Spawning a total of nine films, the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is one of the most well-known in all of horror, possibly in even all of cinema. Despite the longevity of the franchise, the director of the third film, Chuck Russell, recently revealed that the adventures of Freddy Krueger were almost killed off completely after the first sequel.
When speaking to Bloody Disgusting, Russell explained, "The studio rightfully felt that Nightmare 2 was a bit of a misfire and wanted to get the franchise back on course."
He continued, "In fact, at that point, they were uncertain it would continue. I thought in Nightmare 2 Freddy became almost less personable…more of a typical slasher than a dream demon. I convinced New Line we could do bigger, wilder dream sequences and make Freddy more of a devilish ringmaster…make it both more frightening and more fun. They took a chance on my vision."
It seems hard to believe in 2017, with Freddy Krueger becoming one of the defining horror icons, that his legacy could have been cut short after only two films.
Russell directed A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, which embraced the inherent humor in the Krueger character, due in large part to Robert Englund's performance. That film also spawned a new trend in the franchise, which was multiple teens banding together to take down Krueger together.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, however, had a slightly different tone. Directed by Jack Sholder and written by David Chaskin, the film was initially chastised by audiences at large for having homoerotic subtext, with the film gaining a following in the gay community specifically for those subtexts.
The lead actor, Mark Patton, himself was guy, a fact that he kept secret from most of his family and friends. Sholder and Chaskin claim it was Patton's performance that added the subtext, while Patton explains the homosexual undertones were so blatant, they shouldn't have been considered subtext.
Following that film's poor critical and financial success, series creator Wes Craven returned to the franchise as a writer on the third film to kelp ensure the film series could continue, which is clearly did.
[H/T Bloody Disgusting]