Famed music vid helmer set to revisit 'Nightmare'

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New Line and Platinum Dunes on Wednesday tapped director Samuel Bayer to re- imagine the studio's "A Nightmare on Elm Street" property.

The choice is somewhat unconventional; Bayer has not directed a feature but is an acclaimed music video director, He is responsible for such iconic clips as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Blind Melon's "No Rain," featuring the famous girl in a bumblebee costume. The Endeavor-repped helmer has won best director at the MTV Video Music Awards and directed a host of Clio-winning commercials..

The Michael Bay-run Platinum Dunes and other producers have sought Bayer for films — he is attached to direct the Universal thriller "Fiasco Heights" — but he has turned down more than he has accepted. This time, though, the parties came to a deal, with producers feeling strongly that Bayer is the man to give their film a fresh visual look.

Next up for New Line and Platinum Dunes, which hope to shoot in the spring or summer, is the casting of Freddy Krueger. Internet rumors have swirled, but one known thing is that Robert Englund, who played Krueger in the franchise's original go-round, will not reprise his role.

Insiders also have said the new movie will not synthesize plot lines from various "Elm" films but rather hew closely to the first pic — the Wes Craven creation that laid out the mythology of Krueger, a claw-handed child killer who slays teenagers in their sleep.

New Line is set to release this weekend "Friday the 13th," another classic horror franchise pioneered during the 1980s by Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne. A lot has changed since the studio released the first Jason film in 1980 and the first "Elm" pic four years later, including the fact that, with the rise of the Web, fans track production news closely.

Fan sites have parsed "Elm" news with varying degrees of enthusiasm since the project was announced in early 2008 and since a writer with a pedigree for chills — Wesley Strick, who penned "Cape Fear" and "Arachnophobia" — came aboard in the summer. Bayer's hiring continues that trend and shows that even when a property originates during the 1980s, reaction to it can feel very 2009. (partialdiff)
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