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Will Robert Englund Really Return For Another Nightmare On Elm Street Movie?

Is a horror legend gearing up to make a big comeback?

Rumor-slinging website We Got This Covered is reporting that, according to its perpetually anonymous inside sources, Robert Englund is preparing to return to the role of the iconic, dream-invading slasher Freddy Krueger for a new Nightmare on Elm Street movie.

WGTC reports that, similar to 2018's Halloween — which positioned itself as a direct sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic of the same name, ignoring all of the many sequels that had been released in the interim — this new Nightmare installment will punch the reset button, presumably ignoring all six sequels (and the crossover Freddy vs. Jason, and the 2010 Nightmare reboot) that have hit screens since the original film terrorized viewers in 1984. 

The site's sources say that the estate of late Nightmare on Elm Street director Wes Craven is currently fielding pitches for a "new story within the Krueger mythology that can be expanded across films and television," and that Englund is "expected" to reprise his role once all of the details have been hammered out.

Now, this actually doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility, especially considering the success that Universal enjoyed with Halloween, which will get two more sequels in 2020's Halloween Kills and 2021's Halloween Ends. Nick Castle, who portrayed the mute, murderous Michael Myers in the original movie, even returned for a shot or two behind the mask in the 2018 edition — and even though Englund is in his '70s, we doubt anybody would even be able to tell this is the case, considering that the role requires about sixteen pounds of makeup and appliances. (We're just estimating.)

Heck, for that matter, Englund has reprised the role very recently — in the 2018 Halloween episode of the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs, which is set during the time that the Nightmare flicks were all the rage. Knowing full well that horror fans would lose their freaking minds if the star were to put on the striped sweatshirt and battered fedora once again (plus the glove... we definitely remember Freddy wearing a glove of some kind), it's safe to say that the producers of any new Nightmare movie would be willing to pay him a boatload of money to do so.

Somehow, we doubt that Englund has a heck of a lot going on at the moment, so hey, this actually sounds kind of plausible... doesn't it?

What are the chances Robert Englund will really return to the role Freddy?

Well, first things first: WGTC is not, we repeat, not a reliable source of inside information. Those anonymous sources of theirs are notoriously sketchy, and while the site has on occasion reported information that turned out to be accurate, the vast majority of these reports concerned info that was already known to other media outlets.

As a general rule of thumb, if the site is reporting something that no other outlet appears to have even gotten a whiff of, it's probably not true. That is the case here — and if we have any doubt as to whether Englund would be psyched to take on the role in a new iteration that can be "expanded across films and television," well, let's just defer to the actor's own words.

At Monster Mania in New Jersey earlier this year, Englund fielded a question from a fan who referred to his guest appearance on The Goldbergs while asking if he'd ever be down to return to the role of Freddy Krueger in a more significant capacity. His response, while interesting, was not super-encouraging.

"We need a Freddy that can do the next eight movies — or seven, I don't want them to remake Part 1 again," Englund said. "I'm not Freddy anymore, you guys. I could do one more... probably. If you shot me up with vitamin C. But here's the thing — I can't do eight more, you guys. So we need a new actor that you guys believe in and trust and love that can go the distance."

Englund even had a suggestion as to who that could be. "He's not a kid anymore either, but the rumor I've heard that I like is Kevin Bacon," he said. "Kevin loves horror. He's a real actor. He's a character actor. Kevin was great in Tremors, Kevin was great in Stir of Echoes... We need someone like that to take it on. And re-do it, exploiting all of the new technology." (via Bloody Disgusting)

Englund is right — Bacon is now in his early 60s, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'd be out of the running if Krueger were to be re-cast. As recently as 2016, when suggested for the role by a fan on Twitter, Bacon responded positively ("I like the way you think," he said.)

But all of this is mere conjecture, because at this point, we don't have anything remotely close to official confirmation that new Nightmare movies are actually in the works. It may have once been a can't-miss property, but that 2010 reboot — starring Jackie Earle Haley, a very good actor, as Freddy — was received about as warmly as Tax Day. Compare and contrast with the warm reception to Halloween, and you're left with the inescapable conclusion that those beloved horror icons of the '70s and '80s won't get the butts in theater seats all on their own; you need the right story, the right approach, the right filmmaking team. With a property as unique as Nightmare on Elm Street, and a villain as singularly weird as Freddy Krueger, all three of those things are going to be extremely tricky to find.

So, no, we're probably not going to see Englund return to his signature role. We don't mean to bum you out, but we have the cure for those blues — go watch Freddy vs. Jason again. That flick just gets more awesome every time we watch it, and we've watched it a lot.