Cast This: Freddy Krueger
In August of last year we got word that an all-new remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET was on the way, again. This would be just six years after New Line Cinema rebooted Wes Craven’s classic horror film the first time. Jackie Earle Haley, who played Freddy in the reboot, isn’t expected to return. So that leaves us with plenty to work with, casting a new Freddy won’t be easy, but I know we can come up with some respectable choices.
The original A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET from Wes Craven stands as one of the greatest horror classics of all-time. The cultural phenomenon went on to spawn six sequels and a worthy FREDDY VS. JASON crossover. New Line Cinema was dubbed "the house that Freddy built" thanks to the financial success of the franchise. The 2009 reboot came and went without much of an impact; I personally didn’t hate the movie, I just didn’t understand the point of a near shot-for-shot remake. Jackie Earle Haley’s version of Freddy Krueger was admirable; it just lacked the personality and charm of Robert Englund’s original character.
I’m not entirely sure what anyone can do to fix this franchise so it doesn’t become another HALLOWEEN or FRIDAY THE 13TH if it hasn’t already. They could get Robert Englund back! Although, the actor has said on several occasions he would never return to the role; but that’s what dump trucks full of money are for, right? Imagine, a 68-year-old Englund in full costume and make-up, using that older, more distinctive Freddy voice to torture sleeping teenagers – yes to all of that.
So with that dream out of the way, let’s talk about who we could see take on the role. There has to be others who can do this character justice - should New Line cast an unknown, or look to a more familiar face to garner some needed attention to a franchise on life support?
Willem Dafoe, with all due respect, looks like Freddy Krueger. I mean, he has one of those recognizable faces (and voices) and we all admire. I can’t help but smile when he comes on screen; I’m excited to see him! He has an evil look about him, that’s why he made the perfect Green Goblin/Norman Osborn. Remember his Oscar nominated performance in SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE as Max Schreck? Enough said. He also has the star power and following to potentially win fans over who dismiss anyone who isn’t Robert Englund.
Another actor I could potentially see in the role, John Hawkes. He’s one of our finest actors, and definitely one of those “hey it’s him” faces that everyone recognizes. I would love to see him turn fierce in a role like this, menacing and evil. When I think of someone taking on this role, I’m not just imaging them in Freddy pizza face, but also the man before the nightmares, and I think Hawkes could bring a lot to that personality.
Finally, how about Doug Jones? The former contortionist and creature actor (Pale Man in PAN’S LABYRINTH) has a physical presence that would make for a perfect Freddy Krueger. His tall frame, long arms, and cringeworthy flexibility, I can’t imagine a more horrifying sight then this guy walking down a dark alley.
So, ladies and gentlemen, what are your thoughts? What about Dafoe’s SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE co-star John Malkovich? He’s got that certain something (crazy look?) that could draw some fear from an audience. There is always Billy Bob Thornton; I think his name was dropped a few times the last time they were looking for an actor to fill the red and green stripped sweater. He seems like he could bring some rage to the roll doesn’t he? How about going with a younger talent like Paul Dano? I can’t be the only one still creeped out thinking about his performance in PRISONERS.
What I’m getting at is, who would you like to see in the role?
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|Extra Tidbit:||Freddy was the name of a bully who beat Wes Craven up in elementary school, and his signature hat was based on one worn by a neighborhood drunk who scared Craven when he was young.|