While original actor Robert Englund already gave the casting his blessing, Kevin Bacon might not be as perfect a replacement for the iconic A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise villain Freddy Krueger as the screen veteran seems. It is not easy to recast an iconic horror villain, as Jackie Earle Haley learned when the actor replaced Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger in 2010’s Nightmare On Elm Street remake. In fairness to the unfortunate Haley, even Robert Englund’s Freddy couldn’t have saved Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 since the remake lacked any new twists on the franchise formula and misjudged the only minor changes that its story did make to the existing mythos.
Nonetheless, the fact that both audiences rejected Haley’s spin on Freddy Krueger proves just how tricky it is to replace a legendary horror villain. Haley was well-suited to the role and had been on a hot streak with critics before Nightmare On Elm Street’s release, and even the skilled thespian wasn’t able to make an impression that managed to escape the outsized shadow of Englund’s original iteration of Freddy Krueger. As such, Kevin Bacon should be wary about taking on the role in a new Nightmare On Elm Street reboot, despite Englund himself approving of the actor for the part.
It is tricky to tell if a classic slasher franchise reboot starring Kevin Bacon in the role of Freddy Krueger would be able to reinvent the series. After all, one Nightmare On Elm Street reboot already failed despite its stellar cast, and no one actor can single-handedly salvage a doomed project. On the other hand, Bacon has a history of playing campy villains and has been a horror star for decades, both qualities that make him more suited to the role than the more dramatically-oriented Haley. Not only that, but Bacon’s take on Freddy wouldn’t necessarily need to be a straightforward remake, which means the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise could follow in the steps of Halloween 2018 and Candyman and reinvent the series for a new generation.