One of the most remarkable missed opportunities in Hollywood history revolves around the notion that Robert Englund, the star of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” had a shot at playing Luke Skywalker in the 1977 blockbuster “Star Wars.”
While this isn’t quite akin to the Eric Stoltz situation where a film was already in production and had to make changes, the mere proximity of an iconic actor and an iconic character that seemingly don’t align is undeniably intriguing. Englund recently shared the story in a conversation with People, aiming for clarity and brevity due to a previous abridged version of the tale going viral, which prompted Mark Hamill to rectify some misconceptions.
During the time he hoped to secure a role in “Apocalypse Now,” a film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, a casting agent suggested to Englund that he should audition for the “space movie they were casting across the hall.” Englund recounts that nothing transpired beyond them taking a Polaroid photo of him and sending him on his way. However, the name “Luke Skywalker” caught his attention, as he considered it to be “the coolest name in the world.”
Interestingly, Englund went on to recommend Hamill for the role, although Hamill later revealed that his agent had already submitted him as a candidate by then.
“As a character actor, I never thought of it for myself, but when I returned to my apartment, there was Mark with a Heineken in his hand, watching Bob Newhart. I told him about it, and he immediately picked up the phone to call his agent,” Englund shared with People. “Now, his agent, she may have already put him up for the role,” Englund recalls. “That might be true, I don’t know. But I do know that Mark hadn’t heard about it yet, and I did tell him, and he made the call. That’s the story.”
In the captivating book “Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story,” readers are granted a glimpse into the life of a classically trained actor and director who ultimately became one of the most groundbreaking horror icons of our generation. Englund’s journey to superstardom was solidified through his portrayal of the supernatural serial killer Freddy Krueger in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. This intimate and extraordinary portrait delves into the man behind the infamous glove, featuring interviews with Englund, his wife Nancy, Lin Shaye, Eli Roth, Tony Todd, Heather Langenkamp, and more.
Be sure to stay updated on the latest developments regarding the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. You can stream “Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story” on Screambox and Digital HD.
Covering superheroes, anything dark, horror, and more! Lead writer for Fan Fest