After the universally negative reception of the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street reminded people of the superior original, fans of the Springwood Slasher were hoping that Robert Englund would wear his clawed glove one more time to reprise his most famous role. Sadly, the actor recently said that he won't be doing this any time soon, as much as he misses killing teenagers in their nightmares.
Robert Englund's Final Nightmare
During a retrospective interview with Entertainment Weekly where the actor looked back at his career-defining performance as #FreddyKrueger and the horror crossover event Freddy vs. Jason, Englund confirmed that his age is a major reason behind his decision to retire the character that made him famous.
“I’m too old to do another Freddy now. If I do a fight scene now it’s got to be real minimal because I can’t snap my head for eight different takes and different angles. My spine gets sore. I can still be mean and scary, but I’m mostly relegated now to sort of Van Helsing roles, old doctors and shit. So it’s fun that the last moment of me ever playing Freddy is a wink to the audience.”
The scene in question is Krueger's final shot - and by extension, the last time audiences saw Englund as Krueger, in Freddy vs. Jason. In true slasher movie tradition, Freddy is revealed to be alive despite being nothing but a severed head that even winks at audiences before his cackling is heard over the ending credits. Watch the scene below.
While the scene looked like a teaser for a potential sequel, this was actually Englund's way of saying farewell to his fans. There may have been plans for a Freddy vs. Jason vs. Evil Dead where Ash Williams (Bruce Cambell) reportedly killed Freddy for good, but these were scrapped in favor of reboots of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and Evil Dead. Englund, however, does not feel too bad about not getting another chance to play Freddy.
"It’s like, I had a good run, I had a good time. And no one plans for this in your career. When I was wearing tights and doing Shakespeare, I didn’t say I wanted to be famous for playing this boogeyman. Careers happen and one of the pieces of advice I give to people is I’m sure you’ll do a great pilot or you’ll do a little independent art movie and it won’t go anywhere and then you might do your Intern No. 3 on Grey’s Anatomy and that’s the one that becomes the huge hit. People just don’t know. And when you’ve survived as long as I have and you see that, you can be real happy that you got 20 years as Freddy Kruger, you know?”
The horror icon's recent revelations adds weight to his support for Jackie Earle Haley inheriting the trademark striped sweater and fedora. The 2010 remake may have been poorly received, but Haley's performance as Freddy Krueger was highly praised. Englund agreed with this sentiment in a previous interview with Rama's Screen, which helps explain why he is comfortable with leaving Freddy in the past.
"Jackie Earle Haley is a tremendous actor, you guys, if you’ve seen his came in “Shutter Island” you see him really working it, he’s the best thing in “Watchmen” and he’s great in “RoboCop” even though I didn’t like the remake. Jackie’s terrific, he’s just a wonderful actor, and I’m happy to pass the baton to him."
Englund effectively killed any chance of his long-awaited comeback as Freddy, and this may sadden long-time fans. Whether or not another remake is in production, fans will always have the original Elm Street franchise to fondly look back on, just as Englund does whenever he remembers the times he scared people by portraying a severely burned bogeyman with a penchant for murderous one-liners.
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