Reboots have become so commonplace in Hollywood that whenever a franchise lies dormant for too long, the question of a reboot isn’t so much one of if it will happen, but when. That seems to once again be the case for horror icon Freddy Krueger, at least if a new report by The Tracking Board is to be believed. Per the story, New Line is planning to revamp A Nightmare on Elm Street for the second time, just five short years after the poorly received remake starring Jackie Earle Haley hit theaters. (UPDATE: The Wrap is now confirming the story as well.)
At first glance, it’s not hard to see why New Line may try and revitalize Freddy yet again. The Samuel Bayer directed remake was met with unflattering responses from fans and critics alike, with many Elm Street devotees choosing to pretend the Nightmare series ended with Robert Englund’s last portrayal of the infamous Springwood Slasher in the 2003 film, Freddy vs. Jason. As a result, sequel plans were scrapped, and unlike in the films, Freddy’s second life was over just as it was beginning.
Even if many fans prefer to forget about the 2010 Nightmare remake, that doesn’t necessarily mean those same fans will be ready to revisit Freddy’s origins again. Five years is not a long time in the grand scheme, and the bad taste of the 2010 film no doubt lingers for many. That said, Spider-Man was rebooted after five years. Perhaps more germane to this particular subject, then, is the fact that Paramount will also soon reboot the Friday the 13th franchise, which is a close cousin to the teen-slaying adventures of Krueger.
One point that deserves mention, both in the case of the Friday the 13th and potential Nightmare on Elm Street reboot, is that, despite critical scorn, their last installments were far from bombs at the box office. The 2009 Jared Padalecki-starring Friday the 13th remake made enough money to pay for multiple entries in the revamped Jason Voorhees saga, while the 2010 Nightmare raked in over $115 million worldwide, on a mere $35 million budget. Sequels to both could easily have been justified, and yet Platinum Dunes – producer of both remakes – choose not to strike while the irons were hot. In these particular cases, it would seem fan derision trumped profits.
The Tracking Board report goes on to say that New Line’s second Nightmare remake will be penned by David Leslie Johnson, writer of Orphan, Wrath of the Titans, and the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons reboot. Potential plot details are being kept under wraps, so it remains unclear whether this new Elm Street film will be another remake of the original Wes Craven shocker, or a brand new take on Freddy Krueger’s dark deeds. It would be hard to justify another origin story for Freddy this soon, but it’s not like that stopped The Amazing Spider-Man from retelling Peter Parker’s origins.
That said, none of the above has been officially confirmed by New Line or anyone else involved with the production of the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. For now, it’s best to take this story with a grain of salt, or perhaps a pint of blood.