A Nightmare on Elm Street 4
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Credit: New Line Cinema

U.S. rights to Nightmare on Elm Street franchise dream their way back to Wes Craven's estate

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Sep 21, 2019

Freddy Krueger is finally coming home. According to Bloody Disgusting, the North American film rights to the iconic Nightmare on Elm Street series have reverted back to the estate of the late Wes Craven 35 years after the first movie invaded the dreams of audiences in 1984.

Based on the initial report, however, New Line Cinema and its parent company, Warner Bros. Pictures, will still control the international rights to the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. As io9 expertly put it, "the company will have to come to the table with Craven’s estate to make anything that releases domestically, which is, probably, just about everything and anything." Luckily, there's no third party fighting for the film rights, which means that future negotiations between both parties should run rather smoothly.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Credit: New Line Cinema

Written and directed by Craven, the first film—which launched five sequels, one meta exploration of the horror genre, one major crossover event, and one reboot—helped define the slasher craze of the 1980s, and even launched the career of a young Johnny Depp. Later installments would do the same for the likes of Patricia Arquette and Breckin Meyer. In addition, the entire IP turned Robert Englund (who was nearly 40 years old when he took on the role of the knife-glove-wielding Freddy) into one of the most recognizable and enduring villains the world of horror has ever seen. Englund played the character in nearly every single entry, except the 2010 remake, which saw Watchmen's Jackie Earle Haley put on the famous striped sweater and fedora. Years after that, Englund would return to the part for ABC's The Goldbergs.

While Craven passed away in the summer of 2015, his legacy lives on in the world of Elm Street, which is just one of several horror brands he brought into the world, along with The Hills Have Eyes and Scream. At the end of the day, though, Nightmare is the one that continues to bubble over with the most potential for future chapters. For example, Englund has voiced his support for a Freddy prequel movie, while David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (The Conjuring, Aquaman) has stated that another reboot is "inevitable."

What do you think Craven's estate could bring to a possible sequel or reboot in the series? Sound off in the comments below!


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