A Nightmare On Elm Street Writer Explains Where The Remake Failed


The 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street was always going to have a hard time living up to Wes Craven’s original film. The final result was a a disappointment in terms of rehashing the franchise’s iconic moments without really justifying its existence. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer is pretty direct in explaining why the film didn’t work, too, blaming it on director Samuel Bayer’s cavalier approach to his script.

Heiserrer, who was nominated for an Oscar for Arrival, recently used Twitter to rant about his experiences with A Nightmare on Elm Street, with some choice comments including that:

“I wish the script I’d written, with the two New Line 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. This happens a lot, but I still have memories of arriving to set and recognizing nothing from the script on the shooting schedule.”

The writer also lays into how Bayer’s film undermined his take on A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s relationship to the 1984 source material, commenting:

“…With so many scenes that pay homage to Wes Craven, and a story that stayed closed to the original, you’d think it would be considered a remake by everyone involved. But nope. For credit purposes, another writer got it classified as a sequel. Which infuriates me even now. Why? Because it meant Wes Craven was not given story credit.”

Despite Heiserrer’s frustrations, he suggested there are still “amazing voices” in the horror community who could do something great with the material. Indeed, Heiserrer had some bold takes in his original work, including that Freddy Krueger was innocent all along.

A new version of A Nightmare on Elm Street is certainly on the cards, although New Line Cinema’s first-choice writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick is currently tied up with the many iterations of The Conjuring franchise. The chances of a further entry in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series are at least better than that of fellow 1980s behemoth Friday the 13th though, with long-running legal issues keeping Jason Voorhees off our screens.

Given Heiserrer’s experience, here’s hoping that a new A Nightmare on Elm Street can find a united creative team able to do justice to the surreal genius of Wes Craven’s original and the occasional brilliance of the franchise’s sequels.