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The Connection Between Freddy Krueger And Frodo Baggins

If it wasn't for Freddy Krueger, there might never have been a Lord of the Rings movie franchise.

New Line Cinema founder Bob Shaye revealed on the Post Mortem podcast (via Entertainment Weekly) that director Peter Jackson got his foot in the door with the series thanks to his previous work on an unmade sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street

"I knew Peter, because he had written one of the sequels to Nightmare on Elm Street, one that we didn't use," Shaye said. "It was not a particularly good script. Mark Odesky (New Line executive) came into my office and said, 'Look, Peter is coming in, he'd like to show us the pitch [for Lord of the Rings]. Would you be interested in seeing it?' So, partly as a courtesy, and partly out of curiosity, I said, 'Okay, I will, but it's not happening.'"

However, that quickly changed. "I went in, and I saw the thing, and it was really terrific," Shaye said. "He had done a short video piece with Ian McKellen and it was very impressive. There's lots of stories that come after that, but that was the genesis."

New Line enlisted Jackson to write a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel that would've been the sixth installment in the horror franchise. Coming off of 1989's Meet the Feebles, Jackson penned a script called Dream Lover, which would've been a follow-up to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. In the script, teenagers intentionally knock themselves out with sleeping pills so they can enter the dream world and battle with Freddy, who had become a joke. Of course, New Line shot down the idea and instead went with 1991's Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare.

In the end, it all worked out for Jackson. He directed the 1992 comedy-horror Dead Alive, then released Heavenly Creatures in 1994. Those movies established him as a sought-after director in Hollywood, before The Lord of the Rings movies put him in the upper echelon of power filmmakers.

Meanwhile, find out which actors turned down roles in The Lord of the Rings.