H40: 40 Years of Terror was purely and simply the ultimate Halloween franchise reunion, with numerous panels throughout the weekend, including a standing-room-only Q&A with the creators of the new Halloween movie.
The panel included director David Gordon Green, producers Malek Akkad and Ryan Turek, makeup FX and mask artists Christopher Nelson and Vincent Van Dyke, and art director Sean White, as well as Rhian Rees, who plays Dana in the film, and the new Michael Myers himself, James Jude Courtney, moderated by Steve “Uncle Creepy” Barton.
Akkad discussed how it was when Dimension Films, owned by Harvey Weinstein, lost the rights to the Halloween franchise in 2015 that opened the door for discussions with Blumhouse Productions to begin and proved to be the defining moment that ultimately led to Halloween 2018 becoming a reality.
He also talked about how his father, Moustapha Akkad, the godfather of the Halloween franchise, would feel today.
“To see where it is now, he would just be the happiest guy,” said Akkad. “He fought for a long time, taking a lot of chances, to start the franchise and to keep it going against a lot of odds, and he really honestly did it because he loved the fans. …I can guarantee you no one would be happier than him right now.”
Nelson revealed that a 1978 version of the Myers mask was created for the film, but was never used after a planned prologue that would have re-shot the original Halloween‘s final scene was canceled.
Green explained that the prologue flashback was canceled due mostly to budgetary and time constraints, and also the fact that executive producer and composer John Carpenter told him the new film would not need to recap the original because we everyone has seen it, “and if they haven’t, they should.”
Courtney also discussed what he brought to the character of The Shape, explaining that he did not intellectualize the character but rather tapped into to Michael’s very real “space” in the universe that Carpenter and Nick Castle created 40 years ago.
At one point, the original Shape, Nick Castle, who reprises the role briefly in the film, made a surprise appearance at the panel, coming up from the audience to shake Courtney’s hand. “Are they doing okay?” Castle asked the audience, before disappearing as quickly as he had appeared, in true Michael Myers style.
You can watch highlights from the Halloween 2018 panel at H40: Forty Years of Terror below.
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