Robert Englund’s Only Regret Is Never Making A Nightmare On Elm Street Prequel Movie
The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise has often delved into the backstory of Freddy Krueger to explain how he became the dream demon we know today. There’s even a popular 18-minute fan video on YouTube that explores the killer’s origins through various flashback sequences edited together in chronological order. Still, the series has yet to deliver a full-on prequel movie, and if you ask actor Robert Englund, that’s a real shame.
For now, the closest we’ve got so far to an Elm Street prequel is the 1988 pilot episode of Freddy’s Nightmares, directed by Tobe Hooper, which offers a small screen depiction of the events leading up to the murderer’s demise. Speaking at this year’s Dragon Con, Englund referenced the episode, while acknowledging that there was also a script making the rounds for a feature length origin story:
“There’s some great internet Youtube versions of a kind of prequel Freddy, or early Freddy, that I like that are really interesting. If I could go back in time, there was a script kicking around — it might have been called Krueger: The First Kills — but it’s not the series Tobe Hooper version of the prequel.”
Englund explained that the unrealized project would’ve focused on “Freddy and the children, two bumbling cops trying to catch him, and then these two sharp lawyers.” Apparently, the two lawyers would’ve been “the real stars of the project, [that] get Freddy out of jail.” As per the famous origin story, Freddy would then “burn like Joan of Arc by the vigilante parents who just can’t stomach this injustice anymore.”
What’s more, it was thought at the time that some pretty noteworthy talent might’ve been attached to the movie:
“The rumor was it was going to be John McNaughton directing that, the great director of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, starring Michael Rooker. And I was excited. I was excited, and for a brief second of time, there was some validity to that project.”
Once New Line Cinema was acquired by Turner Broadcasting System in 1994, however, Englund said that The First Kills “sort of got lost,” and he regards this missed opportunity as his one regret:
“But that, that I guess I could consider a regret. That would have been when it would have been fun to do, and I was still young enough to do it. I had some ideas — I wanted to dye my hair red like I did in Freddy vs. Jason — things like that. I had some ideas I wanted to play with. That’s probably my only regret.”
For better or worse, we’ll never know how the prequel might’ve turned out, and as it stands, it’s quite possible that Englund’s days in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise are now over entirely. That being said, the actor recently went on record saying that he might still have one more Freddy movie left in him, so if New Line is ever willing to take him up on his offer, the fans will be waiting.