Granted that some of these facts are common knowledge to horror aficionados such as myself, casual moviegoers might not be so acquainted with the franchise. So if you’re one of these people, now’s your chance to brush up on your Elm Street trivia. I did some digging and added some new facts to the list, some that I wasn’t even aware of myself.
By the way, I refuse to list facts or discuss trivia for the Nightmare remake. It starred Jackie Earle Haley and I didn't like it. That's all I'm going to say about it. Case closed.
1. Johnny Depp made his feature film debut in the first Nightmare on Elm Street (I think everyone knows this one). It's pretty memorable!
2. Wes Craven named Freddy Krueger after a bully who terrorized him as a child.
3. According to Chiller TV, Charlie Sheen almost appeared in the first film as Glen, but wanted more money than the producers could afford. Brad Pitt is also rumored for having been considered for the role of Glen.
4. Actor David Warner (The Omen) was originally cast as Freddy, but had to back out from filming due to scheduling conflicts
5. Lin Shaye is New Line Cinema founder Robert Shaye’s sister. She has a small role as Nancy Thompson’s (Heather Langenkamp’s) teacher in the first film.
6. Before Glen (Johnny Depp) dies, he tunes in to Radio KRGR (A not so subtle abbreviation for Krueger, which foreshadows his death).
7. Produced on an estimated budget of 1.8 million dollars. The film took in over 25 million dollars at the box office.
8. The first time Robert Englund tried on the infamous knife glove, he supposedly cut himself.
9. The first film was shot in just 30 days.
10. New Line Cinema was saved from bankruptcy by the success of the first film.
11. If you add up all the scenes that Freddy is in, it equals about seven minutes of screen time.
12. Jennifer Grey, Courtney Cox, and Demi Moore all auditioned for the role of Nancy.
13. Freddy’s appearance was inspired by a scary looking hobo that Wes Craven encountered as a child.
14. When Craven read an article in Scientific American in 1982 that said the two most contrasting colors to the human retina were red and green, he decided to make these the colors that would become synonymous with the character.
15. In the original script, the colors of Freddy’s sweatshirt were red and yellow.
16. According to IMDb, Tina’s (Amanda Wyss) name is mentioned 39 times during the course of the first film.
17. Also according to IMDb, over 500 gallons of fake blood were used during the making of the first film.
18. Johnny Depp also has a cameo in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. He appears briefly on television in a parody of an old anti-drug campaign “This is your brain on drugs”.
19. In Freddy’s Dead, Johnny Depp is credited as Oprah Noodlemantra.
20. David Chaskin deliberately wrote the screenplay for Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge to contain homoerotic subtexts. Director Jack Sholder claims he was unaware of this fact. (If you ask me, it’s kind of hard to say you were unaware when you were filming scenes involving an S&M loving gym coach being slapped on the ass with a towel)
21. Mark Patton, who played the male protagonist Jesse Walsh in Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2, admitted he was homosexual sometime after the film was completed.
22. Michael J. Fox was allegedly considered for the role of Jesse Walsh. Brad Pitt and Christian Slater also auditioned for the role, as did John Stamos.
23. Producer Robert Shaye has a cameo as an S&M bartender in Part 2.
24. Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors features the film debut of Patricia Arquette.
25. Robert Englund wrote a treatment for Part 3 that was not used.
26. Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master was the highest grossing slasher film of the 1980s.
27. Ellie Cornell (Halloween 4 and 5) auditioned for the role of Alice Johnson. The role eventually went to Lisa Wilcox, who appeared in Parts 4 and 5.
28. Part 4 was directed by Renny Harlin (Diehard 2, Cliffhanger, Deep Blue Sea).
29. The screenplay for Part 4 was co-written by Brian Helgeland (screenwriter for LA Confidential, Mystic River, Man On Fire).
30. Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5: The Dream Child was the lowest grossing film of the franchise, only reaching number three at the box office.
31. Lisa Wilcox (who plays Alice) is the only protagonist to appear in two consecutive films of the franchise. She appeared in Part 4 and Part 5.
32. Peter Jackson was originally hired to write the screenplay for Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.
33. Peter Jackson’s original screenplay for Freddy's Dead saw Freddy aging and growing weak within the dream world. The teens of Springwood would have drug-fuelled slumber parties for kicks, and enter the dream world to beat him up.
34. The ending of the film was originally shot in 3D. When Maggie (Lisa Zane) puts on her special glasses, that was the cue for audiences to put their 3D glasses on.
35. Tom Arnold and Roseanne Barr have a cameo as a childless couple.
36. Alice Cooper plays Freddy’s abusive stepfather in a cameo.
37. In Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Lin Shaye appears again as a nurse.
38. Wes Craven wanted Johnny Depp to appear in the funeral scene, but was too timid to ask him. Years later he bumped into Depp, who said he would’ve done it and Craven should’ve asked him.
39. Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, and Robert Englund all play themselves in New Nightmare, with Englund also playing Freddy. Even though in the credits Freddy Krueger is credited as playing himself.
40. Rob Zombie was offered the chance to direct Freddy vs. Jason, but turned it down in favor of his own project, House of 1000 Corpses.
41. For Freddy vs. Jason, New Line felt that Kane Hodder was too short and bulk to play Jason, so they cast someone taller to create a David vs. Goliath feel to their conflict.
42. A sequel was planned, but has yet to materialize.
43. Several endings were considered for the film. One alternate ending and one alternate opening were filmed, but never used.
44. There were at least 17 versions of the script.
45. Freddy vs. Jason (2003) technically takes place before the events of Jason X (2001), even though Jason X was filmed and released two years before.
46. New Line purchased the rights to Friday the 13th from Paramount with the idea of doing Freddy vs. Jason back in the 90s. The end of Jason Goes To Hell (1993) provides the setup for a film featuring both characters. It took ten years for the project to move forward.