bump in the night. Together, they kill slashers, not serial killers. The guys and occasional gals who like to pick off helpless teenagers, usually in isolated locations, usually one-by-one.

Hack/Slash comic book

Relativity Media optioned this title for a film adaptation way back in the early 2000s, just after it first premiered. After Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash proved to be a no-go, there was even brief talk of bringing Cassie and Vlad in for the Freddy vs. Jason sequel and then spinning them off into their own film. That would have been a bold, interesting move. Given the amount of crossovers in the comic itself—they’ve fought Chucky, Herbert West and even met Ash, to name a few—I actually think that would have worked.

The project was officially announced by Rogue Pictures at San Diego Comic Con in 2006, to be released in 2008. Hack/Slash comics around 2007/08 even bared the words “Soon the be a major motion picture.” At that time, it was going to be directed by Todd Lincoln and written by Martin Schenk. Todd Lincoln had not directed anything at the time, but would go on to do The Apparition and V/H/S: Viral. After this did not materialize, Charlie Countryman director Fredik Bond was briefly attached.

In 2012, it was revealed that Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th remake director Marcus Nispel was attached. He had briefly considered taking the project at an earlier point in time, probably around 2008 or 2009, but came back to it in ’12 passionate to make it the exciting action/horror vehicle that it truly deserved to be.

Hack/SlashNispel was the last person attached to Hack/Slash as a film, so it’s unknown if he would still be attached if it were to move forward. Sadly, that seems unlikely. The reason we’ve not seen Hack/Slash on the big screen yet is a pretty clear and simple one: Relativity Media, who owned the rights, does not exist anymore. Both it and Rogue Pictures were completely swallowed up. Like all in-development projects when something like that happens, Hack/Slash was just tossed by the wayside and forgotten. It’s probably tricky to even figure out who would own the big screen rights now.

Hope is not lost, however. For as long as Hack/Slash has been trying to head to the big screen, there’s been repeated talk of doing it as a TV show. Every now and then they’d step back and ask if it would work better on the small screen than the big one. It was first pitched in 2005, but then evolved into plans for a feature film, where it was spearheaded for some time.

Hack/slash comicBut as recently as October of last year, it was announced that Hack/Slash would be moving forward as a TV series to be written by Skip Woods. Best known for action movies, Woods wrote Swordfish, A Good Day to Die Hard and the Hitman movies. If it moves forward as planned, it will be produced by Adrien Askharieh, who was the one to first option the project back in 2005. Ray Ricord will also produce.

The producers aim to make the series “a dark and gritty show in The Walking Dead mold.”

However, this is far from being a sure thing, as there’s been no news on it since last year and it appears that a pilot still has yet to be filmed.

For now, Hack/Slash remains one of those great things that could have been, but one that fans still hold out hope for.

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Written by Nat Brehmer
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Nathaniel Brehmer has also written for Horror Bid, HorrorDomain, Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting, We Got This Covered, and more. He has also had fiction published in Sanitarium Magazine, Hello Horror, Bloodbond and more. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and his black cat, Poe.
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