Horror fans should not expect to see Robert Englund back in Freddy Krueger’s costume as the A Nightmare on Elm Street actor says he is “too old” to reprise his role as the iconic slasher. Back in 2003, the slasher crossover film Freddy vs. Jason finally materialized after being in a limbo for years, and while it did not do well with critics and fans, it became a box office success.
Set after the events of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday, the film follows Freddy Krueger (Englund), who has grown incapable of haunting people’s dreams, so he resurrects Jason (Ken Kirzinger) to cause panic and fear through him. Freddy vs. Jason marks Englund’s final portrayal of Krueger, who was later played by Jackie Earle Haley in the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street remake. While many fans would like to see Englund put on the bladed glove and striped sweater one more time, it seems very unlikely, as he feels he is now too old to play the horror villain again.
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In an interview with EW, Englund shared he is satisfied with the ending that was given to his character in Freddy vs. Jason, which also serves as a finale for his character in general, and wouldn’t reprise his role. The final battle between these two slashers takes place at Camp Crystal Lake, where Jason seems to have been the winner after emerging from the lake, holding his machete in one hand and Freddy’s severed head in the other, only to have Freddy winking to the audience before cutting to the credits.
“I’m too old to do another Freddy now. If I do a fight scene now it’s got to be real minimal because I can’t snap my head for eight different takes and different angles. My spine gets sore. I can still be mean and scary, but I’m mostly relegated now to sort of Van Helsing roles, old doctors and s––. So it’s fun that the last moment of me ever playing Freddy is a wink to the audience.”
Freddy Krueger was created by Wes Craven and first appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984, with Englund as the disfigured dream-demon. He reprised this role for the sequels Freddy’s Revenge in 1985, Dream Warriors in 1987, The Dream Master in 1988, The Dream Child in 1989, The Final Nightmare in 1991, and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare in 1994, where he not only played Krueger but also himself.
A remake of the first Nightmare on Elm Street film was released in 2010 with Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) as Krueger. Although it broke box office records at the time, the film was not well received by critics and fans, who felt there’s no replacement for Englund’s iconic portrayal of Krueger.
While many fans would like to see Englund as Krueger one last time – whether they are OK with his fate in Freddy vs. Jason or not – it’s understandable that he won’t do it again. The truth is that there are eight films where we can enjoy his role as this iconic slasher, and he can be regularly found at conventions, spending time with horror fans and putting on the bladed glove for their delight.