Robert Englund Initially Turned Down The Freddy Cameo In The Goldbergs
Earlier this week, A Nightmare on Elm Street star Robert Englund made his long-awaited return to the role of Freddy Krueger in a Halloween episode of The Goldbergs, and while fans seem pretty happy to see the dream demon back on their screens, this would’ve been a pretty hard crossover to picture just a couple of months ago.
Sure enough, the actor himself couldn’t really see this collaboration working when he was first approached by producer Adam F. Goldberg and the team, and in a recent interview with The Nerdist, Englund recalled how he initially turned down the offer for a cameo in the sitcom.
“When they approached me I said no immediately because I couldn’t imagine Freddy on prime time. I could imagine him on a special episode of American Horror Story or something like that, but then when I got the script—and this is the truth—I’d sort of been having an epiphany after having done 10 years of Comic-Cons and film festivals.”
Englund’s epiphany was that the character of Freddy had become an integrated part of modern popular culture that was no longer his to protect.
“I’ve sort of surrendered Freddy, and I’ve been doing a lot of other projects—horror, lots of voiceovers, games—and I didn’t think The Goldbergs was going to be a good fit. They were talking to me and talking to me, and I’ve been protecting Freddy and the integrity of Freddy for so long, but Freddy has been so absorbed now by popular culture. There’s LEGO Freddys, there’s Freddy on The Simpsons, there’s Freddy on Rick and Morty, there’s female Freddys, there’s sexy Freddys, there’s Hello Kitty Freddys, there’s Peanuts Freddys, and so I just said it’s not my responsibility or burden anymore to protect him.”
In a previous interview, Englund explained how Goldberg sent him a fan letter in which the show creator recalled his childhood experience of watching A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. The story inspired the actor to consider how Freddy has become a part of the cultural identity of the 1980s, making the killer a fitting addition to the nostalgia-heavy comedy of The Goldbergs.
In any case, while Englund may think that the character no longer belongs to him, there are evidently a lot of slasher fans out there who disagree. Since the original Krueger’s final big screen appearance in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason, the role has been filled by Jackie Earle Haley in the 2010 reboot. But after that critically panned flick failed to make an impression with fans, there remains a visible demand for Englund to reprise the part, and based on the actor’s comments a few days ago, one final A Nightmare on Elm Street may not even be out of the question.