There’s always a time when even the legends have to admit that it’s time to pack it in since age, being the cruel taskmaster that it is to everyone at some point, isn’t the kind of thing to be denied forever. Horror icon Robert Englund has unfortunately come to that point in time when he’s stated that he’s just too old to turn up as Freddy Krueger any longer, and for a lot of diehard horror fans that’s about as close to a death knell as can be for such a character, since despite only one person ever taking on the role of the heavily scarred dream demon that loves to torment the teens of Elm Street, it just wasn’t the same, no matter that Jackie Earle Haley is a great actor in his own right. There’s just no substitute for Englund that could hope to bring one hundred percent to the role as he did throughout eight different movies, six of which were set in the same universe as he continued to torment troubled teenagers in various ways that went from cruel and imaginative to downright gross and disturbing. Let it never be said that Englund didn’t make things interesting though, as Wes Craven’s New Nightmare was a different look at the devilish character, while Jason vs. Freddy was a free for all that threw two of the biggest horror titans in the ring and let them have at each other. Fans shouldn’t be too upset though since Englund had this to say per Micheal Kennedy of Screenrant:
“I don’t think I’ll ever don the makeup again I’m a little too old for that. I’m a little long in the tooth to play Freddy now. I think if I was doing it, it would be more like Freddy vs. Viagra. I know that the rights to A Nightmare on Elm Street have gone back to the Wes Craven family estate. And I know they’ve looked at a lot of different submissions and ideas.”
“I would love to be invited back if they decide to reboot A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: The Dream Warriors. I would love to come back and maybe play the dream analyst (the character of Dr. Elizabeth Simms, played by Elizabeth Pointer), the woman in the therapy sessions who doesn’t believe that there can be such a thing as a collective nightmare that’s common to a group of people. I think it would be fun for the fans, it would be fun for me to play the part originally played by a woman and do a flip on that. I think there’s kind of a tradition in the horror genre of cameos like that, so that would be fun for me. But I have no idea whether they’re going to go on and create completely new stories or whether they’re going to go back and do prequels or origin stories on the Freddy Krueger myth. I don’t know what they’re up to. So, I’m just waiting to hear.”
Even diehard fans have to admit that it’s pretty cool to hear him say that he’d like to be a part of the story in any way, but it is too bad that he’s come to the age that he feels that he just can’t hang with the role any longer. But if anyone is going to know whether he’s up for it or not, it would be the actor himself, as being in his 70s at this point does sort of make the argument that he isn’t really prepared to take on the rigors of makeup and then making his way around the sets as Freddy was known to do quite often. It was amazing enough that he was up for doing a Freddy vs. Jason movie, though of course stuntmen made up a good portion of that movie no doubt and Robert was probably only visible for the close-ups and the most iconic shots. Still, he’s had an impressive run throughout the history of the character and it would be great to see him at least involved in another Nightmare movie if one is bound to come out eventually. If those in charge of the Craven estate decide to go into prequel mode however it stands to reason that it would be the wrong direction, since exploring Krueger’s reign of terror through remakes and reboots could still work, so long as the source material is kept as close as possible and the movies are able to embrace the same feeling that the originals were given back in the day.
It’s a hard pill to swallow when it comes to admitting that one of Hollywood’s greatest legends, when it comes to horror, is getting old and can no longer play his most popular character, but at the very least Robert Englund is still around, and he’s more than willing to take part in the story he helped to make so popular.