New Line Developing Another Nightmare On Elm Street

David Leslie Johnson writing new screenplay

New Line Developing Another Nightmare On Elm Street

by Owen Williams |
Published on

Five years on from the Platinum Dunes remake with Jackie Earle Haley, studio New Line is planning to resurrect Freddy Krueger again, with another new **Nightmare On Elm Street. Toby Emmerich will be among New Line's producers, while David Leslie Johnson will write the screenplay.

A Nightmare On Elm Street, of course, arrived from horror icon Wes Craven in 1984, making an instant star of Robert Englund and an unlikely, wisecracking pop culture juggernaut of undead child-murderer Freddy. Five sequels of variable quality followed, plus an anthology TV series and Wes Craven's New Nightmare, in which the director tried to take back his character and make him frightening again. Englund's final scrape of the glove was in 2003's Freddy Vs Jason, mashing up the franchise with Friday The 13th, basically as a splatstick comedy.

The Michael Bay-produced 2010 remake turned a profit but enthused nobody, even though Haley made a decent fist of it. Music video director Samuel Bayer's film toyed with the interesting idea that Freddy was actually innocent, and therefore wrongly murdered by the Elm Street parents. But it bottled it at the end and said Freddy did it after all. If he's innocent there's no reason for him to have the glove anyway, so despite seeming like a game-changing notion it doesn't actually work. Bayer hasn't directed a film again since.

Details of this new Elm Street's approach are under wraps at the moment, but with Halloween, Friday The 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre all at various stages of journeys to new instalments, it was probably unthinkable that the fourth of "modern" horror's big four wouldn't be back at some point too.

Johnson started out as an assistant to Frank Darabont, and went on to write Red Riding Hood and Wrath Of The Titans. But he has an increasing horror pedigree having written Orphan, two episodes of The Walking Dead, and worked on The Conjuring 2. One of his as-yet unproduced screenplays also provided early material for the new **Dungeons & Dragons.

His immediate problem will be finding an angle that doesn't feel like the same story yet again. And for New Line there's again the difficulty of re-casting - unless Englund or Haley return...

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