Father of Jonathan Craven and Jessica Craven.
"The" Elm Street is located in Potsdam, NY (a small town just south of the Canadian border). Craven was a Humanities Professor at Clarkson College, also in Potsdam.
Rumoured to have named his onscreen horror creation Freddy Kruger for a boy who used to bully him in high school.
In 1976 he acted in "Tales That Will Tear Your Heart Out," a project being made under the supervision of friend Roy Frumkes, who was teaching at a state university at that time. Shortly after the filming, the raw stock was mistakingly re-exposed by another student, so both days' shooting were lost.
Donated to the Planned Parenthood/Dream Catchers Foundation charity a auction ten-minute personal phone call and two premiere tickets to his next motion picture, Pulse (2006). He has also donated the original mask from his movie Scream (1996) along with other original props. The auction started June 19, 2002, and the props auction started June 29, 2002.
He was an avid birdwatcher.
His father died when he was four years old.
He was the disc jockey for the campus radio station at Clarkson College, where he was a humanities professor.
He nearly turned down the option to direct the hit Scream (1996) because the first scene with Drew Barrymore reminded him too vividly of the climax sequence of The Last House on the Left (1972), his first film.
Directed a documentary about former president Bill Clinton. Craven and the film crew followed Clinton for three hours into the White House a few days before his departure. (January 2001)
Former son-in-law, composer Michael Maccini.
When actor-producer Robert Evans suffered a stroke May 6, 1998, Craven was having a drink with him in Evans' screening room when he collapsed in front of him. Evans later quipped, "I really scared the shit out of the king of horror."
Co-wrote the screenplay for Pulse (2006) with Vince Gilligan. The script was based on Kiyoshi Kurosawa's original Japanese horror film. Craven and Gilligan scripted the final draft in the fall of 2002 for Miramax's Dimension Films. The production for this film should have started on October 1, 2002, in Los Angeles. In July 2003, Dimension's chairman Bob Weinstein announced that Pulse (2006) would never be produced because it was too similar to The Ring (2002).
Developed the "evil house" premise for the computer game "Wes Craven's Principles of Fear." Although the game won About Game's Bronze Medal award for Interactive Fiction when the prototype was demonstrated at the 1997 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Atlanta, the game was never completed, due to the financial failure of the game's publisher.
Was set to direct Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) but was replaced after creative differences with star Christopher Reeve.
His vision of Freddy Kruger came from a childhood memory. When he was 10 years old, he looked out the window of the apartment he lived in and a drunk man dressed similar to Freddy was looking directly at him and continued to stay there looking at the window for several minutes. This scared him, so, later on, he decided this will be the look for Freddy.
Profiled in "Hollywood Horror from the Director's Chair: Six Filmmakers in the Franchise of Fear" by Simon Wilkinson (McFarland, 2008).
Directed one Oscar-nominated performance: 'Meryl Streep' in Music of the Heart (1999).
He had a highly dysfunctional relationship with his parents, mainly having been raised by his severe, hyper-religious mother, whom he never allowed to watch his films, and never having a close relationship with his distant, violent-tempered father. His mother's judgmental influence caused him to be too terrified to talk to a girl until he was at college and lead him to marry, in his opinion, too young, and arguably contributed to the angry, bleak themes of his early films.
Authored newspaper article about his current, off-the-set downtime entitled "Retirement: Scarier Than Freddy Krueger" in NYTimes. [February 2013]
Based the story of ''A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)'' on a news report about a group of young men who died in their sleep during horrific nightmares despite having no history of health problems and showing no specific cause of death.
Freddy Krueger's appearance (especially the dirty clothes and hat) was inspired by a hobo who Craven saw staring at him through his window one day when he was age 10.
He is the only person to direct more than one film in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994).
His ex-wife went on to marry Tom Chapin, who is a Grammy winning singer songwriter as well as the brother of Harry Chapin, who was also a Grammy winner (for the single "Cat's In The Cradle", 1974). His daughter, Jessica Craven, is part of the singing trio The Chapin Sisters, along with Tom Chapin's other two daughters.
He had English and German ancestry.
He was one of the very few directors mostly famous for the horror genre who never directed or wrote a Stephen King movie.
The Italian Production Chart section of Variety, July 9, 1980, announced filming to start on August 18, 1980, of the film "Marimba" to be directed by Wes Craven, with cast Dirk Benedict, Tim McIntire, Chris Mitchum, to be filmed in Columbia and the US. No evidence the film was ever completed or released.
His first film, 'The Last House on the Left' was a rape shocker and was banned in Britain.
Though he was raised a Baptist by his fundamentalist, faith-based mother, Craven later became a staunch Atheist. Once telling Fangoria magazine that "Formally, I don't believe in God, because I think people's minds are too limited to even have a concept of whether there is a God, and I believe religions have done much more harm than they've done good".