At the time of the documentary, Hodder was not given a definitive reason for his replacement. “I, to say the least, was devastated,” he said. “It’s only a role, but it’s something that I had put my heart and soul into for 15 years, four films in a row, and it seemed like none of that mattered.” Hodder called it one of the lowest points of his career, rivaling his near-death experience in 1977, when a fire stunt went horribly wrong, leaving him with second and third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body. “It took me a long time to get over that.” While “Freddy vs Jason” is a roar of a good time, I can’t help but imagine how much more exciting it would have been to have a proper Englund vs Hodder on-screen rivalry.
In the years since, the prevailing narrative is that Kirzinger was cast because he was taller than Hodder, but who knows if that was really the reason or just the one they’ve come up with as an easily digestible sound bite after the documentary shined light on the injustice. Ironically, Kane Hodder is in “Freddy vs Jason,” but as a cameo during a scene in the asylum when the characters are watching “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3,” as Hodder was the stunt performer for Leatherface as well as the film’s stunt coordinator. So while it’s not quite Jason Voorhees, at least Hodder can say he was in the film. He also reprised the Leatherface role for the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” video game.
If there’s any silver lining to be found, Hodder would revitalize his career in 2006 when he added another slasher character to his repertoire, Victor Crowley in Adam Green’s “Hatchet” series, which would include four films in total.