It was no easy feat for 2018’s Halloween to fix the series, with the movie undoing the lore established by a string of sequels and retconning everything that occurred after the first film. However, 2018’s reboot was a huge success critically and commercially, and with Halloween Kills on the way, there is no better time for the creators of the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise to attempt the same approach for their much-missed slasher. Bringing back Halloween heroine Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode was an expensive but worthwhile investment that made 2018’s reboot a definitive restart for the troubled franchise, which is part of why Elm Street’s potential reboot needs to do the same with Heather Langenkamp’s Nancy.
Whether it was to retcon Laurie being Michael’s sister, to give the character a clearer arc than the previous sequels/reboots/remake had allowed or just to reignite fan interest, 2018’s Halloween needed the original Laurie to work. A Nightmare On Elm Street’s 2010 remake was as critically derided as Rob Zombie’s ‘00s attempt to re-do the series, and the Elm Street franchise now needs Langenkamp’s return to offer a solid relaunch for the series. As proven by both failed remakes, the approach of retelling the original story does not appeal to audiences, and a direct sequel that brings back a character other than Freddy gives longtime fans someone to root for beyond the villain. Furthermore, centering Langenkamp’s resourceful original final girl Nancy would allow a Nightmare On Elm Street reboot to make Freddy scary again since the character would not need to amuse audiences with wisecracks if viewers have a compelling protagonist to root for.
Not only did Langenkamp star in both the original Nightmare On Elm Street and the second sequel, Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (widely agreed to be one of the best, if not the best, sequel), she also played herself in New Nightmare, showcasing her range while still fulfilling the Final Girl role with aplomb. At 57, she is still cameo-ing in indie horror efforts, proving that the actor would likely be game for a direct sequel that rebooted the series and introduced a new generation to Freddy. Meanwhile, her status as one of the first teens to survive Freddy would make his impetus to hunt down teens more cruel and reprehensible than his original quest for revenge. With Langenkamp’s screen parents presumably by now being long dead, the generation Freddy wanted to seek vengeance on for murdering him would be gone, and the character would now be killing for the fun of it—a scarier, more sadistic prospect for a new entry to follow on from.