Producer Brad Fuller Talks A Nightmare on Elm Street
04.30.10 by Ryan
The A Nightmare on Elm Street remake opens this weekend and we'll soon see whether Samuel Bayer has scored a hit with his directorial debut. Producer Brad Fuller told Bloody-Disgusting why production company Platinum Dunes decided on a newcomer to direct Nightmare on Elm Street.
Most of our films are directed by someone who's never done a feature before. So in the world that Platinum Dunes lives in, where a lot of our directors come from the commercial and video world, Sam Bayer's the king. And we had been trying to work with him for a number of our films. And this was the first one that he finally said yes to.
First and foremost, Sam is visually gifted. His ability to photograph images and make them feel rich is amazing. That's been apparent to us for a number of years. His reel has always been one of the most impressive reels...[it's] a reel that even before we were working with him, was a reel that we would look at and say, "god, we've gotta get images like this." So it started there, and then when we would sit down and talk to him about the movie, interestingly he wasn't just talking about the images, he was talking about performance and emotion and things that a lot of first-time directors don't always bring up. So he was our guy.
Stepping into the role of Freddy is Jackie Earle Haley who Fuller said was instrumental in creating the remake and made the role his own.
He was the only person that we ever wanted for the role. We felt it was really important, because Freddy Krueger is so incredibly iconic, we wanted to get an actor, and we were hopeful that the fan base would say, "you know what, it's not Robert Englund, but it's such a good actor maybe he can make the character his own." And you know, the fact that Jackie Earle Haley was nominated for an Academy Award two years ago, and that he was interested in playing Freddy Krueger, made all of our jobs a lot easier.
I can just tell you that Jackie was so on top of everything that this character did, and gave it so much thought. He committed totally to this. And he had a ton of time every day to really think about how he could be as evil as humanly possible, because his makeup took between 3½ and 4 hours a day. And I think that he would just sit in the chair, like, "what is the scariest possible thing that I can do?" And in four hours, you can come up with a lot of stuff.
Another key difference between Haley's Freddy and Englund's Freddy will be the use of humor. Although Englund's Freddy began as a terrifying and sadistic killer, he would fall in love with poorly written one-liners in later sequels. Fuller says that hte remake will try to return Freddy to his early, scarier days.
Freddy certainly has a very dark sense of humor in this movie, and he says some very clever and funny things. Having said that, the character of Freddy Krueger...we want him to be really scary. We didn't want him to be construed as jokey or light, so it [the wit element] is there, but it's not there as it was in the later films.
There are other changes in store as well. In the remake, Freddy changes from a child murderer to a child molester, a change that Fuller says helps keep the movie more realistic.
That was how Wes Craven originally conceived of the story, and we liked that. We thought if we're going back to tell the first one, let's do it in a way that maybe they couldn't or chose not to originally. And I think that when you see the film, you'll see that it's not something that's totally in people's face[s], but the fact is, if it were someone who had killed a bunch of children, there's no way to keep that a secret, there's no story to tell because the kids have to figure out what's happening to them. It's as simple as, you know, if there were five children killed in this town in Ohio, that would be on the Internet, and people would be able to find it. So we had to figure out some other ways to tell the story.