Some investigative work by Bloody-Disgusting has revealed that the U.S. rights for A Nightmare on Elm Street are seemingly back where they belong. Thanks to the Copyright Act, the Wes Craven estate has quietly reacquired the rights to the first film and its razor-gloved slasher, Freddy Krueger. This means we could end up seeing Freddy in some shape or form down the line without a fight from a third party, which has famously kept Friday the 13th in a brutal legal battle for years now.
The Copyright Act states that it "allows authors to take back the copyright they have sold or bargained away, upon the fulfillment of various requirements." One such requirement is the passage of a 35 year period, which 2019 marks for the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. However, it is assumed that these rights are only reserved for the United States. It is believed that Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema still control the international rights to the Elm Street franchise, which is how the rights for Friday the 13th currently stand.
As for what this could mean for the future of A Nightmare on Elm Street, its unclear at the moment. The estate of Wes Craven did not make a big deal when they legally took back the U.S. rights earlier this year. Fans are obviously hoping for a new project, preferably with Robert Englund back as Freddy Krueger one last time. The actor has stated many times over the past few years that he would like to show up one more time and possibly pass the torch to a new actor. Englund has also said that taking on the role again would be a massive physical undertaking, one that he's unsure if he could do as he is now 72-years old.
As for the actor who Robert Englund would like to see take his place, he has mentioned Kevin Bacon on more than one occasion. Bacon loves horror movies and Englund believes he's the perfect choice since he won't be able to do another eight Elm Street movies. Englund has a sense of humor about coming back, but horror fans are taking this very seriously and want to see him back for at least one more ride as the iconic Freddy Krueger.
While the Wes Craven estate now holds the U.S. rights for A Nightmare on Elm Street, there could possibly be some more hurdles. Friday the 13th writer Victor Miller was able to finally secure the rights of his story back to him after the 35 years, but the movie's director Sean Cunningham is disputing it. This currently has everything at a standstill, which could also easily happen with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. For now, it's nice to know that the U.S. rights are back with Wes Craven's family where they belong.