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Set Visit Preview: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Source:Ryan Rotten, Managing Editor
July 21, 2009

In June, this writer took a trip into a dreamscape. Not a picturesque vision of gorgeous women, classic rock and flowing beer (hey, I've got my fantasies, you've got yours). What I speak of is covered in soot, scratches, child-like drawings on stained chalkboards, candlelight, decay and infected with a maniac who creeps about in a red and green sweater, a fedora and a hand-crafted glove with imposing knives for fingers that has become as iconic as the man wearing them since both were introduced by Wes Craven in 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street. For the first time in my career, I was on the set of a Freddy Krueger film. Granted, not an entry in the original franchise that I had nursed on during my budding years as a horror fan, but a picture that signals a fresh start for a new generation.

Behind this ninth outing for the bastard son of a 100 maniacs is Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form's production outfit Platinum Dunes (those behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th) and New Line Cinema. And last month, both entities rolled cameras on A Nightmare on Elm Street with Watchmen's Jackie Earle Haley donning the role as Krueger - a character played for over fifteen years by Robert Englund - Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner (Jennifer's Body), Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Katie Cassidy (Supernatural).

"The thing our company has always strived to do is hire very visual directors to make [our movies] look a certain way," said producer Fuller during my visit to Nightmare's soundstage on the outskirts of Chicago. He's speaking of music video and commercial director Samuel Bayer, the man they enlisted to resurrect Krueger. Bayer's best known to the flannel 'n rock-lovin' generation for Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" music video. "The dreams [of this franchise] were certainly enticing to us. With a visual director you put that in the hands of someone who could do something amazing visually and it heightens what that movie is. For us, it was about finding the right guy to make those dreams feel amazing and more than anything has seen in the original films."

It was a taste of these dreams, and their settings, that I experienced as Fuller and Form led us set to set while Bayer worked closely with a rheumy-eyed Katie Cassidy wearing an outfit that was a knowing nod to Craven's original film.

As we strolled through the surreal environments, the Dunes boys equated their take on the latest Nightmare to 2003's Chainsaw and are hesitant to use the word "remake." Unlike their bout with Jason Voorhees earlier this year, this Nightmare film doesn't cherry pick "best moments" from the franchise and recreate them. This is a no-nonsense, re-imagined take on Krueger. "He's not funny, he's a f**ked up guy," Fuller warned us.

I'm still under embargo from going into any close detail regarding what I saw the night of the visit, however, I can tell you we spied many conceptual pieces, spoke with the production designer and went face to claw when Krueger's new glove was unveiled. Hell, I got to try the damn thing on, and it's heavy, taking some coordination to use. The man who had been carrying it home with him from work was Haley who I interviewed face-to-face in full Krueger make-up, redesigned by FX artist Andrew Clement (more on him here).

Haley, at the time still getting accustomed to the character, told me he wasn't letting Englund's performance as Krueger inform his take. Where he was coming from was someplace organic that began in the make-up chair. "I'm sympathizing more and more with [Watchmen's] Jeffrey Dean [Morgan], so much of what he says like, 'Now I'm living it,'" smirked Haley whose visage will be revealed at the San Diego Comic-Con. "He said he'd come out of that trailer as the Comedian just ready to f**kin' kill somebody. The best Freddy research and motivation I can do is sit in that torturous chair for 3 1/2 hours and I'm pretty ready to throw the glove on and start slicing into just about anybody."

The nightmare is returning to Elm Street and audiences will be able to see the film on April 16, 2010. We'll have a full set report in the near future. In the meantime, keep your eyes on THIS SPOT as we bring you Nightmare-related interviews from Comic-Con.

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Posted by: Frank Booth on July 22, 2009 at 00:34:12

Cool that got Haley or this movie would be a lost cause. (BIG TIME)

Posted by: madds2099 on July 22, 2009 at 00:43:12

umm well he might do a good job but just because he's so guy from a loser movie like watchmen doesn't at all and will never beat the place of Robert he will and always be freddy and an amazing actor and i'm sure many also agree but i'll go into this movie with an open mind and hope this weird lookin person doesn't screw it up or R.I.P nightmare on elm street

Posted by: MOJAVE PRODUCTIONS on July 22, 2009 at 02:20:35

i like the new logo!

Posted by: ..Michael Myers.. on July 22, 2009 at 02:54:44

I am so on edge to see the artwork for this movie!

Posted by: Justin G on July 22, 2009 at 03:57:44

Nice logo.

Posted by: Potterman21 on July 22, 2009 at 05:00:35

I wasn't too exited about the film.

Till I Saw the logo.

Posted by: CyberpunkCentral on July 22, 2009 at 05:09:22


Posted by: Naite22 on July 22, 2009 at 05:47:56

What are the chances that WE (the guys surfing the internet) will get to see a picture of Freddy soon after he's revealed at comic-con!???

I'm pretty exited to check out the new look of our generations Fred Krueger! :-)

Posted by: brain on July 22, 2009 at 07:47:06

Potterman21, that's interesting that you weren't too excited about the remake, but now that you've seen the "logo"'re on board!! I wish I felt that way, but unfortunately i'm still worried. Time will tell.

Posted by: Ark-Angel on July 22, 2009 at 10:10:37

Oh yeay.... Because a Logo definitely makes a movie watchable..

Posted by: cdowg187 on July 22, 2009 at 11:52:01

Some Loser movie like Watchmen?! That is the most retarded statement I've ever heard! lol

And honestly I'm cool with Jackie being freddy, but a remake is totally pointless. Prequel I could see but come on enough of the damn remakes of good movies. We need more originality in the world.

Posted by: HoovaManiac on July 22, 2009 at 12:02:28

I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS! I'm really looking forward to see how Jackie earl Haley is gonna look as Freddy. Man I will be glued to these sites, and G4 all weekend long waiting for this image. HELL YEAH! FREDDY'S BAAAAAAACK!!!

Posted by: The Merc With The Mouth on July 22, 2009 at 15:05:45

madds2099, Watchmen a loser movie? Wow, I guess America is getting dumber everyday. But of course, you're probably someone who's idea of an amazing movies is Bayformers 2.

Posted by: Seayboyz~from~Resustance~retribution on July 22, 2009 at 15:21:42

this **** gon be so lame... why would they replace robert englund after 15 years? only way i see is if god called him home... even then give up on the movie... its been what 5-9 sequels and no one has killed him yet? just give up

Posted by: Joe on July 22, 2009 at 15:28:41

I'm looking forward to this movie. The original Nightmare is one of the scariest movies of all time, and then it was followed by half a dozen horrible sequels.

I hope this movie brings the Freddy character back to what he was in the first film and not the one-liner spouting comedian that he was in all the other films.

Posted by: justin on July 22, 2009 at 16:24:07

@ madds2099:

Jesus, man - ever hear of punctuation? Or are all people who knock Watchmen as retarded as you?

Posted by: Guy on July 22, 2009 at 17:36:33

I'm a HUGE 'Nightmare' nut, and I was VERY disappointed to hear about Englund not portraying the part, but I'm glad he isn't. Englund's older now, and this is a REMAKE - so why would he be attached?

It's like Jim Carrey if he went back and did an Ace Ventura. But I hope that never happens, which it will. -___-

Posted by: Freddy on July 22, 2009 at 19:17:15


Give it another 10 years and Ace Ventura will be re-made. Right now, the studios are still recycling ideas from the 80's, in 10 years they'll be recycling the 90's.

Posted by: Imperium on July 22, 2009 at 19:30:53

I really wasdn't interested in this at all till they said J.E.Haley was playing Freddy. He stole the movie as Rorschach in Watchmen and IS THE only actor that I could even imagine taking up the glove from Englund. The 1st Elm Street was a classic movie. The 2nd and 3rd were o.k. except I thought having Freddy delivering one liners was stupid. The other sequels were un-watchable garbage. I think that this film will bring Freddy back to the way he's meant to be.

Getting more and more excited everytime they give us a new tease of it. Also, whoever said Watchmen is dumb doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Sorry you can't handle a long, dense movie.

Posted by: Guy on July 23, 2009 at 00:46:32

@ Freddy...

Oh I know, it's quite stupid. It's just silly when people get there panties in a twist when Robert Englund isn't a part of the remake. Like I said, I was pretty disappointed when I found out he wasn't doing it, but whatever. Everyone should give the guy a rest, he's 62.

I'm totally opimtisic for this movie now. This is my new Dark Knight.

Posted by: Bored on July 23, 2009 at 07:35:24

Remakes make me wanna smoke crack.

Posted by: Job on July 23, 2009 at 07:36:34

Please God, destroy Michael Bay.

Posted by: O.I.R.E on July 23, 2009 at 17:36:16

Freddy needs a new face. Jackie is gonna be a perfect skinny creepy ass bastard to play the part.

Posted by: O.I.R.E on July 23, 2009 at 17:37:43

the new poster is awesome

Posted by: RC-8015 on July 24, 2009 at 00:23:54

Platinum Dunes did a great job with Friday the 13th, so i'm excited for the Freddy reboot! I have a good feeling this movie is gonna be freakin awesome.

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