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A Nightmare on Elm Street is an upcoming 2010 American horror film written by Eric Heisserer and Wesley Strick, directed by Samuel Bayer, and produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller. It is a remake of Wes Craven's 1984 slasher film of the same name and designed to reboot the franchise. The film stars Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger, a role made famous by Robert Englund, while Rooney Mara takes over the role of Nancy Thompson, originally portrayed by Heather Langenkamp. The remake is set to release on April 30, 2010.

Premise

A group of suburban teenagers are being haunted in their dreams by a "horribly disfigured killer" known as Freddy Krueger.

Production

Development

On January 29, 2008, Variety reported that Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes production company would be rebooting the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise with a remake of the original 1984 film. In an interview, producer Brad Fuller initially explained that they are following the same line they did with their Friday the 13th remake, by abandoning the things that made the character less scary—the film's antagonist, Freddy Krueger, will not be "cracking jokes" as had become a staple of his character in later films—and focusing more on trying to craft a "horrifying movie". Fuller expresses how everyone at the studio loved the concept of being killed if you fell asleep. The producer stated that the film would be a remake of the 1984 film, but clarified that they would be borrowing certain character deaths and dream sequences from the entire Nightmare series.

In February 2009, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Samuel Bayer was hired to direct the film. According to New Line production chief Toby Emmerich, Michael Bay advocated heavily for Bayer's hiring, as Bay, Bayer, and director David Fincher came up as commercial directors together. It is Bay's opinion that Bayer has the "the ability to capture the kind of seductive and unsettling imagery that would make Nightmare feel like a fresh, visually arresting moviegoing experience". In a June 9, 2009 interview, Craven expressed his displeasure in the remaking of his 1984 film, primarily because the filmmakers chose not to have him as a consultant to the film, unlike with the 2009 remake The Last House on the Left where he "shepherd[ed] it towards production". In contrast, Robert Englund, who portrayed Freddy throughout the film series, feels it is time for A Nightmare on Elm Street to be remade; Englund likes the idea of being able to "exploit the dreamscape" with CGI and other technologies that did not exist when Craven was making the original Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984.

Fuller and Form likened the new Nightmare film to their 2003 remake of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and retracted an earlier statement when they said they did not plan to "cherry pick" the best elements of the franchise, like they did with the reboot of the Friday the 13th franchise they released in 2009. Instead, the 2010 film will be more of a reimagining. The pair also explained that A Nightmare on Elm Street would have a different tone than the Friday the 13th remake. Form states, "I think a Friday the 13th movie like we made was really fun. You know, sex, drugs and rock and roll, and I think a Nightmare movie is not that." When asked why New Line was rebooting the Nightmare on Elm Street film series, Emmerich explained, "The Nightmare films are profoundly disturbing on a deep, human level because they're about our dreams. It's why we thought that we could reach an especially broad audience with a new film, since the feeling of having your dreams being invaded was something that would translate to any country and any culture."

Writing

Wesley Strick was initially hired to pen a script for a new Nightmare on Elm Street, after he impressed Emmerich with a prequel script he wrote for the 1995 film Seven; the film was never produced. Eric Heisserer was subsequently hired to provide a rewrite of Strick's script before the film moved into production.

Casting

"Jackie is not big, and I think that Jackie’s size is gonna really work [...] One of the metaphors [...] I’ve used for Freddy is a little rabid dog that just bites your ankle and holds on. [...] And I think Jackie brings that, with his own physicality, to the role, without ever having to work it a little bit. [...] He brings that naturally with who he is, which I think is really part of the way I see it."
— Robert Englund on Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger.
In February 2009, The Hollywood Reporter revealed Robert Englund would not reprise the role of Freddy Krueger for the remake; Englund had performed the role for all eight films. On April 3, 2009 Entertainment Weekly reported that Jackie Earle Haley was cast to take over Englund's most well known role; Initially, the studio wanted to cast an unknown for the role of Freddy Krueger, but it was Haley's performance in Little Children that impressed Emmerich enough to cast the actor against the original intentions. Emmerich explains, "Freddy is this incredible stew of malevolence and anger, but he also has a hint of vulnerability, and Jackie really has all of that and more. He just seemed completely right for the part." Haley is contracted for three films, which includes the remake and two sequels. Englund has stated that he agrees with the casting of Haley, noting that he feels Haley's physical size will work for him in this role. In an interview with Kyle Gallner, who is portraying the role of Nancy's boyfriend Quentin, the actor acknowledges that this Freddy will be closer to his 1984 counterpart; Gallner refers to this version as more of a "sinister, straight-faced monster" than the "jokester" that arose in the later sequels. Explaining why they chose to take away the comical aspect of Freddy's personality, Form and Fuller stated, "We've never been attracted to a jokey antagonist because it feels less scary and less real". Even though the character will be closer to how he was portrayed in the original film, Haley has stated that he does not intend to have Englund's performances influence his own. Haley states that he uses the frustration of having to sit in the make-up chair for three and a half hours as his motivation to get into character. Discussing his physical appearance, Form and Fuller explained that Freddy will be more similar to a real burn victim.

Rooney Mara will play the role of Nancy Thompson, and she is also contracted for a sequel. Other confirmed cast members include Thomas Dekker as Jesse, a jock on the swim team, and Kellan Lutz as Dean, "a well-liked, well-off high school jock". Katie Cassidy, Connie Britton and Clancy Brown will also star.

Filming

With a budget of $27 million, Principal photography began on May 5, 2009 and officially wrapped on July 10, 2009. New Line contracted with two high schools in Illinoismarker, Elk Grove High Schoolmarker and John Hersey High Schoolmarker, to use their location for scenes in the remake. According to Principal Nancy Holman, of Elk Grove High, the studio contacted schools across the nation looking for one that had a swimming pool. Although filming will take place at both schools, neither will be identified by name. The studio also cast 200 extras for various school scenes, including one in the pool, but required that all auditioning students be at least 16-years old. School board President Lenore Gonzales Bragaw was initially apprehensive about the deal, as she disliked the idea of the studio filming "scenes of violence" at the schools; Bragaw agreed to the filming after being assured that no one would be killed during the swimming scenes. On May 22, 2009, the Nightmare on Elm Street film crew went on location to the city of Gary, Indianamarker to film scenes at a Methodist church. The studio negotiated with the city for months before finally settling on a deal. According to Ben Clement, the executive director of the Gary Office of Film and Television, the studio was looking for "an architectural style that would fit the story line of the film". The film crew returned to Gary in June to film a dream sequence that takes place on Elm Street on one of the local streets.

References



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