Many have accused comedy superstar Adam Sandler of crimes against cinema before - but this is the first time we can recall that he was held responsible for literally killing someone else’s movie.
Writer-director John McNaughton was at one point attached to make a prequel to ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street,’ but the project never got off the ground - and the filmmaker claims that Sandler’s 2000 flop ‘Little Nicky’ is to blame.
Released at the height of Sandler’s fame in the wake of ‘The Wedding Singer,’ ‘The Waterboy’ and ‘Big Daddy,’ ‘Little Nicky’ cast Sandler as the dim-witted youngest son of Satan, sent to Earth to stop his devious older brothers from wreaking havoc.
It was an unusually big budget comedy at $85 million, and as such a bit of a risk for New Line Cinema. Unfortunately this risk did not pay off, as the poorly received film failed to recoup its budget at the box office.
This, McNaughton claims, prompted a change of heart at New Line over the direction of the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ prequel - set to show how Robert Englund’s Freddy Krueger became an invulnerable dream demon following his crimes as a human - that was in the works at the time.
McNaughton (best known for the notorious ‘Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer’) tells Bloody Disgusting, “ I started thinking about what we haven’t seen before and the idea came of well, where did Freddy come from before he returned in the first picture? Hell.
“Nothing could keep me from going to Hell and the idea of actually setting a story in Hell, that to me, I was just like a pig in s**t.”
However, it seems the critical and commercial failure of the similarly diabolical ‘Little Nicky’ turned New Line off anything with a hellbound angle.
“After [’Little Nicky’] didn’t do too well, New Line didn’t want to go back to Hell. So I basically told them to go to Hell. Just the idea of being under the thumb of the studio and being called on to satisfy genre expectations, it’s not something that would make me happy. They were unwilling to go to Hell with me and it just came apart.”
Instead, New Line would revive Freddy Krueger with 2003′s ‘Friday the 13th’ crossover movie ‘Freddy Vs Jason,’ which also skirted around showing the iconic villain in Hell - and it has been reported that elements of John McNaughton’s prequel treatment were used in the 2010 ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ remake.
Picture Credit: New Line Cinema