Haley earned major props for his portrayal of the uncompromising vigilante Rorschach in Watchmen and now he's turning his attention to a less critically acclaimed but more well-known property: A Nightmare on Elm Street. Haley will take on the title role of Freddy Krueger, a vicious serial killer who has the power to murder people through their dreams.
"Looking at his performance in Watchmen, here's a guy playing a character under a mask yet you feel tremendous empathy for him," said Nighmare on Elm Street director Sam Bayer. "And in Nightmare, he is going to be under prosthetic make-up. You have to feel something for the character. The greatest villains are multi-dimensional and I think he will bring that to the character."
Haley's selection as Freddy is the latest step in a return to the acting business that has been nothing less than meteoric. He worked regularly as a child actor throughout the 1970s, appearing in everything from The Partridge Family and The Love Boat to Damnation Alley and The Bad News Bears, but his appearances became more sporadic throughout the 1980s and by the early 90s he had completely fallen off the radar. With his acting career apparently over, he worked at jobs including limousine driver and pizza delivery before being unexpectedly cast in the 2006 films Little Children and All the King's Men, roles which brought him solid reviews and launched him on a comeback.
Bayer said he's not worried that Haley will end up typecast by the role the way the original Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund, was. "It's what you bring to the material," Bayer said. "He's a well-rounded actor who will not be stereotyped by this. If anything, he'll be celebrated for it."
The "re-imagined" Nightmare on Elm Street begins filming in May and is scheduled to hit screens in April 2010.
Trivia Time: Did you know the original Nightmare on Elm Street, released in 1984, was Johnny Depp's very first film? Totally true!