It was one year ago today, on May 24, 2016, when what many thought would never happen actually happened as it was officially announced that John Carpenter would return to the franchise he created with his 1978 classic Halloween to serve as Executive Producer of the new Halloween movie that would come from the horror hit-makers at Blumhouse.
In the 12 months since that initial announcement rocked the genre world, more details have slowly emerged, giving us a few clues as to what we should expect from the highly anticipated cinematic return of Michael Myers. Read on for everything we know so far and our analysis of what it all means.
The Return of John Carpenter
Included in that first announcement was the tasty tidbit that Carpenter himself may score the new film, which alone is enough to get most fans frothing at the mouth with excitement for the project. Carpenter added at the time that his son Cody will work with him if he does do the score for this new Halloween movie.
As many have pointed out, Carpenter was also an executive producer of the underwhelming remake of The Fog, but he has said in the past that he had basically no involvement in the development of that project, whereas his input is clearly a vital part of this new Halloween project. It is the biggest aspect of the current project that distinguishes it from other previous failed attempts at getting a new movie into production.
Many doubted a year ago if the new movie would ever actually happen, and plenty of those are still doubting it will happen a year later, but the fact is that the previously cancelled films – which were to at one point be written by Todd Farmer and directed by Patrick Lussier and more recently written by Patrick Melton and directed by Marcus Dunstan – is that those projects were all under the Weinstein brothers’ Dimension Studios, but now we have Blumhouse running the show.
And Blumhouse has never been hotter than it is right now, following the massive successes of Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and Insidious with the critically and fan acclaimed box office hits of Split and Get Out earlier this year. Say what you want about the company but you cannot deny that they know how to make a hit horror film that pleases horror audiences, and it is a huge move in the right direction when their very first step was to get Carpenter back involved.
At a press conference, Carpenter stated, “So… I decided, after bitching for years and years about Halloween sequels, I would come aboard and shepherd this thing. I’ll help, support the director, and since I’m here with Malek Akkad, and the horror superstar Jason Blum, what could go wrong? So, we’re going to give it a try.”
When asked if the new movie would be a new story, a remake, prequel, or sequel, Carpenter answered at the time, “We can’t tell you yet… because we don’t know. …You know what? We’re probably going to go back to the original tradition that we started. It’s kind of gone astray. I feel like the remakes maybe went off somewhere that I didn’t want them to go.”
Carpenter then spoke briefly about The Shape, stating, “Michael Myers is not a character. He is a force of nature. He is not a person. He’s part supernatural, part human. He’s like the wind, an evil wind. If you start straying away from that, and you get into explaining, then you’ve lost. So hopefully we can guide it back in the original direction.”
Reinventing A Classic
All was quiet on the project for most of last year following the announcement that John Carpenter would executive produce, until late fall when Blumhouse’s Jason Blum spoke briefly about his intent to reinvent the Halloween franchise.
“I sat in John’s living room, and I told him that I wanted to reinvent the Halloween film series, and I needed him to be a part of this,” says Blum. “I told him, ‘I’m not excited about doing this without you. I need you, and the fans need you.’”
The prolific producer went on to explain his desire to take on such an iconic genre franchise, stating, “I was excited by the challenge of reinventing a great horror title like Halloween. I want to go back to the basics, to what made the 1978 film so effective and scary.”
A New Direction
On the morning of February 9, 2017, Jason Blum sent out an ominous tweet that read “You’ll see. It’s going to be worth the wait,” very subtly suggesting something big was coming later that day, and he did not disappoint. That evening John Carpenter posted the news we had all been waiting for on his Facebook page, revealing that David Gordon Green (Stronger, Our Brand Is Crisis, Joe, Pineapple Express) would direct the new Halloween movie from a script written by Green and Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals, Alien: Covenant).
Immediately there were expected outcries of “Danny McBride? The guy who played Kenny Powers? Isn’t he a comedy guy? What does he know about horror?” These unbelievably close-minded comments were (and still are) especially frustrating considering that this announcement came out just as “comedy guy” Jordan Peele’s horror film Get Out was earning raves from critics and genre fans alike. Others (like myself) found this choice for the writing and directing team to be unexpectedly inspired and refreshing, giving way to even more high hopes for the project.
In his Facebook post announcing the news, Carpenter said, “David and Danny both came to my office recently with Jason Blum and shared their vision for the new movie and…WOW. They get it. I think you’re gonna dig it. They blew me away.”
Since then, McBride and Green have described pitching their idea to Carpenter and have stated what big fans they are of the original Halloween. While revealing little, McBride has been asked numerous times about the project, and he has consistently maintained that they will take Halloween back its roots and make Michael Myers scary again.
It has even been suggested that Myers will be less supernatural and more of a real, believable threat, and they could likely just ignore the whole sibling subplot that Carpenter introduced in 1981’s Halloween II, a reveal he has said he himself is not especially proud of.
I feel that the only thing left to do with Michael Myers is exactly what it sounds like Green and McBride are attempting to do, which is to take the Boogeyman back to the way he was in the 1978 original, an escaped mental patient in a mask stalking a 17-year-old girl for no apparent reason other than she was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The only “supernatural” elements to that original film are confined to the rantings of Dr. Loomis and of course that final scene when Myers disappears after being shot six times and falling off the Doyle house balcony. Keeping the backstory and explanations for the killings to a minimal is the right way to go, as is putting Michael back into the shadows, both literally and figuratively.
Release Date Targeted
When Carpenter dropped the news that Green and McBride had joined Team Halloween, he also revealed the film’s targeted release date to be October 19, 2018, a date that is significant for a number of reasons but mostly because it will be the first Halloween film to actually open in theaters around the Halloween holiday since Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers in 1989.
The date is also significant because October of 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the theatrical release of the original Halloween in October 1978.
And many fans have also noticed a third factor that makes the date significant, as October 19, 1957 is actually Michael Myers’ birthday, according to the franchise’s admittedly confusing canon.
Recent statements from Danny McBride seem to confirm what many of us have hoped, that filming will take place this fall, rather than in another season when the leaves would have to be strategically placed inside each frame, as was this case with Carpenter’s original. This is more welcome news in the right direction, suggesting that we will see a movie filmed in the fall, taking place in the fall, and released in the fall just in time for Halloween.
Indeed, He is coming home in more ways than one in October 2018.
The Hype Begins
We are still well over a year away from that release date, but Blumhouse is wasting no time in working on the marketing and official product tie-ins that will come with the new movie, attending the annual Licensing Expo on Las Vegas this week, where a very early piece of promo art was on display in the form of a teaser poster that recalls Carpenter’s minimalist approach to the original film and echoes the team’s comments about taking the franchise back to basics.
Blumhouse Director of Development Ryan Turek has commented on an Instagram post, “I assure you the art is not indicative of the film we are making,” confirming that it doesn’t mean a whole lot, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be excited to see it nonetheless. After all, none of the prior Halloween projects that were in the works got quite this far, so at the very least it is yet more encouragement that a new Michael Myers movie is actually going to get made.
So to recap what we know so far, Halloween 2018 (“H40”?) will be directed by David Gordon Green from a screenplay by he and McBride. John Carpenter will executive produce and may also score the film, with Malek Akkad producing for Trancas and Jason Blum producing for Blumhouse. Green and McBride will also executive produce under their Rough House Pictures banner. Zanne Devine and David Thwaites will oversee for Miramax, which is co-financing with Blumhouse.
The new Halloween is scheduled for theatrical release on October 19, 2018.
Check out the promo art below and give us your thoughts!
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