Few franchises have shaped the horror film landscape like A Nightmare on Elm Street. Not even its creator, the late great We Craven could imagine when he brought out the small independent first film that it would change the world forever. Spawning eight more films, including a reboot and cross-over with Jason Voorhees, New Line Cinema, and star Robert Englund created a character in Freddy Krueger that fans still love and crave more of today.
While New Line and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes put up a reboot of the franchise in 2010, it fell flat with critics and audiences alike. Jackie Earle Haley tried to bring a dark edge back to Freddy, who had become known as the “Jame’s Bond of horror,” complete with wild antics and one-liners, but it still left a hole in fans’ hearts, missing the personality and presence that Englund had imbued in the Springwood Slasher.
A second reboot was announced in 2015, and while there have been very little details regarding plot or stars, the studio did say they were looking to ignore the previous redo of the series. Speculation is rampant about tone and content, but the franchise’s star has mentioned what he’d like to see in the next film.
Cinema Blend has posted part of an interview Robert Englund had done in which he describes his vision:
“If I was in control of my own Nightmare on Elm Street movie, I have an idea I would have liked to see. I thought it would be great if the children of previous victims, or just kids who grew up hearing stories about Freddy Krueger, were each haunted by their own version of Freddy Krueger. Kids who grew up hearing stories about this Freddy Krueger guy and the awful things he did envisioned him in their own way, and that is the version that begins to haunt them. Some people may picture him as stout, another might envision him as tall & thin, another with a different hat, or a different sweater. He could have different gloves, or even a glove with small razor blades as referred to in the first movie. It would be neat to see very different interpretations of Freddy Krueger based on the child’s vision of who or what Freddy was to them. After all, each person’s subconscious would picture him in a totally different way.”
The idea of the dream stalking killer being a reflection of their own interpretation sounds both infinitely fascinating and exciting. I’m sure that when I heard stories of “hook man” or the “killer who escaped the asylum” while I was off at camp, my vision of those monsters was different than the other poor tormented kids sleeping in the wilderness with me. It also relieves the burden of trying to find a single person who can carry the torch of Englund, who has said in the past that he would not return as Freddy. Instead, you could have several actors playing the part, different yet with similar nuances and connecting thread.
As fans overwhelmingly ask for original content as opposed to retreaded waters, this could put a twist into the mythology that would keep people talking for ages. Perhaps it would even set a precedent for a new entity that could stalk fans for many incarnations to come. Someone needs to put Robert Englund on the development team and let his imagination go with this film. Playing one of the best monsters in film history for a generation has to have left some amazing ideas brewing in his dreams.
We’ll keep looking out for development details for the upcoming return to our nightmares.