Mike Flanagan, the creator of horror series The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, has teased his pitch for a new A Nightmare on Elm Street movie. The original A Nightmare on Elm Street premiered in 1984, and is widely considered to be one of the best horror films of all-time. The movie launched a horror franchise of the same name, with eight sequels released between 1985 and 2003. In 2010, A Nightmare on Elm Street was remade by director Samuel Bayer, but it was a box office flop, and there has not been another film addition to the franchise since.
In an interview with Flanagan on the Script Apart podcast, the Haunting of Hill House creator pitches what his version of A Nightmare on Elm Street could look like. Flanagan says that he’s had a full pitch for a new A Nightmare on Elm Street prepared for years, but getting the rights for the franchise is difficult. Flanagan recounts that when he brought the idea of directing A Nightmare on Elm Street up to his agent, his agent was completely lost as to who to contact, and who to even pitch the idea to. Read Flanagan’s full comment below:
One of the [franchises] on my list forever has been A Nightmare on Elm Street. Boy, that would be fun [laughs]. I have a whole take for it that I worked out a couple of years ago and my understanding is the rights situation for that title is so fraught, no one knows who controls it really, and no one knows who to pitch. So, I keep saying to my agents, ‘Send me in on Nightmare on Elm Street‘ and they’re like, ‘We’d love to, [but] we have no idea who you should talk to.’ And I’ve talked to — I spent almost a year of my life with [A Nightmare on Elm Street star] Heather Langenkamp, and we would talk about it. It’s like, nobody knows what to do.
Why Mike Flanagan Is The Perfect Choice For A Nightmare on Elm Street
Since launching with Wes Craven’s iconic original movie, the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise has seen a variety of creatives bring their unique visions to the dream-based terrors. Jack Sholder’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge memorably got a cult following in the LGBTQ+ community for its homoerotic subtext from writer David Chaskin, who has denied having written any into the script, while Renny Harlin leaned into the grandiose special effects for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.
However, modern attempts at bringing Freddy Krueger to life have been a mixed bag. After returning to his roots with the meta 1994 sequel New Nightmare with Craven at the helm, the finger-gloved killer got a sleek, borderline-MTV style in Freddy vs. Jason from Bride of Chucky‘s Ronny Yu. Samuel Bayer, on the other hand, attempted to lean too far into the dark side with his Nightmare on Elm Street remake, which was criticized for its lack of empathetic characters and ineffective recreation of the original.
With an emphasis on atmospheric horror rather than a reliance on jumpscares, however, Flanagan’s horror style would certainly bring something new to the long-running Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Craven’s original was praised for its psychological scares as much as its haunting visuals, something Flanagan has showed a grasp on with his Haunting anthology and Midnight Mass, among other things. Though there are no concrete plans to reboot A Nightmare on Elm Street, Flanagan throwing his hat in the directorial ring could prompt movement on a new movie.
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