Director set for new 'Nightmare'

Samuel Bayer comes aboard horror-pic reimagining

With Jason poised to return to the big screen this weekend, Freddy Krueger may not be far behind.

New Line and Platinum Dunes have tapped director Samuel Bayer to reimagine their prized "Nightmare on Elm Street" property and could begin shooting as early as the spring.

As a first-time director, Bayer is a slightly unconventional choice to remake the Wes Craven classic. But the Endeavor-repped helmer is renowned for his commercials and music videos, many of them iconic.

Those videos include Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Blind Melon's "No Rain," featuring the famous girl in a bumblebee costume. He also  has won best director at the MTV Video Music Awards and a host of CLIO awards.

The Michael Bay-run Platinum Dunes has sought out Bayer for films before -- he is attached to direct a thriller for Platinum Dunes called "Fiasco Heights" at Universal -- but he's turned down more than he's accepted, particularly on the horror front.

This time around, though, the parties came to a deal, with producers feeling strongly the helmer was the man to give their film a fresh visual look.
Next up for the project is the casting of Krueger. While Internet rumors have swirled about the casting, about the only sure thing is that Robert Englund, who played Krueger in the franchise's original go-round, won't reprise his role.

Platinum Dunes' Brad Fuller and Andrew Form are joining Bay in producing "Nightmare," which this year hits its 25th anniversary.
Unlike other reboots of classic horror franchises that synthesize plot lines from several films, this one, insiders said, will feature a strong element of the first picture, in which Krueger famously began haunting teenagers' dreams, attacking them violently in their subconscious in ways that resulted in their real-life deaths.

Wesley Strick, who was behind such chillfests as "Cape Fear" and "Arachnophobia," was first attached to write. Eric Heisserer penned the next draft.

New Line releases "Friday the 13th," another classic horror franchise that Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne pioneered in the 1980s, this weekend.