Why was Wes again ready for Freddy?
March 18, 2010 3:29 PM   Subscribe

Why did Wes Craven make "Wes Craven's New Nightmare"?

I rewatched this movie given the upcoming sequel/reboot and I have become fascinated why Wes Craven would make this movie, what inspired him to have Freddy come into the "real world" and so on. I have listened to the commentary and found nothing, Wiki and IMDB Trivia are full of facts about the production and reception but nothing about the inspiration, writing, or pre-production.

Anyone have any information or links?
posted by arniec to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Oktober at 3:36 PM on March 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

I know you looked on Wikipedia, but I see a clear answer: Wes Craven set out to make a deliberately more cerebral film than recent entries to the franchise - which he regarded as cartoonish and not faithful to his original themes.

Also, the box office totals.

So, I'm guessing:
1. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
2. He thought people weren't taking his artistry/intelligence seriously enough.
3. He wanted a film that better matched his original vision for the series.
posted by sallybrown at 3:36 PM on March 18, 2010

Also, there's effects available now that weren't before. I am sure they may be able to help him more fully realize whatever vision he has.

Oh, and $$$.
posted by Windigo at 4:12 PM on March 18, 2010

I'm sure $$$ entered into it, but I really liked the direction he took. It was probably the only way other than a reboot to make Freddy scary again instead of the high camp villian he'd been turned into in the sequels.

They're attempting to make him scary in the upcoming remake but I think they've borked on the new makeup for him and have gone too far in the direction of unfortunate burn victim rather than vengeful burn victim.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 4:33 PM on March 18, 2010

Sure, $$$, but that's a possible answer to any "why did they make it" question.

Trivia note from imdb:

The basic premise of the film - Freddy invading the real world and haunting the actors and crew responsible for the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films - was originally intended to be used for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), but the idea was rejected by the studio at the time.
posted by ORthey at 4:35 PM on March 18, 2010

Because he wanted to get Wes Craven's new convertible? Zing! Actually, the film is a little bit of a po-mo reboot for the franchise and it presages some of the stuff he does later in Scream, trying to ironically build films around their conventions, .
posted by GilloD at 4:59 PM on March 18, 2010

There exist certain producers of entertainment who are one-trick ponies. The classic example of that is Allen Funt, whose one trick was "Candid Camera". He spent his entire career doing that, again and again.

Wes Craven's trick is making gross-out horror films.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:08 PM on March 18, 2010

I think that does him a disservice, Chocolate Pickle. He's made some very cool, smart films (New Nightmare included). Besides, most of Craven's films are not particularly gross/gory for the genre.
posted by brundlefly at 5:31 PM on March 18, 2010

I think its pretty clear that there's a real Freddy Krueger that appears in his dreams and menaces him and his cast, and he was trying to warn us.
posted by modernserf at 8:15 PM on March 18, 2010 [8 favorites]

There's a lot of truth in this thread-- sallybrown and ORthey are both on target-- but there's a whole saga that I think will shed a great deal of light on the situation. I used Wikipedia to refresh my memory of the details.

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) and Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) were supposed to be the final installments in the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises, as the titles suggest. New Line Cinema, which owned Nightmare, had just acquired Friday (hence Freddy's glove making a cameo at the end of Jason Goes to Hell), and they wanted to tie the two together and finally produce Freddy vs. Jason, which had been stuck in development hell since 1987, as an immediate follow-up. Instead, it remained in development for another decade. New Line, realizing just how long it was going to be before Freddy vs. Jason ever existed, decided to produce one new movie each for Freddy and Jason, so that the characters would remain fresh in public awareness. The catch was that the movies had to take place outside of continuity, so as not to interfere with the later crossover. Wes Craven seized the opportunity to make the dark, cerebral movie he'd been wanting, and Jason was simply launched hundreds of years into the future for Jason X.

And now you know... the rest of the story.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:51 AM on March 19, 2010 [6 favorites]

Actually, FoB, per an interview I read with Sean Cunningham, the plan was to do Freddy vs Jason in the early 90s. Freddy had "died" with part 6, and Jason was left in Manhattan, and then New Line acquired the Jason rights and was ready to resurrect Freddy in Freddy vs Jason. However, Wes Craven decided to make Wes Craven's New Nightmare which pushed back Freddy vs Jason. Cunningham didn't want Jason to fall from public consciousness, and so Jason Goes to Hell was made. (Jason X was made for the same reason, but then it was because the studio couldn't get it's FvJ act together).

So Wes Craven put the brakes on us getting FvJ in the 90s due to making New Nightmare. And, sure, money can be given as a reason, but I was wondering more about the impetus behind the plot. And yes, there are themes he would later revisit with Scream, but what's interesting is Scream was someone else's script and idea, not Craven's...
posted by arniec at 10:04 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

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