He may haunt the nightmares of many unfortunate victims in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, but one thing we never really found out is what haunts Freddy Krueger’s past.
“I’ve always thought that this is a missing link in the mythology of Nightmare on Elm Street,” admitted Robert Englund, who slashed his way through eight Nightmare films, at this year’s Monster Mania convention. “It got close to being rectified with Tobe Hooper’s pilot for the TV series [Freddy’s Nightmares],” he said, but that only gives us a glimpse into the skeletons in this monster’s closet.
That was the pilot for Freddy’s Nightmares, hosted Crypt-Keeper-style by Freddy (with gratuitous use of his slasher glove), which usually freaked people out with unrelated horror stories — except for this one time. In "No More Mr. Nice Guy," Freddy’s real nightmare goes back to the serial killer in the striped sweater narrowly escaping a life sentence when some outraged citizens go vigilante and burn him alive.
Englund also mentioned a prequel script that never saw the light of day, much like anyone who falls asleep knowing Krueger is after them.
“There was a prequel script — I think it was called Krueger: First Kills,” Englund remembered, “and it was the last children being killed. The two cop detectives that found Freddy busted him. Then [in] the body of the film were the ambulance-chasing, sleazy lawyers that get Freddy off, and the lawyers are actually the best parts of the movie. There’s two of them, and Freddy in court and Freddy at the table, and Freddy on the witness stand, and Freddy in jail, but it’s about the lawyers getting him off, and they get him off, [but] Freddy gloats too much on the courtroom stairs and the end of the movie is Freddy being burned alive.”
While there are some obvious similarities between this and the Nightmares pilot, it would have been morbidly interesting to see how it would have played out in the flesh. Unanswered questions still lurk between the lines. Who burns Freddy alive this time? Does his testimony reveal anything about his past? Where did two lawyers with few enough brain cells to unleash this maniac on the world even come from?
“I’ve had a fascination with these projects since I did the pilot with Tobe Hooper, but those are the two I like the best,” said Englund.
Fast-forward to 11:17 to hear his take on possible origin stories and the future of the franchise.
While there is no evidence (even smoldering remains) that a Freddy prequel is coming for you anytime soon, Englund will be creeping up on the Halloween episode of The Goldbergs, knife fingers and all, so you might not want to sleep that night.