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‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ Set Visit Preview: A New Freddy Krueger is Born

With the San Diego Comic Con kicking off tomorrow, Warner Bros. Pictures has given us the thumbs up to share with you guys a small preview piece from our visit to the set of A Nightmare on Elm Street, which shot on locations in both Chicago and Indiana over the past few months. Beyond the break you’ll get first word from your new Freddy Krueger, Jackie Earle Haley, as we inspect the new “look” of Freddy. Elm Street is slated for release on April 16, 2010. Watch for our massive set reports later this year.
A Nightmare on Elm Street LogoThe Midwest. It’s hot, it’s cold, it’s raining, it’s thundering, and goddamn are the mosquitoes out for blood – they aren’t the only ones. Sitting in a make-up truck outside of an old abandoned church in Gary, IN is Jackie Earle Haley, who within four hours time will be transformed into Freddy Krueger, the iconic child molester that has been tearing up the big screen with his patent razor-glove for 25 years now.

But when A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET hits theaters next April, you’ll be seeing a new Freddy. Robert Englund, who has donned the infamous red and green sweater and fedora for eight films now, is passing the torch onto Jackie Earle Haley, who told Bloody-Disgusting exclusively about how he really wanted to dive deep into the human side of ol’ Freddy.

I still wanted to get in there though and find the human side of this guy – what makes him tick at a certain level. I wanted to make it real. It is like trying to get that perfect balance between the human side, the real side, but also don’t lose sight of the mythology, what this guy is and whom he represents.” He continues talking about the discovery that Freddy IS the Boogeyman, and that it’s even more terrifying not knowing his motives, “A lot of that was finding out is that he’s a Boogeyman, he’s a guy that represents everyone’s deep inner fear. Like having something come at you that you just can’t stop, having something come at you that you just don’t understand. When you begin to understand, no matter how off the logic, no matter how much reason and logic you apply to it; you can’t break through. It is coming no matter what, no matter how illogical it is.

While Jackie Earle Haley focuses on bringing the heart and soul of Freddy Krueger to life, Andrew Clement of Creative Character Engineering is the man responsible for making him LOOK the part.

There are so many different ways that you can go at it when somebody is burned,” he explains in our exclusive interview. “I didn’t know if we were going to do charred Freddy, or desiccated Freddy or healed burned Freddy, freshly burned Freddy, bloody Freddy… you know I kept sending these quick concepts and sketches over just to see where Sam’s head was at, and Sam [Bayer] came to my company and we looked through books and chose some things that he liked.

Ultimately, they decided to go with a post-burn victim Freddy, which they felt was more realistic. “This is more of a healed-burned Freddy, which I didn’t understand in the beginning,” he continues, “but when some rewrites started coming down I could see why we were going this way, rather than coming at it from a sort of a logical standpoint and story standpoint.

When I first saw the new Freddy, I was a bit rattled, but once I saw side-by-side comparisons it became obvious as to why. “ They have much different noses, this one is much more like a burn victim,” Clement tells us explaining that Robert Englund had more of a “witch nose” than Earle Haley.

I had all of the photos up, and I have such respect for his face, I really wanted to echo some of the forms,” Clement continues talking about the new look. “The thing that we did depart from was the nose. I remember hearing interviews with Kevin Yager or one of the other people who have done the makeup. They were saying they wanted to make him a male witch, which is why they went with the big nose at the time. That kind of made sense, but I just didn’t really think it – you never really see Robert Englund prior to being burnt. I knew how much we were going to see Jackie, so I couldn’t image making Jackie’s nose big all of a sudden. Why would we do that? In the beginning I didn’t really know if we were going to have to do a Robert Englund likeness make-up on Jackie.
Again, this is a reboot, a fresh start if you will. While Jackie Earle Haley might not look like Robert Englund, one thing you can count on is that Freddy is still Freddy right down to the dirty black boots.

Unfortunately, this is only a preview of what’s to come. So check back later this year for extensive reports from our visits to the various ELM STREET shooting locations, along with exclusive interviews with the cast and crew.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET arrives in theaters April 16, 2010.

Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street