Speaking at the 2018 Summer Television Critics Association press tour on a panel for upcoming AMC documentary series Eli Roth’s History of Horror, Englund shared his idea for a new take on Wes Craven’s most iconic creation (via Nerdist).
“If I had an Eli Roth budget I would have cast different actors to play Freddy for every potential victim,” Englund said. “Because Freddy is only alive in the imagination of his future victim. They would talk about it at a slumber party or in a locker room at school, or on the bus going home. All we know about this Fred Krueger is he wears a hat, wears a red and green striped sweater and has a clawed hand. That’s the specifics.”
In his proposed new spin, Krueger would then take on a new look — size, shape, clothes, face — emerging as an ever-changing horror tailored to terrify each new victim.
“So it could be a red and green cardigan for one Freddy. It could be an old tattered baseball cap for another Freddy. Freddy could be tall, he could be short, he could be overweight, he could be muscular,” he said. “Every one of the victims could have a different Freddy they imagined. And you could haunt them with that Freddy.”
As a man turned nightmare-dwelling terror, Krueger would resurface in the real world for a stabbing twist. “And then at the end, it would be the ultimate victim and we see Freddy peel [his face] open and maybe it’s yours truly revealed,” Englund teased. “And it’s the essence of Freddy.”
Englund advocated a return for the classic slasher, who emerged in the ‘80s and has remained one of the horror genre’s most-famous faces. “I don’t think Freddy is an ‘80s villain. There’s a huge nostalgia for the eighties for a variety of reasons, but so many horror films and characters transcend that decade,” he explained.
Appearing at Fandemic Tour Sacramento earlier this month, Englund opened up about the longevity of both Freddy Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, crediting its long-running success to the universal concept of the nightmare.
“Whether you’re in an igloo in Alaska, or whether you’re surfing in Hawaii, or whether you’re in a small village in Africa, tending your livestock, we have the same dreams, the same nightmares,” he explained. “We have the falling the dream, we have the drowning dream, the claustrophobic dream — these are all common dreams. And Nightmare on Elm Street became instantly universal because of that.”