Sunday, February 15, 2009

Some quick thoughts on that upcoming A Nightmare On Elm Street remake...

I guess the $46 million 4-day Friday the 13th opening means the feared Nightmare on Elm Street remake is about to get fast tracked, right quick (when are we going to see that Martin Campbell remake of The Birds?). For the record, the movie could actually use a remake. The original still holds up as a creepy and surreal horror film, but all of the kid actors are pretty mediocre (yes, even Johnny Depp). And good on Platinum Dunes for getting a hungry, artistically talented rookie to direct the thing. Better a hungry music video vet with something to prove than a theoretical auteur just in it for the glory (think Rob Zombie).

The only problem is that Freddy Kruger will likely be played by someone other than Robert Englund. This isn't James Bond or Batman, a character so iconic that the actor who plays him is almost irrelevant. Freddy Kruger is a character who is explicitely tied to the actor who created him from scratch. Freddy Kruger is as much a creation of Robert Englund as John McClane is wholly Bruce Willis or Indiana Jones is basically Harrison Ford with a whip.

Simple solution - just cast Robert Englund in the remake, make sure he doesn't ham it up like he did in Freddy Vs. Jason (where he seemed to be doing an impression of Englund playing Freddy), and let the blood fly. He wouldn't cost too much, he already knows the role, and Platinum Dunes would be buying themselves scads of PR goodwill from the geek community. But since they won't do that, is there any actor on Earth who won't feel like a kid in a Halloween costume when playing the legendary Fred Kruger?

Scott Mendelson

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