In our most recent episode of Nightmare on Elm Street where we discussed It movie, I made a remark as to how I was disappointed no Hollywood movie monsters made an appearance in the film. In the original novel of the same name by Stephen King, Pennywise takes the form of many different classic monsters, including; The Werewolf, The Mummy, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, and Frankenstein’s Monster, among others.
It was during that discussion that Jon lamented about the missed opportunity in utilising the classic slasher villains of the 80’s (the setting in which the new It film takes place) as an homage to Horror fans and a nod to the book’s original villains. We had assumed it was a licencing issue – not recalling at the time of recording that New Line Cinema had produced It. We were too busy racking our brains trying to think of iconic horror villains in Warner Bros. Pictures back catalogue, not realising; A Nightmare on Elm Street was produced and released by New Line in 1984. It stared us blank in the face.
They could have had FREDDY. KRUEGER.
It turns out director Andy Muschietti did consider including the iconic killer. But, he ultimately decided it would be too much for the film. He said to Ain’t It Cool:
Obviously we considered that for a bit, but I wasn’t too interested in bringing Freddy Krueger into the mix. I love the story and I love how Stephen King basically makes a portrait of childhood in the ’50s. He’s very genuine when he brings all the Universal Monsters to the repertoire of incarnation because that’s what kids were afraid of. It would be a natural path to try to recreate that in the ’80s, but I really wasn’t too crazy about bringing stuff like Freddy Krueger into the story. I thought it was a bit too meta with New Line involved in the film. It’s distracting and it didn’t feel right, for some reason.
I wanted to bring fears that were a little more layered and related to childhood trauma and more surprising in general. I think that Stephen King was open to that. When he saw the film I basically wrote a letter to him asking him for forgiveness for having taken so many licenses, especially with the many different incarnations of Pennywise. He said “Don’t worry about it. All the changes are great!” I think he understands adaptations are a different animal. Of course it could go well and it could go bad, but I think in this case he really enjoyed it.
Well, we can’t say we entirely agree – but It was still pretty awesome without the inclusion of Freddy. Read our spoiler-free review of the film here. Listen to our spoiler-filled It Movie Podcast Review Episode here.
What do you think? Would you have liked to of seen Pennywise terrorize as Freddy Krueger in the new It movie? Or would it have been too much? Sound off in the comments!