Robert Englund has a twist concept for a new Freddy Krueger — a different Freddy for each victim! It’s a neat idea, but how would it work?
“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…”
Discussing his iconic character at the 2018 Summer Television Critics Association, Robert Englund had this to say:
"“If I had an Eli Roth budget I would have cast different actors to play Freddy for every potential victim. Because Freddy is only alive in the imagination of his future victim. They would talk about it at a slumber party or in a locker room at school, or on the bus going home. All we know about this Fred Krueger is he wears a hat, wears a red and green striped sweater and has a clawed hand. That’s the specifics.So it could be a red and green cardigan for one Freddy. It could be an old tattered baseball cap for another Freddy. Freddy could be tall, he could be short, he could be overweight, he could be muscular. Every one of the victims could have a different Freddy they imagined. And you could haunt them with that Freddy.”"
It’s a bold concept, and there’s definitely something to it, especially if you incorporate the vast power of a dreamer’s imagination. Frankly, these dynamics were reasonably explored in the original film franchise. But Freddy would pretty much always morph into his trademark form at some point (which looked a lot like Robert Englund).
However, a more personalized Freddy Krueger could definitely work, if it’s done correctly. Personally, I like the idea of him being almost amorphous at times, as that’s how dreams can be. Then, of course, he could become a more vivid embodiment of fears as the dreamer becomes more actively engaged.
The main problem, of course, is narrowing down the approach to such a concept. Freddy, at least as we’ve known and loved him, has always had some limits. His strength seems to gather from the fear he creates in each victim, and he inhabits their minds accordingly.
One interesting idea is to make Freddy a little more malleable, like the clay puppet Freddy from Dream Warriors. There could be an interesting psychological interplay behind the madman and whatever personalities he’s invading (again, covered somewhat in the series, but still something to grow upon). Basically, this wouldn’t quite be the same Freddy we’ve known, yet he could obviously retain most of his extraordinary essence.
In the rights hands, this concept could definitely work. While all concepts have limitations, any project dealing with the imagination sets the bar higher. If you have the right actors to play the Freddies, you could have a lot of different nightmare looks not even approachable before. Those angered by the 2010 remake might boil at this idea, but one thing should be remembered: This one comes from none other than Robert Englund himself. If any actor knows Freddy, it’s obviously him. Plus, it’s just a damn good idea.
What do you think? Is this a great Freddy Krueger concept, or should it be laid to rest in consecrated ground? Let us know in the comments!