Color me sad – and more than just a little disappointed – to learn that the enormously talented Jackie Earle Haley will be playing Freddy Krueger in the forthcoming reboot of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. I certainly wouldn’t begrudge him getting a chance to make a good living; God knows the guy struggled in obscurity for years before he was cast as the icky sex offender in Little Children, the 2006 movie that earned him a well-deserved Oscar nod. (And how did he follow such a terrific performance? By giving an even better one as Rorschach in Watchmen!) But it’s with a heavy heart that I see Haley being rewarded for playing (and nailing) such risky, complex characters with the “opportunity” to reinterpret Freddy. Dang, why isn’t Haley the go-to man for villainous (and respectable!) roles in Iron Man 2 or even The Green Lantern? Heck, I’d even be fine with Warner Bros. finding him a part alongside his Watchmen costar Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Losers, a big screen take on the DC-Vertigo comic.
What do you think? Is Hollywood underestimating Haley? Or is he right to go where the work – and money – is?