Friday the 13th Actor who almost played Freddy Krueger (and why didn’t he)

The Nightmare On Elm Street franchise villain Freddy Krueger was originally played by Kane Hodder, who went on to play Jason Voorhees.

The terrifying incarnation of Freddy Krueger by Robert Englund is a big part of what he did A nightmare on Elm Street so iconic, but the role could have gone to an actor who ended up playing Friday the 13thJason. Released in 1984, A nightmare on Elm Street was a huge hit with audiences despite being a radical departure from the conventions of slasher madness and director Wes Craven’s earlier work. Craven’s previous films had been brutally realistic and grounded horrors like the chilling “mountain mutants vs. suburbanites.” The Hills Have Eyes, but A nightmare on Elm Street It was a supernatural story that focused on a demonic monster that killed teenagers in their dreams.

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Meanwhile, most of the slashers of the early 1980s were mimicking the success of Friday the 13th depicting mute and burly madmen who kill dozens of interchangeable teenagers. Unlike, A nightmare on Elm StreetVillain Freddy Krueger was long-winded, calculating, and capable of magically warping the reality of dreams to kill his victims. However, while the finished Nightmare it was one of the most innovative slasher movies before Craven’s later He shouted, the original release plan was closer to the standard slasher formula.

Related: The Only Two Movies On Friday The 13th Where Jason Kills Exactly 13 Victims

Englund’s talkative killer was a big part of what made the film stand out, but an insecure Craven originally reflected on a huge, broad actor who was more physically imposing for the role. Although he had not yet played his most famous role as Friday the 13thJason Voorhees at the time, early in the production of A nightmare on Elm Street, slasher legend Kane Hodder was among those Craven considered for the role. Since Krueger was originally intended to be more of a traditional killer villain, Craven sought out Hodder before opting for the more nimble and diminutive bad boy, Robert Englund. According to Hodder during an interview with Fangoria in 1994:

Jason Goes to Hell Freddy Glove

I had a meeting with Wes Craven to play a character I was developing called Freddy Krueger. At the time, Wes wasn’t sure what kind of person he wanted for the role of Freddy, so I had as good a chance as anyone else. He was initially thinking of a big guy for the role … But obviously, he changed his entire train of thought and went with Robert Englund, who is smaller. I would have loved to play the role, but I think Wes made the right choice.

It’s a riveting piece of horror history as, while Hodder offered the perfect physical presence to play Jason, a bigger, less talkative Freddy might as well have struggled to stand out among the characters. Hallowe’en clones during the slasher boom of the early ’80s. Friday the 13thJason eventually faced Freddy in the 2003 crossover. Freddy Vs Jason, and the movie sums up just how far Freddy’s characterization strays from slasher convention when compared to Jason’s perpetual silence.

Friday the 13th, next to Hallowe’en, featured one of the archetypal strong and silent slasher villains, while A nightmare on Elm StreetThe assassin’s invention as a harsh-talking jerk with paranormal powers reinvigorated the genre after the release of the first film. Interestingly, Hodder eventually (sort of) played the A nightmare on Elm Street villain, as it is his hand that removes Jason’s mask later Friday the 13th sequel, 1993 Jason goes to hell.

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