I wasn’t even going to comment on this news story, but I just can’t contain myself any longer. Normally, at least at this stage in the game, I rarely get up in arms over any kind of remake news. The way I look at it, no matter how good or bad a remake turns out to be the original will always remain, frozen in time, the true masterpiece. Pick your flick, Halloween, Psycho, The Fog or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the original will always remain the standard.
Now, if you’ve clicked on the link I posted above, you know it’s just one of many reports that have been swirling around online that Bill Bob Thornton has been cast as Freddy Krueger in Platinum Dunes’ remake of A Nightmare on Elm St.?!!!
In general I try not to let my emotions get the better of me and try to remain fairly neutral when reporting things. I figure it’s my job to either report or parrot what’s going on out there in the genre, then let the fans decide whether or not they like or loathe something. This time, however, I’m just downright fucking pissed off!!!!!! Why the fuck would you even think of casting anyone other than Robert Englund??? This isn’t like Friday the 13th, Halloween or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre where it’s a guy walking or running around in a mask. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to diminish the contributions of Nick Castle, Kane Hodder, Gunnar Hansen, Tyler Mane, or Andrew Bryniarski, but Freddy is a completely different case, folks. So much of what the character is was invented by Englund himself. Sure, you can script the burnt face, the knives on his fingers, the sweatshirt and the fedora, but no one can stand in Englund’s shoes when it comes to exhibiting Krueger’s trademark black humor. There’s a delivery to his dialogue, a cadence to his gait and a lascivious way he looks at his victims that simply no on else can replicate. Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger is the classic case of a certain kind of magic happening when the perfect actor is cast in the perfect role. It’s like Arnold as The Terminator; Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones; Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley; Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. It’s just a inconceivable to think of anyone else (regardless of who was proposed at the time of development on these classics) in these roles. They OWN THEM just as ENGLUND OWNS FREDDY KRUEGER!!!!
If this story turns out to be true, Dunes producer Brad Fuller is clearly going back on his word at Comic-Con, saying they were doing their best to listen to the fans. Yeah, I call bullshit on that, Brad, if Billy Bob has the role, of course.
Why they would cast anyone other than Englund is beyond me. If they’re going to use the fact he’s twenty-five years older than he was when he did the original I call bullshit on that one, too. Why? It’s never been clear how old Freddy was before he was burnt to a crisp by the Elm St. residents of Springwood. Sure, there was a flashback in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, which showed Freddy prior to being torched, but even that continuity gap is something I think the fans, myself included, can forgive.
Let me clarify I have nothing against Billy Bob Thornton. I think he’s a great actor and an even better screenwriter and director. One False Move is an underrated gem, and the film I thought should’ve been the one to break him through to the mainstream instead of Sling Blade. Casting anyone other than Englund, though, is a crime. I’m going to hate Dunes’ choice if it’s anyone other than Englund, and I know I’m not the only one in this school of thought.
On the off-chance Brad Fuller and Andrew Form happen to read this article, I beg you guys to reconsider this. Do whatever the hell you want with the overall story, but one thing you can’t replace or replicate is the incomparable Robert Englund.
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