CHUD posts Nightmare on Elm Street remake comments from producers

Posted on: February 10, 2009 at 7:45 AM

CHUD recently posted an exclusive interview with Nightmare remake producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, regarding Nightmare’s direction:

EXCLUSIVE: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP A NIGHTMARE (ON ELM STREET)?
By Devin Faraci

With the reboot of Friday the 13th Platinum Dunes is 2 for 3 when it comes to resurrecting old properties. Like it or not (and I liked it), their Texas Chainsaw Massacre reintroduced Leatherface to a whole generation who probably never even heard of him, and the new Friday successfully strips away the layers of gunk that had built up on the franchise, bringing it back to a more ‘classical’ version of Jason Voorhees, as opposed to a zombie or a cyborg. Their take on The Hitcher didn’t quite do it for anybody, it seems.

Their latest challenge is rebooting Freddy Krueger with a new A Nightmare on Elm Street. Hardcore fans of the series are concerned – what will Platinum Dunes do with their favorite razor gloved dream killer? Will it still be the same Freddy? This weekend I sat down with Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, the guys behind the Platinum Dunes shingle, and asked them about just what their version of Nightmare would be like, starting with a possible reinvention of Freddy.

“The first thing we’re looking at is musical numbers,” joked Fuller*.

“Freddy is an iconic character like Jason, and when we’ve made these movies we haven’t deviated from the way [the characters] look,” Form said. “Jason and Leatherface look the same and I’m sure with Freddy it’ll hold true. I do think we can safely say that in Texas Chainsaw the chainsaw was the weapon, in Friday the machete is the weapon for Jason, and in Nightmare there is no changing the glove.”

“There will be the sweater,” added Fuller. “We’re not going to have him coming out in an Izod.”

There are still details to be worked out – they haven’t sat down with FX guy Scott Stoddard (who worked with them on the first Chainsaw and on Friday the 13th) to hash out the full design yet – but it does sound like their Freddy will be a traditional one. Will it be Robert Englund? Form asked me if I thought Englund would be my choice for the role, and was sort of suprised when I said no. To me Englund is too old for the part at this point, and a new version of the character needs a new energy. The way that Derek Mears plays Jason is, to a serious Friday fan, obviously different than the way he’s been played for almost twenty years, and a similar change needs to come to Freddy.

But beyond that there’s an issue with which Fuller and Form are still struggling: what are Freddy’s crimes? This seems like a simple question, but it’s this aspect of the story that makes a reboot of Nightmare in 2009 much more complicated than a reboot of something as straight ahead as Friday.

Fans have long gone back and forth about the extent of Freddy’s crimes. As you may remember, he victimized the children of Elm Street, leading the neighborhood’s parents to gang up and burn him alive. In the original film he’s definitely a child killer, but there’s more hinted at. As originally envisioned, those hints were less subtle. Says Form: “The original idea of the movie was that he was a molester and not a killer at all, but the McMartin trial happened and everything changed.”

While they won’t come down on whether Freddy was a child molester, a child murderer or both in their version, Fuller does acknowledge that making him a legendary figure in this day and age is tougher. “If there were a child killer in 2009 it would be on the internet and everyone would know about it,” he said. “The concept of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street wouldn’t work. The concept of the movie is the kids discovering what happened, and the kids paying the price for their parent’s sins. What we’re struggling with is how do we have his crimes in a way where the kids can’t just type in ‘Freddy Krueger’ [into Google] and come up with his arrest record.”

The film, which is still looking for a director (“We need to find a visual director who can blow people away,” said Fuller. Form added: “And seamless transitions are the key, where the audience truly has no idea if it’s a dream or not until it’s too late you realize you’ve been duped for the last 30, 40, 90 seconds and the person’s been dreaming the whole time.”), is supposed to start shooting in the Chicago suburbs this spring, so hopefully these basic – but critical – story details are on the verge of being worked out. I’m curious to see how Platinum Dunes solves that last prickly problem. Might we actually have an unquestionably kiddie fiddling Freddy in this new version?

* Although if there was ever a horror franchise where musical numbers fit, it’s Nightmare. Has there been a Nightmare with a musical number? I’m not a hardcore into this series as I am with Friday, so if a Freddyhead out there has the answer, I’m interested.