One of the most misunderstood sequels of all time is Jack Sholder‘s A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, which followed up Wes Craven‘s masterpiece with a gritty take on the character that has always been condemned by fans. While I personally am a fan (it has some of the coolest effects in all of the franchise), it’s always been looked at as a failure. So much so that New Line Cinema almost washed their hands of Freddy after its release.
Still, New Line eventually moved forward with A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, which was originally penned by Craven before being re-written and directed by Chuck Russell. On the film’s 30th anniversary, it’s widely praised as the best Elm Street, having given birth a more “comical” Freddy and the legendary group of Dream Warriors who fought back to destroy him.
Russell is scheduled to appear at Bloody Disgusting and Wizard World’s Horror Fest Philadelphia this coming weekend in which he and star Heather Langenkamp will be doing a live commentary of Dream Warriors, all before Dokken performs the film’s theme song live (get tickets here)! With a full story forthcoming, we spoke with Russell who revealed that New Line nearly shut the door on the Elm Street franchise after the disappointment of the original’s sequel.
“The studio rightfully felt that Nightmare 2 was a bit of a misfire and wanted to get the franchise back on course,” Russell told Bloody Disgusting in an exclusive chat. “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 ring master…make it both more frightening and more fun. They took a chance on my vision.”
As we all know, Dream Warriors reinvigorated both the franchise and Freddy, giving us over 30 years of nightmares. Watch this spot for the full piece this afternoon and come say “hi” if you’re joining us in Philly this weekend!