After making his first appearance in 1984 classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger quickly established himself as one of horror’s biggest icons alongside contemporaries like Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Pinhead. Like the rest of them, Freddy also suffered greatly from the law of diminishing returns, but still never lost his status as one of the most recognizable figures in the genre’s history.
Having starred in seven sequels, one crossover and a disappointing remake, the fedora-wearing terror has been absent from our screens for a decade, with fans currently finding themselves in the midst of the longest gap between A Nightmare on Elm Street movies ever. The rights reverted back to the estate of late creator Wes Craven last year though, and based on how successfully the Halloween franchise has been reinvented, it surely won’t be too long until someone gives Freddy Krueger a similar treatment.
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The 1984 original was a smash hit at the time after earning $57 million at the box office on a minuscule budget of just $1.8 million, but interestingly, nobody ever mentions the titular address by name. A lot of people thought that Elm Street was chosen for being such a generic and unassuming location that every small town in America has, but a recently-resurfaced interview with Wes Craven reveals that it has a surprising connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
The filmmaker admitted that he chose the title because Elm Street was close to the book depository where JFK was shot, with Craven explaining that it had a huge effect on him as a young man in 1963. He went on to say that he found that to be the moment the innocent world ended for him, and in that context, it doesn’t come as a surprise that one of the major recurring themes of A Nightmare on Elm Street is the loss of innocence.