After 15 years away, Robert Englund is getting ready to make his triumphant return as Freddy Krueger. It's happening in a bit of an unexpected place, as the horror icon will make his way to the small screen on the upcoming Halloween episode of The Goldbergs. But it's no less exciting. Now, the show's creator Adam F. Goldberg has explained how he made this dream come true for a great many horror fans out there. Himself included.
The episode, titled very appropriately as Mister Knifey-Hands, is set to air next week. In advance of the episode, Adam F. Goldberg released a statement, not only proclaiming his excitement for the return of Freddy, but also explaining how it came to pass. Here's what Goldberg had to say about it.
"Convincing Robert Englund to come out of retirement to play Freddy Krueger one last time is a true bucket-list moment for me as a writer. I've been a longtime obsessive fan, collecting Freddy artwork and action figures. It took me months to convince Robert to revisit the character. Luckily, his manager Joe Rice is a big Goldbergs fan and helped me convince Robert that the world needed to see Freddy one last time. The moment Robert read the scene, I envisioned he recognized that I was a true fan who knew the voice of Freddy. On our first call when we went over the script, I told him 'of course I knew how to write lines for Freddy. He traumatized me as a child and is burned into my brain!'"
Freddy Krueger last graced us with his presence in 2003's Freddy vs. Jason. In many ways, watching Freddy duke it out with Jason Voorhees at Camp Crystal Lake, despite what some may think of the movie as a whole, was a fitting way to see Robert Englund retire his version of the horror icon, putting the original A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise to sleep forever. But that doesn't mean the desire to see him return wasn't there.
Unlike other horror icons such as Michael Myers and the aforementioned Jason, Freddy can't hide behind a mask. That's not to say the person under that mask isn't important, but Freddy isn't just some lumbering killer. Robert Englund is Freddy. It's almost impossible to separate the two. But at 71-years-old, it's understandably much more difficult for him to do what's required for the role these days. But Adam F. Goldberg's passion got the deal done. Goldberg added that this whole episode is actually based on his own experience as a kid, having been scared to death after seeing A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.
"Watching Robert spend four hours getting back into makeup and bringing our script to life was a true dream and by far a highlight of the show for our cast and crew. The story in this episode is actually true, after I saw Elm Street 3, I didn't sleep for a week and my mom was beside herself and desperate to fix the problem."
This, in all likelihood, is going to be last time Robert Englund suits up as Freddy Krueger in any medium. Enjoy it while you can, horror lovers. The Goldbergs Halloween episode airs this Wednesday, October 24, on ABC.