A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors — Scripts
Freddy Krueger’s remaining victims team up to fight the dream-stalker in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Two scripts are available here: the original by Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner, and the rewritten version by Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont. The script by Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner is a website exclusive! New Line Home Video included Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont’s draft on the DVD released in 2000. Both scripts are in PDF format.
After the financial success of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, New Line Cinema approached original Nightmare creator Wes Craven to participate in a planned third entry. “They came back to me for number three and asked me if I wanted to direct,” recalled Craven.
“I was just completing Deadly Friend, so I wasn’t available, but I mentioned an idea they liked, so I wrote the script.”
“I wanted to do Nightmare 3 because I felt compelled to come back and expand the original concept,” Craven added. “I like taking that one more step and it was important for me in a business sense that I was able to negotiate a percentage point in the sequels I didn’t have from the original film.”
Craven co-wrote the script with writing partner Bruce Wagner and created the Dream Warriors, a group of variously skilled teens who found that together they had the power to take on Freddy in their nightmares. “We decided that it could no longer be one person fighting Freddy. It had to be a group, because the souls of Freddy’s victims have made Freddy stronger,” explained Craven. “I took an executive producing credit. My understanding was that I would be asked about things all along. I would be brought in to casting and have a real creative part in the picture. The reality was that New Line Cinema never really contacted me again after they had the script. They changed it quite drastically in some ways. The director and a friend of his rewrote it and changed the names of all the characters, and included several key scenes of their own. A lot of the reasons I had agreed to do the picture were taken away.” (Cinefantastique and Screams & Nightmares: The Films of Wes Craven)
New Line Cinema had hired Chuck Russell to direct the third feature and asked him to rewrite the script. Russell teamed with screenwriter Frank Darabont to accomplish the task. “[Wes and Bruce] thought they had it nailed,” said former CEO Robert Shaye. “We thought it needed more work.” Sara Risher, New Line Cinema’s production president at the time, added: “We wouldn’t have made it with what we had [from Craven]. Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont turned that script around. They rewrote 70% of it.” (Cinefantastique)
“The original script for Elm Street 3 was darker and actually profane,” remembered Chuck Russell. “I think Wes was trying to take it to an even more horrific place. And I was more interested in the imaginative elements of the piece.” (Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy)
“I know that Craven and Wagner had done four drafts of this thing, but we only saw the final draft, and that’s what Chuck Russell and I worked from,” said Frank Darabont. “We locked ourselves away in Big Bear to get away from the phones and [re]wrote it in eleven days.” (The Nightmare Series Encyclopedia)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Script by Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner
First Draft: June 16, 1986
A Website Exclusive!
Special thanks to Rachel Talalay
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Script by Wes Craven, Bruce Wagner, Chuck Russell, and Frank Darabont
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Kristen comes around a corner just in time to see:
A quick glimpse of the Little Girl vanishing around the corner at the far end of a long, twisted corridor. The walls are streaked with rust…or perhaps dried blood.
She keeps following. Being led.
Kristen comes around a corner and finds herself facing a heavy steel door that is just closing with a SOLID METALLIC CLANG. The riveted metal seems out of place in the rotted wood house.
Kristen goes to the door and pulls it slowly open. A stairway leading down into darkness.
Kristen carefully makes her way down the metal steps.
INT. BOILER ROOM
Kristen fearfully enters Freddy’s decrepit lair. Ancient rusted boilers stand cold and silent in the shadows.
The SOFT JINGLE of the tricycle draws Kristen’s attention.
The Little Girl pedals out of the darkness and comes to a stop before Kristen.
This is where he takes us.
INT. ELM STREET LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
A large ornate oval mirror hangs on the wall. The glass EXPLODES as Nancy bursts into the room.
She rises, staring in horror and disbelief.
The horrid Freddy/snake expands and contracts around Kristen, slowly wolfing her down, its awful diseased maw inching up past her waist.
NANCY snaps into action. She scoops up a long jagged shard of broken mirror, cutting her palm in the process.
She leaps into the fray, jamming the shard of glass into Freddy/snake’s eye — the eye bursts, spraying rancid ichor.
Regurgitating Kristen, the creature arcs back, ready to strike. His good eye locks on Nancy, recognizing his old enemy.
Neil is momentarily distracted by another swell of BUZZING. A fly brushes past his face in the darkness.
You said something before… about laying him to rest…?
You must find the remains… and bury them in hallowed ground.
The nun turns and climbs the stairs.
He moves to follow her, but his foot comes in contact with something near the bottom of the steps. The BUZZING SWELLS UP LOUDLY. He jumps back.
The grisly carcass of a cat stares up at Neil, hundreds of flies swarming in its desiccated flesh.
Pausing at the top of the stairs.
If your only faith is science, Doctor… it may be you that’s laid to rest.