New Halloween Sequel Brings Back Jamie Lee Curtis, Erases Everything Else

  • Horror
2018-10-19
Michael-hedge-myers-halloween
Michael Myers in the original, 1978 Halloween. Compass International

When Neill Blomkamp announced that his new Alien movie (since cancelled) would take place after Aliens , erasing the events of Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, people flipped out. So far, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride’s upcoming Halloween, which erases every sequel to the 1978 original, doesn’t seem to be facing the same anger, partially because of a careful campaign to portray the new Halloween as a reverent extension of John Carpenter’s legacy, repositioning a continuity shakeup as something else. Yahoo’s new interview with McBride provides insight into just how to sell a radically new continuity to audiences sick of reboots, remakes and decades-later sequels.

“I’m a humongous Halloween fan, so when David and I got approached about doing this from Blumhouse, the first thing David and I said was, ‘We’ll come up with a take, but we have to pitch it to Carpenter. If he’s not interested, we’re definitely not into making this,’” McBride told Yahoo. “He was into it.”

The pitch that got Carpenter’s stamp of approval slightly tweaks the end of the original Halloween in some fashion, setting up an alternate chain of events unlike Halloween 2. Both McBride and Carpenter have described this change in essentially the same way.

Here’s McBride, to Yahoo: “It picks up after the first one, but it’s sort of an alternate reality. It’s as if the first Halloween ended in a slightly different way.”

And Carpenter, to Stereogum: “I don’t know how to describe it. It’s almost an alternative reality. It picks up after the first one and it pretends that none of the others were made. It’s going to be fun. There’s a really talented director and it was well-written. I’m impressed.”

It also helps that, unlike the Alien series, there isn’t much cohesion in the Halloween franchise continuity, less even than loose slasher series throughlines found in Child’s Play and Friday the 13th sequels. And no other series has quite as big a violation of narrative fidelity as Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which ditched Michael Myers entirely and tried to transform Halloween into an anthology franchise (it didn’t work, but Halloween III is still a must-watch).

Similar to Blomkamp’s jettisoned Alien sequel, the new Halloween will also serve as a legacy showcase for its most groundbreaking star, in this case Jamie Lee Curtis, whose reputation as the ultimate scream queen began with her performance as Laurie Strode in the original Halloween.

“Everyone was kind of on the mindset of it’d be a grab to get her, but no one really knew if we would be able to. So Dave and I just busted our ass on this script to really make that Laurie Strode character something she wouldn’t be able to say no to. When we finished the script, we sent it to her, and she said she was in. So we just flipped out. We were over the moon about her involvement,” McBride said.

McBride is candid about erasing the Halloween sequels, but also hopes that his Halloween will take the best qualities from the series’ checkered history. “We’re watching all the sequels and where things have taken left turns here and there that maybe bites for fans, and at least trying to deliver what we would have wanted to see.”

With Carpenter’s backing, horror fans are optimistic… so far. “I just hope that we don’t fuck it up and piss people off,” McBride said.

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