News circulated recently about the existence of an unused Nightmare on Elm Street script that went up for auction on eBay. It was a prequel penned by John Saxon, the actor who played Lt. Thompson, Nancy’s father, in the original Nightmare, directed by Wes Craven and released in 1984. The script includes some creative innovations that, if implemented, would have drastically changed Krueger’s backstory.
The folks at WeGotThisCovered released a detailed synopsis of the script, which is absolutely worth a read, HERE. But we were excited to reveal a couple twists that blew our minds. First and foremost: Freddy Krueger is innocent.
In the prequel, it’s 1968 and 5-year-old Nancy’s older sister “Betsy” runs away to join a hippy commune. When she returns to Springwood, Lt. Thompson takes her to see a psychiatrist named Freddy Krueger. When Betsy turns up dead, slashed with a custom stabbing device, Krueger is an immediate suspect. Fear and mob mentality combine into an explosive concoction when the residents of Springwood take matters into their own hands, leading to Krueger’s fiery demise.
Here’s the kicker: Betsy had actually joined The Manson Family when she ran away, and they murdered her for quitting the cult. Krueger was innocent! The dispatching of the Elm Street children is his method of revenge, but it also makes clear that the true objects of his hatred are the parents. He doesn’t hate the kids he kills, he just wants their parents to suffer!
In summation: Krueger was innocent before he was killed and the true identity of The Springwood Slasher is, by proxy, Charles Manson. What I love about this story is that it only disrupts the continuity of the canonical story-arch in non-essential ways. His occupation would need to shift from Janitor to Psychiatrist, and the backstory involving his wife and daughter would need amending, but adding The Manson Family to the mythology would have been extremely compelling.
We’ll never know how seriously the script was considered, but it’s an amazing window into what could have been. What do you guys think about Saxon’s unused prequel? Let’s discuss in the Comments section!