These days, it seems that Hollywood is shifting its focus from churning out reboots to developing direct sequels to classic movies. The most recent example of this would be David Gordon Green’s Halloween, which served as a sequel to John Carpenter’s original 1978 film and brought back star Jamie Lee Curtis. Its impressive success is leading some to wonder if the same treatment will be done with other classic franchises, such as A Nightmare on Elm Street. As it turns out, nobody seems to be hoping for that to happen more than Heather Langenkamp, who portrayed final girl Nancy Thompson in Wes Craven’s 1984 original.
“I’m sitting here like any other scream queen in Hollywood, hoping that they revive their franchise. I’m not alone! I know of lots of other horror heroines who have this little bit of spring in their step thinking about the chance of perhaps being in [new versions of] the movies that they helped make famous as young people. It’s kind of crazy, but it’s definitely something I would love to do.”
This is certainly very exciting to see for any longtime fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Along with Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund, Langenkamp is the most popular star of the series, having appeared in three separate films in the franchise. After defeating Freddy at the end of the original film, Craven would bring Langenkamp back to play the role of Nancy once again in the third movie, Dream Warriors. The actress would then play a fictionalized version of herself in the meta horror film New Nightmare, which was also directed by Craven. Of course, because Nancy Thompson dies in the third movie, a new sequel would only be able to recognize the events of the original film.
For years, a sequel to the original film series was thought to be impossible. Englund formally retired from the role after playing him for the final time on the big screen with 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason. The franchise was then rebooted in 2010 with Jackie Earle Haley taking over the role, but sequel plans were scrapped after the film was universally panned. The possibility of Englund coming back for one more film as Freddy now seems more likely, as the actor reprised the role in a recent appearance on The Goldbergs. Additionally, Englund teased that he had one more movie Elm Street movie left in him.
With Langenkamp on board and Englund open to the idea, all of the right pieces are there for a new sequel to be great. Even if Dream Warriors is dropped from the canon, fans are still going to be very happy. After all, everyone ultimately forgave the new Halloween‘s choice to only acknowledge the original movie, writing off all the sequels. The truth is, horror fans, and perhaps filmgoers in general, are happier to see official follow-ups to the classics they love, rather than yet another reboot that doesn’t seem to compare.
Currently, Halloween is butchering the box office, breaking many records in the process. This is fantastic news for the horror genre as a whole. With the film proving there’s a large audience for R-rated slasher films in modern times, a new Elm Street film with Langenkamp and Englund seems to be less of a dream and more of a real possibility. Let’s hope it happens. Langenkamp’s words were originally printed at Entertainment Weekly.