BY TODD GILCHRIST
Although the back of each talent name placard reminded them that many of the people in Wondercon’s audiences were under 18, that didn’t stop the storied San Francisco comic book and pop culture convention from booking some decidedly more mature participants. Specifically, on Saturday afternoon the cast and crew of the upcoming “A Nightmare on Elm Street” remake appeared before a capacity crowd in Esplanade Hall before retiring to a smaller room to speak directly to press about the process of resuscitating Freddy Krueger, one of horror’s most iconic killers. Hollywood News was among the outlets that spoke to Jackie Earle Haley, Thomas Dekker, Katie Cassidy, Kyle Gallner, and Rooney Mara about creating a new version of A Nightmare on Elm Street, which opens nationwide in theaters on April 30, 2010.
[Note: Although "Hollywood News" is used to distinguish questions from answers in the text below, our journalist was just one of many reporters asking questions of the filmmakers.]
Hollywood News: Jackie, how do you develop your version of Freddy?
Jackie Earle Haley: It was a process of looking at the first film, which was the one I was looking at to get a sense of tone, it was the film that I think we’re mostly re-envisioning. It was darker in tone than the rest of them that followed. But you know, I watched the stuff that Robert [Englund] did; I didn’t want to look at it from the standpoint of, ‘What can I copy?’ It’s more, what Is the feeling and the sense of this? I knew that I needed to come at this where this character was familiar, yet new. If I went too far and changed him so that you couldn’t recognize him, that it would be taking it too far. We had to dish up something that the hardcore fans would still recognize, but something that was fresh and something I could make my own.
Hollywood News: What would you say to someone who’s turned off by the original iterations of these films? What about this version is compelling?
Haley: I think the fact that we’re literally starting over… the first thing Sam told me was that his vision was that he wanted this movie to not be a comedy. That didn’t mean there wasn’t some room for some levity here and there, but not like where it had gone, into camp. Fun in its own [...]