- B-Team Sequel: Wes Craven refused to work on this film because he never wanted or intended to have the first film become an ongoing franchise (and even wanted it to have a happy ending). He also didn't like the idea of Freddy manipulating the protagonist into committing the murders. Heather Langenkamp was never asked or even considered for the producers to return to this sequel. Of the entire cast of the previous movie, Robert Englund is the only actor who returned. This would rarely be repeated for the rest of the franchise (only happening again in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare), which would always do its best to rescue living characters from previous films.
- Creator Backlash:
- In an interview in 1987, Robert Englund says he likes the beginning and end of this movie, but that he has problems with the second act of the plot. Years later, he admits on the Never Sleep Again documentary that he didnt have that many positive experiences working on the film and even felt that the atmosphere was off when shooting it, lamenting that he had the least fond memories with this entry.
- Rachel Talalay, who worked behind the scenes of the first four movies and directed Freddy's Dead, admits that the script, while interesting, had many basic problems that were not fixed due to the rushed production. In particular, she criticizes the fact that the film does not have a female protagonist and that it is difficult to make Freddy Krueger scary when you see him in the real world interacting with dozens of people at the same time (a feeling shared by Wes Craven and the film's cinematographer).
- Disowned Adaptation: Wes Craven made it no secret that he didnt like this movie, critiquing the script for being substandard and it taking too many liberties with Freddys characterization and the lore established in the first film.
- The Other Marty: If you can believe it, Robert Englund was not initially asked to return as Freddy, because New Line thought they'd be able to use any old stuntman for the part and thus be able to pay him on the cheap. Within a week of filming, it was clear that the stuntman in question (whose name has never been publicly stated) was not up to the task; his movements have been described as more akin to Frankenstein's Monster than Freddy, and absolutely lifeless. He was fired and replaced with Englund, but a small bit of his footage remains in the shower scene. It works out well, since that scene is actually supposed to be Jesse doing the kill anyway.
- Star-Derailing Role: Mark Patton hoped that this film would be his big break. Three problems, though: Patton was gay, the film was dripping with Homoerotic Subtext, and at the height of the AIDS crisis homophobia ran rampant. Once people picked up on the gay subtext, it became much harder for Patton to convincingly remain in the closet, and his career was ruined. He only did a couple of TV roles afterwards before quitting acting and moving to Mexico. The documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street goes into detail on Patton's experiences with making the film and its aftermath.
- Throw It In!: The line "You've got the body... I've got the brains." was Robert Shaye's idea.
- Troubled Production:
- It started with the fact that the movie was greenlit the very weekend the first Nightmare came out. This may seem like standard procedure for sequel greenlighting nowadays, but back then, it was virtually unheard of, especially if this was an R-rated horror film. This resulted in a rushed production.
- Then there was Wes Craven not wanting to return, admitting to never wanting to direct a sequel of the first movie. He did at least agree to consider directing the second film, but eventually backed out after hating the script that had been written without his involvement. He was replaced by Jack Sholder, who had acted as the de facto second unit director on the first film.
- Heather Langenkamp was never asked to return to this sequel, and according to the producers, they had not even considered bringing Nancy Thompson back to this movie at any point in pre-production. She would finally return to the franchise in parts 3 and 7.
- Not making matters better was that Robert Englund also wasn't even asked to return as Freddy. A random extra was hired... But within a week of filming, it was clear that the stuntman in question was not up to the task; his movements have been described as more akin to Frankenstein's Monster than Freddy, and absolutely lifeless. He was fired and replaced with Englund, but a small bit of his footage remains in the shower scene. Englund also admitted that although he liked some parts of the movie, he also had problems with the script.
- Actual filming went smoothly for the most part, although Mark Patton had large objections to the infamous "Touch Me" dance scene. While Patton was himself gay, he thought the scene was too gay even for him. He did his own choreography, which was far less campy than originally planned. Additionally, the climactic pool party massacre had actors not knowing when explosions were to go off — nobody was acting in that scene, their scared reactions were absolutely real.
- Fortunately, the film was a box office success and managed to gross more than its predecessor, but wasn't anywhere near as well received, with fans claiming the film broke a lot of what was set as rules in the first, namely that Freddy spent too much time in the outside world and that Freddy using others to kill for him went against the idea of his character. Fortunately, this forced Wes Craven to return for the next film, albeit as a writer.
- What Could Have Been:
- Brad Pitt and Christian Slater auditioned for the role of Jesse Walsh. Michael J. Fox was also considered, but he was busy with Back to the Future and Teen Wolf.
- The exploding parakeet's designer had initially made a demonic version of it for its scene. It was thought to look more silly than scary, so it was scrapped and replaced with a realistic puppet.
- In the original script, the ending on the bus is different: instead of a random female friend, Lisa is who would be possessed by Freddy and would attack Jesse in the final scene.
Trivia / A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge