CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON IV'S A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET SCRIPT EXCERPTS
A Nightmare on Elm Street Script Excerpts by Christopher Johnson (IV)
Since the release of the Elm Street Teaser Trailer, I have received several emails asking to read the version of the reboot script that I conceived. While I'm not going to post the entire screenplay, I am happy to post two sequences here that are most similar to Wes Craven's original, upon which my "reboot" is based.
This is merely a first draft. It takes place in contemporary times and utilizes the characters and setting of Craven's original. It may surprise you to know that his original film/script takes place in the San Fernando Valley, Ca and you can even see palm trees in the original film. I have also placed the local of this reboot in the San Fernando Valley. While I LOVE Springwood, I am a purist with regard to some of the details and this is one of them... along with the sweater with the "red only" sleeves, the delicate armatured glove from part 1 and the idea that Freddy is a child killer (not molestor) and is not very funny at all.
Though the prologue is very similar to Craven't original, the sequece following at the high-school (not posted here) and evening at Tina's varies from Craven't original script, though still embodies the style and intent of his storytelling.
LET ME STATE EMPHATICALLY: I love the original Elm Street!!!! I still watch it. There is no need to improve upon that film. However, these "reboots" happen and as both a professional in the film industry (going on 20 years) and an Elm Street "fan," I felt that the most appropriate way to create a reboot - if not by the original artists - would be to have someone completely passionate about the material and who "gets it" make the thing.
Additionally, if you are going to do a reboot, I think it is absolutely necessary to both respect the original source material while advancing the narrative significantly -- SIGNIFICANTLY. This means some advancements in Freddy, Nancy's family and the mythology of the story.
You may note in the second excerpt that Tina attempts to "turn her back" on Freddy mirroring the climax of Craven's original film, though here it fails. This is because I felt the need to reintroduce this concept early to tragic result and set up the audience to wonder how the final conflict will resolve if THIS methodology fails. I won't be posting the ending, but will tell you that it takes Wes' final conflict and turns it up to 11, so to speak. If I didn't love it so much, I would post it here -- but I don't want anyone "borrowing" that plot resolution.
Perhaps someday I will find a way to bring this entire script to the screen. I believe we Elm Street fans seek -- the ultimate Freddy/Nancy experience -- and it remains to be seen if that will occur with the Reboot already in progress. I hope for good things.
To answer a few questions I have received:
Q) Will Freddy ALWAYS be on fire? A) He won't always be "flaming up," so to speak, but he will aways be in some state of smouldering.
Q) We know he burned to death, is it necessary to have him on fire at all? A) It is as necessary or unnecessary as having him appear in burn make-up throughout the picture. In my screenplay, there is a very specific reason why he is burned to death (beyond the obvious crimes he has committed) and I find that to complete this version of the mythology fully, it requires him being in that state a majority of the time.
Q) Is there back story in your script? A) There is no back story per se, but there are flashes of different portions of Freddy's life which Nancy sees almost as vignettes -- through the pipes in the boiler room. The boiler room in my version contains many aspects of Freddy's life and memories, though the only "Freddy" that is dangerous there is the burned incarnation... the rest are ghost images.
Q) Isn't it impossible for a blade to be so hot it cauterizes the wounds and sets someone on fire? Wouldn't that be supernatural and give away that it's Freddy killing people? A) Okay -- well, it's also impossible for killers to come back in your dreams and kill you -- so yeah, both would fall under the supernatural umberella... though throughout this script the deaths are disguised by various natural phenomenon that throw most people off from the reality with the exception of LT. Thompson and the Pathologist. They don't necessarily believe it's Freddy, but they are concerned about a possible copycat once Rod is found dead.
Q) Is Freddy Fat in the teaser? A) No. The Freddy in this incarnation, with boots and hat is easily 6'5". Freddy is also much more muscular. In fact, I'm quite slender, and around 6'2". The body suit and sweater are all designed to give additional bulk to the character to create a larger force of nature -- fast, mean, and elementally dangerous. The prosthetics I am wearing add easily 1 - 1.5 inches to the diameter of my head and neck as well -- I needed this to get the deep recesses in some cases. Upon completing the teaser, I have concluded that if I were to go on to make this into a feature, I would split the difference and make him larger, but not quite as large as in the teaser.
Q) If you could, would you rather have Robert Englund play Freddy as opposed to you, and would you want Wes Craven involved? A) The only reason I did the Elm Street Teaser was because I felt that someone passionate about the material had to (attempt) to take up the mantle and respectfully build on what Craven and Englund created. I had heard (and was disappointed that) they weren't going to be involved. To answer directly, Robert Englund IS Freddy and who wouldn't want him to play Krueger -- I would as well. I would rather focus on the writing and directing. And the same goes for Wes Craven. Without a doubt I would have wanted him to be involved and wanted his blessing before doing a feature about his characters. I hold each in very high regard.
Now, just for the record -- this screenplay has been written as if you don't know who or what Freddy is. So, he is described in several ways in the text -- to clarify, he is called Man, Shovelling Man, Burning Man, Killer and eventually Freddy. It's not complicated, but I thought I would head off any questions regarding this at the forefront.
Thank you for visiting my little Elm Street world here. I sincerely hope you enjoy the script excerpts. (and I apologize for any off formatting -- the conversion to display these is a little wonky.)
All my best,
- Christopher Johnson (IV)
EXCERPT #2 -- TINA'S DEATH SEQUNCE AND AFTERMATH
This sequence demonstrates the affect this incarnation of Freddy has on his victims. Though not all the deaths in my script end in this kind of "massive fire damage," it is definitely one of the side effects of his molten and tortured soul.
While it is not outlined in this screenplay, I will tell you that my Freddy is created at the moment of his death -- in the throws of being consumed by and inhaling fire. I won't go into details here, but suffice it to say that there IS a reaon that the parents chose to burn him to death after the discovery of his crimes as opposed to shooting him or beating him to death. But enough of this -- here are the pages to Tina's death sequence.