After almost playing the iconic role of Michael Myers in what was at one time going to be Halloween Returns, Douglas Tait finally realized a life-long dream when he was asked to work with James Jude Courtney and double for certain inserted moments in a few key scenes in the new sequel Halloween Kills, and we recently talked to Douglas about how much it means to him to get behind the mask on screen, joining the Halloween franchise legacy, and more.
In our exclusive new video interview, Tait speaks for the first time ever about how close he was to being officially cast as The Shape in director Marcus Dunstan and writer Patrick Melton’s Halloween Returns, a fully announced film that was actively in development in 2015 before the franchise severed ties with Harvey Weinstein’s Dimension Films. He tells HDN, “I never signed a contract or anything, but Malek (Akkad) was like, ‘You’re my guy.’ That’s all I needed to hear. And then time passed, and I was like, ‘What is going on with this project?’ And it kind of just faded away. I was devastated.
On the ultimate demise of Halloween Returns and the franchise’s divorce from Dimension, Douglas explains, “What I heard was that Harvey Weinstein, who we all know now is a terrible person, he was causing all these issues. And he wanted to film it in Eastern Europe, and he wanted change this and he wanted to change that, and he didn’t give a shit about the franchise. He didn’t care. And Malek was like, ‘We’re not shooting in Eastern Europe, this is a mid-west film. It has to have a certain look.’ …Now everybody knows what a piece of crap he (Weinstein) is, and Malek was having to deal with that. …So the contract (with Dimension) ran out, and that was it for Halloween Returns.”
But that is not the end of the story, as Tait would years later be brought in for a few days during filming of Halloween Kills in 2019, doubling for James Jude Courtney as Michael Myers/The Shape in various scenes used as inserts in the final edit during the SUV attack sequence. In our interview, Douglas recalls being filmed jumping up onto the roof of the vehicle and jumping down off of it, though there was admittedly not much for him to do, as Courtney performs all of his own stunts.
Tait also reveals that when Kyle Richards nailed his head with Lindsey Wallace’s bag of “rocks,” it really hurt and left a sizable bruise.
In our conversation, recorded on the Sunday after HK‘s record-breaking $50.35M opening weekend, Douglas makes it clear that Courtney is Michael Myers and does an amazing job at taking the character to “another level.” He also credits the film’s stunt coordinator Airon Aromstrong not only for bringing him onto the project at all, but also for doing an awesome job himself performing as The Shape in the 1978 flashback scenes, for which Tait was initially being considered.
“James embodies that (classic Michael Myers from Halloween 1978/Halloween II), but cranks it up a notch,” says Tait. “I think he really understands, and really makes it where it is Michael Myers and respects the past, but also it’s to another level of violence and craziness and intensity.
“He’s the Michael Myers. James (Jude Courtney) is the man. I just got to step in for a little bit. He kills it as that character.”
He also told us that he had goosebumps just walking onto the set for the first time, and he had them again during our conversation just reminiscing about it.
“I’m beyond thrilled, to be honest,” he said of joining this unkillable legacy. “It’s something I just didn’t think was going to happen. After that Halloween Returns, I just thought, ‘Well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.’ And then for Christopher Nelson and Sean (Clark) to put my name in, and then for it to happen. Obviously I wish I could play the character through the whole movie, but I’ve said many times to people, ‘You know what? Just to be in that mask, man,’ – I went on set, and it’s happening right now, I literally got chills down my spine.
“I was seeing the mask and was seeing the pumpkins, I was seeing the Halloween III masks in the park, and I’m going, ‘This is insane right now.’ I’ve done a lot of movies and stuff, and I don’t get that feeling. I got it on this, because when you see something as kid it hits you on a different level than when you’re an adult, and this gave me that. Yeah, it’s pretty incredible, man. We’re fans, so you get what I’m saying.
Having previously stepped behind another iconic mask for Jason’s final appearance in Freddy vs. Jason, Douglas Tait is now not only one of the few men to wear the Michael Myers mask on screen, he is also one of only two people on the planet to have portrayed both Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, joining an exclusive club consisting of only him and Tom Morga of Halloween 4 and Friday the 13th Party V.
You can watch our full exclusive interview with Douglas Tait on Halloween Kills and Halloween Returns below.
For more Halloween news, follow @HalloweenDaily.