To think that anyone could deliver the same allure, personality, and electricity as Robert Englund in his turn as Freddy Krueger is borderline blasphemy. As a diehard Freddy fan, I will always remain loyal to Englund regardless of where the character goes from here. But that’s not to say, I’m entirely closed off to the idea of change. If someone else is to carry the torch into the next generation, we need someone who is capable of standing on their own, while also being respectful to the character created by the late Wes Craven and Robert Englund.
That is a tall hill to climb, but I think I have here a small list of worthy candidates who may be able to pull off such a feet. So, without further ado: Here are my top four picks for actors who could potentially take over the iconic role of Freddy Krueger.
Those not in the know might be asking themselves, why Kevin Bacon? Seems like he would be an odd choice to carry on the Freddy Krueger legacy. Well, the truth is, as recently as a year ago, Bacon expressed interest in the role. Not only that, but Robert Englund has gone on record giving the actor his blessing.
I think Bacon could be a good fit. He has the talent, and enough familiarity with the genre to understand what would be required. After all, one of his first staring performances was in Friday the 13th. Aside for this, Bacon has shown a knack for playing menacing charters in films such as Hollow man, Stir of Echos, and, The Woodsman.
How do you think Kevin Bacon would fare as Robert’s replacement? Let me know in the comments section.
Another actor that just may have what it takes to play Freddy Krueger is decorated thespian, Gary Oldman. Have you ever seen a performance by Oldman that disappointed you? I can’t think of one.
It goes without saying; the man has the range and the talent for such a role. He played a futuristic dictator type in The Fifth Element; he turned in one of the more respected portrayals of Dracula; and most recently, the actor appeared as Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
My only criticism would be Oldman’s familiarity with audiences. Not unlike the rest on this list, the actor is of notable acclaim. Gary Oldman is a seasoned actor with whom many of us are familiar. I wonder if audiences may be a bit distracted by the fact that this is Gary Oldman. In watching his films, apart from a few roles, I see hints of Gary Oldman peeking through the characters he plays. He is boisterous and pronounced in his performances that might serve as a distraction. But again, this is a minor concern and I am more than a little bit curious to see how he would attack the role.
Jeffery Dean Morgan
One of the things that separates Freddy Krueger from all the other slashers is his over-the-top persona. Freddy has one of the most identifiable personalities of any character in horror cinema, thanks to the brilliance of Robert Englund. Englund was a classically trained actor who spent the early years of his career in bit parts in television and film. That is, until he donned the fedora and glove and made his debut as Fred Krueger. Prior to this, his most recognizable role was probably in the miniseries V. But it wasn’t until Nightmare came along that Englund really made a name for himself. In some ways, Jeffrey Dean Morgan has had a similar career trajectory. The actor worked steadily prior to making his debut on The Walking Dead. But it wasn’t until he appeared on the AMC series that audiences really began to take notice of him.
I think it’s going to be a difficult job to climb out from under the shadow of Negan when it’s all over. Negan will definitely be Morgan’s signature role. If he is to expand his horizons, it’s going to take a drastic move and I think Freddy could be just the part to make that happen.
I find Morgan’s onscreen energy to be nothing short of magnetic. For this reason, Morgan is my number two draft pick. He is a versatile actor and may just have what it takes to fill Robert Englund’s massive shoes.
Manic! Over-the-top! Insane! Scary! These are but a few adjectives that describe the brilliance that is William Defoe.
Between the look, the smile, and his voice, Defoe can bring to life a very threatening, and maybe even a darker performance than we have seen in a Freddy Krueger film. Many of the later franchise entries (save for New Nightmare) turned Freddy into a wisecracking trickster. And that was enjoyable, at times, but it would be nice to see a reboot (if there must be one) that brought Freddy back to his roots.
I would like to see Freddy tone down the jokes and return to his sinister nature. And that is something I feel Defoe can easily deliver. He has a unique presence. And after having seen The Lighthouse, it’s no stretch to see Defoe being able to scare the living daylights out of us. Hell, he might even make it tough for me to fall asleep again.
The day will come when Freddy will be back on the big screen, and although we previously reported Robert Englund may have one more performance in him, sooner or later there will need to be a successor. These are my top picks, but do you think is worthy? Share in the comments below! And until next time just remember, “Every town has an Elm Street!”