ROBERT ENGLUND: FINDING FREDDY

How has Freddy changed since we last saw him?
Freddy’s a mean prick in this film, like a dog. There’s no sympathy for him whatsoever and no more fun and games. This film has great Freddy backstory and Jason backstory and we’ve been doing a cool triple ending type of thing. I know they changed the ending once already so I’m not sure who’s going to win, if either one will win. Freddy has some great nasty moments in this film like an “Elm Street” mother and daughter sandwich.

Why should fans believe that Freddy Vs. Jason will be any different than something like Jason X?
Because they wouldn’t have gotten us all back if it was a dog script – people like cinematographer Fred Murphy and, of course, Ronny Yu. Contractually, New Line had to release a “Friday” film, Jason X, by a certain date because they realized that they weren’t ready to make Freddy Vs. Jason. Jason X was just a contractual obligation.

What’s the difference between an Elm Street film and a Friday the 13th film?
Friday films have a certain nihilism about them – they’re like garage punk music, one note played really aggressively and hard. Freddy’s a talking head with more imagination. Friday films are stripped down while the Elm Street films were very much character-driven films. I really believe that there should be a cross-pollination amongst horror films. The brain scene in Hannibal wouldn’t have existed without our films – that was straight out of the Elm Street films. Look how many times my hat and look have been ripped off in films with the word “Nightmare” in the title.

What’s the commercial thinking behind Freddy Vs. Jason because neither franchise has really been a commercial force since the mid to late 1980s?
I think it’s the logical thing to team up dead franchises. Comic books have always had superheroes fighting each other, so why can’t it happen in the movies? After Freddy Vs. Jason we’ll see “Alien Vs. Predator” and then “Batman Vs. Superman.” I read that stuff when I was a kid. As long as it doesn’t become something silly like “Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein.” I think what’s happening is that the comic book readers are now growing up and running Hollywood – people like Sam Raimi and Bryan Singer – and they’re pushing the envelope. I hope they make five “Wolverine” movies. On the other hand, “Spawn” was a better cartoon than a film. I actually tested against John Leguizamo for “Spawn,” but I didn’t get it.

How would you describe the battle between Freddy and Jason in this film?
Freddy’s having fun with Jason and he’s doing a lot of nasty stuff to him. Dirty things. It’s been almost ten years and Freddy’s rested, but he’s older and more frayed. Freddy gets dragged into reality and he finds that he has a hard time taking punches especially from this big, new Jason. The new kids don’t remember Freddy and they’re not having nightmares anymore. They’re like, ‘Freddy who?’ They’re the Prozac generation and they don’t even know who Freddy is, so Freddy can’t exploit those old fears as well anymore, which is why he needs to use Jason. I would describe Jason as Freddy’s suicidal brother.

What about the flashbacks?
Flashbacks are tricky. In A Nightmare on Elm Street, when Johnny Depp pulls up in the car at the end and says, ‘Let’s go” to Heather Langkenkamp, did that mean the rest of the film was just Heather’s dream? I don’t know. My victims die in dreams, not reality. I think the first Elm Street film was a prophet’s dream.

How does Freddy fight Jason?
The only chance Freddy has is in the dreamworld. He barely makes it against Jason in reality, but in the dream it’s totally different. The battle basically boils down to elemental, Greek mythology shit – fire and water. Jason’s scared of water and Freddy’s scared of fire. We’re going to find out what makes Jason really scared, which means some really sick Jason nightmares. But Freddy learns that you really can’t kill Jason and so, in a way, Freddy’s created a Frankenstein monster by resurrecting Jason. I’m talking Jason flashbacks – kid Jason, baby Jason, pre-Kevin Bacon.




Posted on August 19, 2003 in Interviews by

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