Robert Englund

Today in slightly depressing but inevitable news: Robert Englund, the actor who made dream murderer Freddy Krueger immortal, says he’s too old to ever play the character again. Time marches on for all of us, and it seems age has caught up with Mr. Englund to the point where slipping on his razor glove and tattered Christmas sweater is no longer a possibility.

There was a time when Freddy “Fred” Krueger seemed unstoppable. No matter how often those damn youths of Elm Street put a stop to his murderous ways, Freddy always came back. He thrived on fear, and as long as promiscuous teens were afraid, he would go on slashing forever. Robert Englund, the actor who played Freddy, however, is bound by the laws of the waking world, and his time as Freddy may have run out.

For eight films – A Nightmare on Elm Street, A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s RevengeA Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream MasterA Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream ChildFreddy’s Dead: The Final NightmareWes Craven’s New Nightmare and Freddy vs. Jason, Englund sliced and diced his way through a cast of ever-changing character, firing off wise-cracks any chance he could get. The franchise was given a terrible reboot in 2010, with Jackie Earle Haley slipping on Freddy’s dented Fedora hat. But try as Haley might, he couldn’t hold a candle to Englund. While it was never a sure thing, fans have long hopped Freddy would return and that Englund would get to play the character at least one more time.

Alas, it’s not to be. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Englund confirmed that he’s hung up his razor glove for good, and his days of playing Freddy are long gone. But the actor doesn’t seem overly bitter about this, and is content with his final Freddy performance in Freddy vs. Jason:

“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.”

Englund is referring to the final shot of Freddy vs. Jason, which features hockey-masked killer Jason Voorhees carrying Freddy’s severed head towards the camera. The audience assumes Freddy is dead, but old Fred tips one last wink to the camera before the screen cuts to black. While it’s a shame we were never given one more Englund Freddy performance, that final wink is indeed a nice send-off for the character. It’s his way of saying he’ll always be out there, haunting your dreams and waiting to get off one more terrible pun after he murders you. And if Freddy is perhaps truly gone for good, maybe everyone on Elm Street can finally get some damn sleep.

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