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Moriarty’s BUZZKILL! Who Is (NOT) Playing Freddy Krueger? And BATMAN 3 Again... Already!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. I didn’t say rumors are bad as an absolute. Of course they’re not. Discussion of rumors is a big part of being a movie fan. Has been as long as I’ve been a movie fan. And I would never, under any circumstance, say “never ever listen to a rumor.” That’s just silly, and if that’s what it sounded like I was saying in the last “Buzzkill,” then I’m sorry. Rumors are fun. Rumors inspire people to think imagine what might be down the road for us as movie fans. But when something that’s just not true is getting reported as “fact” everywhere, it can’t hurt to add some perspective to that. I’ve actually heard fans get angry talking about a film because some rumor from before it came out turned out not to be true, and that strikes me as a little crazy. That’s why I’d rather try to offer up a counterpoint to some of these rumors sometimes, instead of just letting them get set in stone. A good example would be this story about Billy Bob Thornton signing on to play Freddy for the new remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Thing is... it’s not true. If you go into any talkback for the last two days, there are dozens of people who have been printing and reprinting that rumor as “fact,” and they’ve been e-mailing us repeatedly as well. The story’s been printed all over the place, and as best as I can source it, everything leads back to some off-hand comment from Robert Englund about how Thornton would be good in the role. But let’s say it was more definite than that. Let’s say Englund specifically said, “Thornton has been signed for the role and absolutely will play it.” He’s still not the producer of the movie. Right now, the studio’s taking a shot at a script draft. Fuller and Form, the most likely producers for the remake, have been campaigning pretty hard to get the gig in the geek press over the last month or so while discussing their upcoming FRIDAY THE 13th reboot. Here’s what I think is more likely. Englund likes the notion of Thornton in the role. I know how fond people are of Englund and his work in the whole series, and I’m sure if they announced Englund was coming back again, fans would be fine with that. I think he developed some really bad habits playing it that many times, and I think by the last thirty-seven films or so, Freddy’s been almost fully defanged. He was a stand-up comic with bad skin, not a genuine monster anymore. But it’s Englund’s role. He’s the one person who has played it, and it’s not like Jason or Michael, which are non-verbal performances. Freddy is all about personality. So if they are going to cast a new actor, I’m sure it will make it easier for Englund to be replaced if it’s an actor as acclaimed as Thornton. In all honestly, I’ve heard that if Fuller and Form are indeed named to produce the film (the earliest point the film would start casting), they’re thinking much, much younger in terms of casting. After all, how many sequels have they made in the series so far? Would you rather start the new series with a 60 year old lead or a 30 year old one? One of the names that keeps coming up when people speculate on casting is Ben Foster, and I’d be willing to bet that’s more in line with the name you’ll actually see signed for the film. For now, I’d guess the Thornton thing has a very, very, very slim likelihood of being true at best. Same thing with that beautiful BATMAN 3 poster that Alex Billington posted over at today. It’s gorgeous, but again... no one’s started any serious development on the next BATMAN film yet. And there are no firm choices made yet on villains. I know several of you mentioned in the last talkback that Nolan and Goyer originally discussed a trilogy before they wrote BEGINS, and that’s true. There were some rough ideas for the shape of things, but nothing’s set in stone, and even in that original idea, they weren’t married to anything. I like the idea of the Riddler in the third film, and I really like the notion this poster sells of the Riddler as Zodiac. It’s great work, and it’s this kind of speculation that can be a lot of fun while you’re waiting for a film to get released. Just don’t confuse fan enthusiasm and speculation with actual fact. Billington just ran the thing this morning because he enjoyed the look of it so much. I totally get it, and I’m glad he did. It’s cool. There are other people sending us links to it as “news,” though, and it’s really not. It’s just a fun thing to add to the pile of “wow, wouldn’t this be fun?” as we wait for real news to kick in next year.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

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