A Nightmare on Elm Street Remake

The 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street was a disappointment for most Freddy Krueger fans. Even though the Platinum Dunes film made $32.9 million its opening weekend — which gave rise to discussions regarding a 3D sequel — it never led to another installment starring Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen). In fact, we recently heard about another A Nightmare on Elm Street remake in the works.

But before acclaimed music video director Samuel Bayer signed up for the 2010 picture, Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Inside) came close to directing the project, which they envisioned as “a twisted version of The Goonies.”

Back in 2008, the French filmmaking duo were pursuing the remake, but Platinum Dunes and New Line weren’t onboard with some of their ideas. Speaking with Bloody Disgusting, Maury and Bustillo said they weren’t interested in showing teenagers get hacked to bits — they wanted actual kids in their A Nightmare on Elm Street remake:

Our idea of a good remake is to have a new vision on the same thematics. Here it was to really use the fact that Krueger is a child molester. So the idea was to have a twisted version of the ‘Goonies’ with a bunch of kids being stalked. We thought it would have been great for a remake to switch the teenagers of the original with real kids. Beside childhood is the moment in life when you are truly and deeply frightened by nightmares, when you’re not able to see the difference between reality and dreams…

It’s easy to imagine a studio executive freaking out over such an idea, but showing Freddy going after little kids, not actors in their 20s, really could have been terrifying. That’s not to say Maury and Bustillo’s remake would’ve been superior to what we got, but at least it would’ve been more ambitious.

Despite the creative differences, the duo was still offered the job. Going way back to an old interview the two gave to Collider, Bustillo said when they read the script is the moment they decided to pass on the project:

We searched for 4 years to the find money for Livid in France. During this time Hollywood sent us maybe 60 or 70 projects with a high budget. For example Platinum Dunes offered us to direct the new Nightmare On Elm Street. We were at the top of the list when they finished the script. They sent it to us immediately, but we said no because we prefer to have no money and freedom. A low budget is the price of freedom.

This wasn’t the first time Maury and Bustillo had been involved in a horror remake. Not only does their Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequelLeatherface, open in theaters later this year, but also at one point they developed a Hellraiser remake. Once again, the directors and the studio couldn’t see eye to eye, forcing them to leave the project after a year.

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