Jackie Earle Haley ‘Curious’ About Becoming New Freddy Kreuger

Movie geeks spent months talking about how cool it would be to see Michael Chiklis as The Thing, and sure enough, he got cast in “Fantastic Four.” Samuel L. Jackson went out of his way to lobby George Lucas, and he wound up in the prequels. Now, there’s a new geek-fueled movement afoot – and one “Watchmen” star couldn’t be more flattered.

With the enormous opening of “Friday the 13th,” Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners have moved on to their next re-imagining, “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” And as we pointed out in a recent article they’re looking for someone to replace Robert Englund as Freddy – and some vocal fans think Jackie Earle Haley would be perfect for the role.

“You know, I did hear about that just recently,” the Oscar-nominee smiled when we asked him about the Freddy rumors recently. “A lot of people have been asking me.”

And although rumors that he was near signing on the dotted line appear to be false, Haley is more than willing to talk to Bay and his team if they want to contact him.

“You know,” he said with a grin. “I’m curious.”

In many ways, the casting would make sense. Haley is only slightly older than Englund was when he first took over the Freddy role, has a nonexistent hairline that would make the Freddy makeup easier, and resurrected his career (with “Little Children”) playing a deranged-but-somewhat-sympathetic man who preyed on kids.

“I personally would love to see him as Freddy Krueger,” added Haley’s “Watchmen” co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan. “I can’t think of anyone else that could pull it off.”

As for whether Haley would find it intimidating to step into the striped sweater and fedora of horror icon Englund, the actor explained: “I just have to say I have no idea; I’m so busy trying to still reconcile Rorschach,” he laughed, citing the nature of his psychotic superhero. “I’m curious about [‘Nightmare’], but I don’t know.”

To make the Freddy thing even more of a possibility, Morgan reminded us of the reason Haley was cast as Rorschach in “Watchmen”: Because the fans wanted it!

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Morgan marveled. “The fans starting a rumor about this, just like the Rorschach thing.”

“Yeah,” Haley grinned, appreciative of his vocal fanbase. “It’s crazy.”

What do you think? Does Jackie Earle Haley have what it takes to play Freddy?