Since news of yet another reboot of 1984's slasher classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street was going to happen, the only thing on every horror nerd's mind was not the writer or the director, but who will be playing everyone's favorite smut mouthed slasher, Freddy Krueger. Needless to say, many fans were not too thrilled with the 2010 reboot, some even went as far as to boycott the film entirely. Reboots and sequels are what keep a beloved franchise alive, films such as Friday the 13th, Halloween and Hellraiser, just to name a few, have had great success with reboots and sequels galore.
NOES fans, myself included, know that there isn't an actor in the world that could play Freddy quite like legendary Robert Englund, but with an industry as fickle as that of film, when you get older, you get replaced; as terrible as it is, that's the way Hollywood works. Robert has chosen to retire from the role due to the physical toll it takes on him. He was in his mid 50s when he last donned the iconic makeup, sweater and glove that has terrorized our nightmares for decades, and by the time filming begins on the new reboot, he would be 69 years old. He has spoken openly about how difficult it was for him in 2003's Freddy vs Jason, I can only imagine that it would be even more taxing in 2016. As much as I love the franchise and Robert's iconic portrayal of Freddy Krueger, his return is highly unlikely (despite what Facebook articles say, sadly, those are all fake, cruel jokes).
The show must go on, right? I am going to break down what went wrong in the 2010 remake (which Robert himself felt was "disappointing") as well as 10 actors I think would make him and the millions of NOES fans proud.
What went wrong in 2010?
1. Jackie Earle Haley
Englund's replacement, Jackie Earle Haley took the brunt of the shade cast on the film, but I don't think he was the problem. A film and its cast is only as good as the script they are presented; Haley is an incredible actor who was working with what he was given. I think he was fighting an uphill battle by trying to fill that stripped sweater, so no matter how awesome he could be, fans were already predetermined to hate him.
2. The makeup
With characters like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, you never really see their faces, except for the occasional gimps, but a character like Freddy Krueger shows his face every time he is on the screen, so it is a little more difficult to hide the changes. Change is good sometimes, but a drastic change like the one that was made was a massive shock to fans' systems. The makeup was more along the lines of what a burn victim would look like, but by messing with something as iconic as the look of Freddy, you're asking for trouble. I for one was not a fan of the new look, I much prefer old school, campy Freddy.
3. The script
My biggest complaint with the reboot was the script. Robert himself could have played Freddy, but the script would have been just as bad. The whole thing felt rushed and not very thought out. When you take away Freddy's wit and dirty jokes, fans are not going to be too happy. Part of what makes Freddy so awesome are the things that he says to his victims.
There is way more that went wrong, but there isn't enough time in the day to gripe about everything. Let me know in the comments what you did/didn't like about the 2010 reboot.
10 Actors That Could Play Freddy
10. Willem Defoe
Defoe is known for his unique look, voice and amazing acting abilities. He has played a wide array of interesting characters and is no stranger to makeup and character suits. I believe that someone with his acting abilities and years of experience would do the role justice.
9. Jensen Ackles
I know what you're thinking, "the pretty guy from Supernatural?", yes the pretty guy from Supernatural. Jensen is undeniably an incredible actor who has portrayed both the good guy and the psycho. Don't let the good looks fool you, he has some skill when it comes to being the guy you love to hate. He's been a demon and a slasher once before (Supernatural and My Bloody Valentine 3D); I believe he has what it takes to make us laugh and make our stomachs turn all at the same time.
8. Jon Bernthal
Oh Jon Bernthal, you were one of the best villains to fans of The Walking Dead. Bernthal, as we all have heard by now, will be playing yet another conflicted character in Season 2 of the Netflix original series, Daredevil; it would seem as though those are the types of roles he does best. It is not a stretch to visualize him as horror's raunchiest slasher. I mean come on, he tried to steal his friend's woman, lied to his family and tried to kill him. Perfect villain material.
7. Zack Ward
Zack Ward is another example of child actor who turned to horror. Not only do I believe he has the acting chops to pull off the role, but his facial features are also quite similar to a young Robert Englund. Not to mention, how cool would it be to see one of Freddy's victims become Freddy? Ward has to mouth words by Englund in Freddy vs Jason, and when he did, his facial expressions were spot on. He could not only deliver the lines, but he could also do a great job emoting through makeup. He has made a career out of being the bully, why not give him the ultimate bump up to full slasher?
6. Freddie Highmore
Charlie Bucket is all grown up and now he's a bit of a psycho (see what I did there?). Yes, he is young, but Highmore is a fantastic actor. Rumors have been swirling around about maybe making Freddy a bit younger, and if they do decide to go that route, I can see nobody other than Highmore playing him. His name is Freddie, it's destiny. If he can play a character as complex as Norman Bates, he is the perfect choice to play a younger Freddy Krueger. His performance on Bates Motel has proven that he can make that leap from adorable child actor to horror without skipping a beat.
5. Skeet Ulrich
Skeet Ulrich made girls swoon in the '90s as Sidney Prescott's gorgeous psychopathic boyfriend in Wes Craven's Scream. He already has ties to Craven and has already played a slasher and he does crazy so well, he would be a fantastic fit.
4. Jackie Earle Haley
I don't think Jackie was given his fair crack at the character; as previously mentioned, the script killed his performance in my opinion. There is no question that he has the acting capability to play the character and given the right script, he could be amazing.
3. Brendan Fletcher
Brendan Fletcher is another actor that has played every type of role imaginable. He has proven in Supernatural as well as his role in Uwe Boll's Rampage films that he can be a psycho and he can do some major damage. He too, like Zack Ward, was a victim of Freddy's in Freddy vs Jason, so he has experience in acting in a film that includes the character.
2. Corey Taylor
Yes, that Corey Taylor, the one from Slipknot and Stone Sour. Taylor has a genuine love of the genre and is no stranger to giving a high energy performance with his face covered in latex of some sort. Love him or hate him, there is no denying that his on stage persona and his real-life, bigger-than-life attitude are a fantastic fit for the role. He's not afraid to speak his mind or "go there" which is something he has in common with Freddy Krueger. He was in Fear Clinic with Robert Englund and his pornstache, so he has had the opportunity to study Englund's behavior. The only thing that may hurt him is his lack of acting experience, but there has been, on more than one occasion, a "newbie" stealing the show and making their career with one single role, all of our favorite horror icons were once "newbies" too.
1. Bill Moseley
Bill Moseley is a horror legend in his own right and has replaced Englund before in 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams. If you are a horror fan and you do not know who he is, shame on you! Moseley can take the most mundane role and make it amazing, no matter how much screen time he gets, he's guaranteed to steal the show. He has made us cringe, laugh and love every film he has been a part of. He has played everything from a Deadite Captain to a junkie to a corrupt priest and has nailed them all. If you are familiar with his work and think he wouldn't be awesome, you really should get on Netflix or head over to any store that sells movies and study up.
Who is your dream Freddy Krueger? Let me know in the comments!