Wes Craven, the man who created Freddy Krueger, has died aged 76 after a battle with brain cancer. One of the most terrifying men in cinema, Craven reinvented the horror genre multiple times, from The Last House on the Left in 1972 to A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984 and then the Scream series in 1996.
Craven drew on a number of inspirations for the knife-fingered Freddy Krueger, including his own childhood – his iconic villain was named after a schoolyard bully. Craven wrote and directed the first film (starring a then-unknown Jonny Depp), then contributed to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors before returning to the writer/director chair for Wes Craven’s New Nightmare in 1994.
Two years later, the Scream series was a box-office smash, spoofing the teen horror genre that Craven himself had pioneered. Four films were made, with plans for a fifth and sixth scrapped after production issues with Scream 4. Instead, a television spin-off series was created in 2014, with Craven onboard as Executive Producer. The series was renewed for a second season on July 29, 2015.
Craven is survived by his wife, Iya Labunka, and his two children from a previous marriage.
Earlier this year, we spoke to Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, about his experiences as a horror icon.