The 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street remake came at the tail end of an era in horror defined by needless reboot after needless reboot. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Halloween, Friday the 13th…the list could go on and on. So, when faced with creating an updated take on Freddy Krueger, writer Eric Heisserer wanted to do something unexpected, but wound up succumbing to a studio that cared more about a quick buck than ingenuity.
In a Twitter thread earlier this year, Heisserer not only expressed his displeasure in the final cut of the film but provided a candid look at its disheartening production process.
“I wish the script I’d written, with the two [New Line Cinema] execs as shepherds, would have been the movie. The draft that we thought was going to be shot was different in many ways, some big and some subtle… All of this a really long-winded way of saying: Yes, this should be remade. I’m not advocating my script from back then, but just have it made by people who have a love and expertise of not just [A Nightmare on Elm Street] but horror. There are some amazing voices today for it.”
The remake’s writer went on in the shockingly candid Twitter thread to reveal that the director altered nearly every single scene as they were shot, removing the more surrealist facets of Freddy’s nightmarish abilities to deliver a more stereotypical slasher, falling into a “trope we’ve seen a thousand times.” While the final film depicted a realistic and intimidating take on the character, he was completely devoid of personality and ultimately forgettable.
Heisserer’s honesty is refreshing, and it’s nice to see that the writer actually cared about the property, even if others involved did not. In case you forgot (and it’s likely you did), the remake featured a stacked cast, including Jackie Earle Haley and Rooney Mara, so there was obviously something to the material that got them to sign on in the first place. While Heisserer’s made peace that the script he wrote will never see the light of day, he wouldn’t mind seeing more fans of the series take a swing at it if the opportunity ever arose.
On that note, New Line Cinema is currently dragging their feet with another Nightmare on Elm Street reboot. David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick was hired to write a new script, but his focus has shifted to the larger Conjuring Universe. While we shouldn’t rule out a return of Freddy Krueger somewhere down the line, it certainly doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.