Despite past statements to the contrary, Robert Englund now says he doesn’t think he’ll ever play A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger again. While Englund had been acting for quite some time before he landed the Freddy role, it wasn’t until he spent the bulk of the 1980s stalking teens in their dreams that Englund truly became a household name. To horror fans, he remains an icon, and has carved out a long career in the genre even outside his exploits as Freddy.
Englund would put on the Freddy Krueger make-up and costume for a total of eight films. The first six make up the main Nightmare on Elm Street franchise continuity, while the seventh appearance came in Wes Craven’s meta reboot New Nightmare, and the last to date saw two titans clash in the Freddy vs. Jason crossover. He also resurrected the character briefly in 2018 for a Halloween episode of 1980s-set sitcom The Goldbergs, to the delight of fans.
While the 72-year-old Englund was maintaining as recently as 2017 that he was far too old to play Freddy in another A Nightmare on Elm Street film, his Goldbergs appearance seemed to have softened that stance. Englund said in both 2018 and 2019 that he might have one more outing as Freddy in him, and with reports late last year that Craven’s estate was taking pitches on how to best resurrect the dormant franchise, many fans assumed Englund would participate. Rumors also spread around online to that effect. Unfortunately, Englund seems to now be shutting the door on that possibility, as revealed during a new interview with EW.
“I don’t think I’ll ever don the makeup again I’m a little too old for that. I’m a little long in the tooth to play Freddy now. I think if I was doing it, it would be more like Freddy vs. Viagra. I know that the rights to A Nightmare on Elm Street have gone back to the Wes Craven family estate. And I know they’ve looked at a lot of different submissions and ideas.”
“I would love to be invited back if they decide to reboot A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: The Dream Warriors. I would love to come back and maybe play the dream analyst (the character of Dr. Elizabeth Simms, played by Elizabeth Pointer), the woman in the therapy sessions who doesn’t believe that there can be such a thing as a collective nightmare that’s common to a group of people. I think it would be fun for the fans, it would be fun for me to play the part originally played by a woman and do a flip on that. I think there’s kind of a tradition in the horror genre of cameos like that, so that would be fun for me. But I have no idea whether they’re going to go on and create completely new stories or whether they’re going to go back and do prequels or origin stories on the Freddy Krueger myth. I don’t know what they’re up to. So, I’m just waiting to hear.”
Englund’s statements above are sure to seriously disappoint diehard A Nightmare on Elm Street fans. While it’s true that he’s getting up there in age, if a pushing 80 Harrison Ford can play Han Solo and Indiana Jones, it stands to reason that Englund should be able to play Freddy Krueger. That is assuming he actually wanted to, which some of his prior statements have implied he’d be willing to consider. Many fans had seen the idea of Wes Craven’s estate revamping the franchise as an opportunity to facilitate Englund’s return to the Springwood Slasher, but alas, that looks unlikely to happen.
It’s certainly cool that Englund would like to play a supporting role in whatever ends up happening with A Nightmare on Elm Street going forward, and it would be fun to see him interact with the new actor playing Freddy. That said, such a part probably won’t satisfy fans who’ve been waiting and hoping for the past 17 years that Englund would one day pick up Freddy’s knife glove and claim big screen victims once again.