We all know who played Freddy Krueger, and it’s pretty much common knowledge that Wes Craven created the series, but what about the lesser known facts about one of the biggest horror franchises of all time? We thought it would be fun to go over some of those, so with that, here are TEN THINGS YOU DIDNT KNOW ABOUT A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET!
1- NANCY WASN’T AN ONLY CHILD in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Featured in the Elite Laserdisc for A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, this deleted scene featured a more fleshed out reason for the parents of Elm Street to have torched Freddy, as it’s revealed that Krueger had previously killed brothers and sisters of Nancy, Glen, Tina and Rod before getting murdered by the parents.
2- FREDDY WAS ALMOST RESPONSIBLE FOR OOZING NINJA TURTLES in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Before Robert Englund came aboard as our favorite dream stalker, Wes Craven had originally cast David Warner (TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2, THE OMEN, TRON) as Krueger, wanting to go for a sinister old man look with the Freddy makeup. Though I’m sure Warner would’ve done a good job, it’s Englund’s performance that made the series as fun as it’s been for decades. Plus, how could you trust a dude who was responsible for Tokka and Rahzar?
3- FREDDY’S DEAD WAS ALMOST WRITTEN BY PETER JACKSON
The supposed final Elm Street film (like FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER, it was not the case), FREDDY’S DEAD went through many writers and ideas, and one of the biggest almosts of all time, is the fact that DEAD ALIVE & THE LORD OF THE RINGS director Peter Jackson was a strong contender for the job as well. Jackson had written a script with Elm Street kids making themselves fall asleep to continually beat up a powerless Freddy, until he kills one and gains his powers back. New Line eventually went with IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS writer Michael DeLuca and the rest is history, but damn Jackson’s take sounds like it would’ve been a hell of a time, right?
4- ROBERT ENGLUND’S IMPRESSIVE PRE-FREDDY WORK
Although mostly known for his role as Freddy in the Elm Street series, Robert Englund had already made somewhere over 15 films prior to putting on the glove, including sex-crazed Buck in Tobe Hooper’s EATEN ALIVE, Harry in DEAD & BURIED and was also in the Roger Corman produced GALAXY OF TERROR. His previous taste of sci-fi/horror stardom came though, from his role as Willie, the alien from the film and then TV series,V.
5- FREDDY’S SHORT LIVED MUSICAL CAREER
At the peak of the franchise’s attempt to cash in on every single plateau, into the masses came the one-off album by THE ELM STREET GROUP, titled “Freddy’s Greatest Hits“. Weird as hell, but equally as funny, the album had songs like “Do The Freddy”, and “Wolly Bully”(wtf?) along with various others.
6- THE MANY CLOSE CALLS IN CASTING
During the casting of the A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series, many famous and infamous actors read for different parts. Here is a glimpse of the craziness just for the first two Elm Street films!:
GLEN- Charlie Sheen (PLATOON, A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III), and Jackie Earle Haley (LITTLE CHILDREN) both auditioned for the role of the role that gave Johnny Depp his break, glen. Jackie Earle Haley eventually did get a role in the series, when he went on to play Freddy in the Platinum Dunes remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET).
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE:
JESSE: Before Mark Patton got the role of the first male scream queen Jesse Walsh, Brad Pitt(INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, SE7EN) John Stamos (FULL HOUSE) and Christian Slater (HEATHERS) all three auditioned for it.
7- NANCY WAS BASED ON WES CRAVEN’S DAUGHTER
During an interview in Arlene Marechal’s I AM NANCY documentary, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET director Wes Craven revealed that the character of Nancy was written as an homage to his daughter Jessica, when as a kid, she asked why females in horror films always fell down and were often clumsy. That stayed with Craven, and when writing A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Wes used that thought of a female character that not only didn’t just fall down, but confronted her fears head on. Jessica Craven was also responsible for Craven casting Johnny Depp as Glen, when she sat in on auditions that day and read with him. As soon as Depp left, Jessica and her friend flipped out and told Wes that he HAD to cast Johnny in the role that pretty much brought him to the Hollywood eye.
*Wes also cast Jessica in a small role as a nurse in NEW NIGHTMARE
8- ROBERT ENGLUND ALMOST DIDN’T PLAY FREDDY IN PART TWO
Thinking that the role could easily be played by anyone, the folks at New Line, instead of paying Englund what he asked, initially decided to recast the role of Krueger with a stuntman, leading to some pretty wooden footage. Realizing what a mistake they had made, they eventually decided to pony up and bring Englund back as Freddy, cementing the fact that was equally as evident in the 2010 remake, nobody can quite play Freddy like Robert can.
9- ELM STREET POSTER ARTIST MATTHEW JOSEPH PEAK IS THE SON OF BOB PEAK
Just as iconic as the image of Freddy himself, Matthew Joseph Peak’s artwork for the first five A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET films (as well as the soundtrack for FREDDY’S DEAD and the NEVER SLEEP AGAIN doc) were beautifully haunting, and instantly come to mind when thinking of each film. The colors and details in his work are mind-blowing and in my opinion, his work on the Elm Street posters are on par with the art of Drew Struzan, another amazing poster artist. Matthew’s father is renowned poster artist Bob Peak, who has painted some of the best film posters of all time, such as APOCALYPSE NOW, SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE and STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE.
MATTHEW JOSEPH PEAK:
10- BOTH STEPHEN KING AND FRANK MILLER WERE ASKED TO WRITE/DIRECT THE DREAM CHILD
Before Stephen Hopkins was brought on board, New Line approached both legendary author Stephen King (CUJO, THE SHINING) and artist/writer Frank Miller (SIN CITY, THE SPIRIT) about writing and directing A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET: THE DREAM CHILD, but both passed, and Hopkins was brought on board to direct. He followed up THE DREAM CHILD, with another sequel, PREDATOR 2.
Are there any pieces of trivia or info that you’re privy to that you feel like should be on this list? If so, comment and let us know!, and be sure to pick up the A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET Bluray Boxset HERE from Warner Bros. on March 5th!