Nightmare on Elm Street is prepping for another reboot, according to a report from Entertainment Weekly. This would follow on the heels of a failed attempt in 2010.
The original starred Robert Englund (pictured above right) in the iconic role. Jackie Earle Haley (left) took over for the second go-around and did a fine job, even though the rest of the production failed to measure up with audiences.
Needless to say, a third attempt at revitalizing the franchise would want to pretend the 2010 version didn’t exist, so the chances of Haley reprising the role of razor-gloved dream demon Freddy Krueger would be slim.
That leaves an interesting and exciting question: Who should take over if not Englund and Haley? Here are five candidates, who have the look.
5. DJ Qualls
Qualls has a comedic background and an off-Hollywood look that could fit in well with classic wisecracking Freddy from the original series’ six sequels and television show. (And Freddy vs. Jason, don’t forget that.) He’s known for his work in Road Trip and has recently shown up on series television with Perception and The Man in the High Castle. Good candidate? Who knows, but there’s enough about the look and the background to make it an intriguing idea.
4. Adrien Brody
Brody is another one of those guys with an off-Hollywood look, but he has some serious acting chops and the ability to step into most any role with ease. Predators (action star). Splice (scientist). Harry Houdini (larger than life personality). There’s absolutely no reason to think he couldn’t handle Krueger duties based on his look, his diversity, and his flexibility.
3. Cillian Murphy
You can’t play Scarecrow in the Christopher Nolan Batman films and not have what it takes to bring another ghoulish villain to life. There is something unnerving about almost every role that Murphy steps into, even when the character doesn’t call for it. Apply some horrible burn makeup, red-and-green sweater, and fedora, and you may be on to something with this pick for the next Nightmare on Elm Street.
2. Hugo Weaving
Talented, menacing, commanding screen presence. Weaving has it all. He would also have one of the more believable Krueger-to-teen victim age dynamics.
1. Paul Dano
There is a creepy choirboy quality to Dano — an awkwardness that would play into the originally intended child molester backstory of Freddy Krueger. This was something the 2010 remake spelled out more explicitly, and it went along with the original concept, though not the actual Nightmare on Elm Street films starring Englund. Anyone who doesn’t think Dano is capable of making your skin crawl hasn’t seen There Will Be Blood. Put him into the darker version of Freddy, and it could be magical.
[Images spliced from original and remake Nightmare on Elm Street films]