Halloween Kills ready to slay the box office in 2021
Michael Myers is set to return to Haddonfield in 2021 with David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills. Scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis returns to the franchise bringing with her fellow legacy Halloween cast members including Nick Castle (Michael Myers), Kyle Richards (Lindsey Wallace), Charles Cyphers (Sheriff Brackett) and Nancy Stephens (Marion Chambers). John Carpenter returns to the series as well to provide the musical score.
As the release of the film draws closer, a Halloween Kills teaser trailer was released on October 30. John Carpenter was quoted saying that Halloween Kills is “a slasher movie times one hundred”, and Halloween producer Malek Akkad stated that “Halloween Kills is my favorite film in the franchise aside from 1978’s Halloween”.
The History of Halloween
Originally titled “The Babysitter Murders”, Halloween (1978) was written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill based on an idea from producer Irwin Yablans who wanted to make a film about a faceless killer who stalks his prey on Halloween night. With that concept, Yablans and his company Compass International Pictures partnered with financer Moustapha Akkad to fund the film and they gave Carpenter and Hill carte blanche to script and make the movie.
John and Debra quickly wrote the script, with Debra drawing from her teenage experience as a babysitter to write the female dialogue and John handling most of the Michael Myers and Dr. Samuel Loomis story. While they had tons of talent and great ideas, they didn’t have a lot of money to work with to make Halloween as this was truly a low-budget project. One of the places this lack of budget reared its head was with casting: the budget did not allow for stars in the cast. The one “known” actor brought in was English thespian Donald Pleasance who played the role of Dr. Samuel Loomis. The rest of the cast were relative unknowns, including the daughter of Hollywood heavy-hitters Tony Curtis and Psycho’s Janet Leigh – Jamie Lee Curtis as “final girl” Laurie Strode.
Joining Curtis was P.J. Soles as Lynda Van Der Klok and Nancy Kyes (Loomis) as Annie Brackett to round out the three main “babysitters”. Smaller roles were filled out by Charles Cyphers as Sheriff Leigh Brackett, Brian Andrews as Tommy Doyle, Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace, John Michael Graham as Bob Simms and Sandy Johnson as Judith Margaret Myers.
As for the folks who donned the two-dollar Captain Kirk mask that Tommy Lee Wallace found and painted white, Michael Myers was played by several people in Halloween (1978): Will Sandin played the six-year old Michael at the beginning of the film, Nick Castle played the majority of the adult Michael Myers, Tony Moran played the mask-less Myers scene, Tommy Lee Wallace was Michael in the closet scene, Jim Windburn donned the mask to fall out the window and even Debra Hill played Michael for a bit in the opening scene.
The screenplay was written in less than two weeks and Halloween was filmed over the course of twenty days in southern California in May of 1978 on a meager budget of $300,000. The score was completed by John Carpenter in just three days and Halloween was quickly edited and rushed through post-production to hit theaters on October 25th, 1978 where it exceeded all expectations by grossing an estimated $70 million which led producers to immediately request a sequel.
Halloween II (1981): A direct sequel to the original which picks up the same night the first film ends with Laurie being taken to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital after the events of Part 1. Part II brings back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis as well as Charles Cyphers as Sheriff Leigh Brackett and Nancy Kyes (Loomis) in a cameo as the deceased Annie Brackett. Other cast members include the paramedics played by Lance Guest as Jimmy and Leo Rossi as Budd. Pamela Susan Shoop, Tawny Moyer, Ana Alicia and Gloria Gifford plays nurses at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital and Ford Rainey is Dr. Frederick Mixter. Hunter von Leer plays Deputy Gary Hunt who takes over for Sheriff Brackett after his daughter dies. Michael Myers is played by veteran stuntman Dick Warlock in the sequel and by Adam Gunn as the young Michael in the Sanitarium flashback.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982): More of a science-fiction film than a horror film, H3 sets its own course as a unique movie outside of the “Michael Myers” universe. The original plan for the Halloween series was to kill off Michael Myers and then release a different film every October that would tell a new Halloween-themed story. H3 centered around a man who developed a way to kill the children of the world with Halloween masks and the one outsider who would try to stop his plot. H3 starred Tom Atkins as Dr. Daniel Challis, Dan O’Herlihy as Conal Cochran and Stacey Nelkin as Ellie Grimbridge. Special appearances by Jamie Lee Curtis as the voice of the curfew announcer, Dick Warlock (Michael Myers in Halloween II) as one of the androids and Nancy Kyes (Loomis) as Dr. Challis’ ex-wife Linda. Halloween III: Season of the Witch was written and directed by Tommy Lee Wallace who edited Halloween (1978).
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988): After the death of Michael Myers and Dr. Samuel Loomis at the end of Halloween II, Michael Myers is back. Due to what the producers considered the poor box office of Halloween III: Season of the Witch, it was decided to bring the series back to Michael. H4 takes place ten years after the events of Halloween II and a comatose Myers awakens at the news that he has a niece named Jamie Lloyd (the daughter of Laurie Strode) living in Haddonfield. Donald Pleasence returns to the series as Dr. Sam Loomis and we are introduced to Danielle Harris as Jamie Lloyd. Other notable roles in this sequel were played by Ellie Cornell as Jamie’s foster-sister Rachel Carruthers, Jeff Olson and Karen Alston as her foster parents, Sasha Jenson as Rachel’s boyfriend Brady, Kathleen Kinmont as Brady’s side-chick Kelly, Michael Pataki as Dr. Hoffman and Beau Starr as Sheriff Ben Meeker. Michael Myers was played in most scenes by veteran stuntman George Wilbur but also by Tom Morga (who is the only person to have played Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Leatherface on film). The scene showing a young Michael Myers in the drugstore in the clown costume was Erik Preston. Halloween 4 was directed by Dwight H. Little and written by the team of Dhani Lipsius, Larry Rattner, Benjamin Ruffner and Alan B. McElroy.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989): H5 starts where H4 left off so the audience can see how Michael escapes certain doom but then flash-forwards a year later as Michael has been in a coma and in the care of a homeless hermit. As soon as he wakes up, just in time for Halloween night, he resumes his quest for his niece Jamie. Returning are Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, Danielle Harris as Jamie Lloyd, Ellie Cornell as Rachel Carruthers and Beau Starr as Sheriff Ben Meeker. New to the cast for H5 are Wendy Kaplan as Tina Williams, Tamara Glynn as Samantha Thomas, Jeffrey Landman as Billy Hill and Jonathan Chapin as Mike. Veteran stuntman/actor Don Shanks (known mainly for his role as Nakoma in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams) plays the role of Michael Myers for this film. Halloween 5 was directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard on a script by him, Michael Jacobs and Shem Bitterman.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995): Curse begins with a flashback to the end of Halloween 5 where Michael Myers is broken out of prison by the “Man in Black”. We’re then escorted six years later where Jamie Lloyd has had a child and is being pursued by Michael Myers. Tommy Doyle, who was the boy that Laurie Strode babysat in Halloween (1978) is now grown up and believes that Michael Myers gets his powers from an ancient Druid magic called the curse of Thorn. Returning for Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is Donald Pleasance as Dr. Samuel Loomis in his final film. Paul Rudd plays the role of Tommy Doyle and J. C. Brandy plays the grown-up Jamie Lloyd. We also have Marianne Hagan as Kara Strode, Devin Gardner as Danny Strode and Mitchell Ryan as Dr. Terence Wynn. George Wilbur becomes the first to play Michael Myers twice for the bulk of the film but reshoots are done with A. Michael Lerner in the mask. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was directed by Joe Chappelle and written by Daniel Farrands.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998): Halloween H20 retcons the events of Halloweens 4-6 and picks up twenty years after Michael Myers “disappeared from Haddonfield Memorial Hospital after the explosion”. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode and has been living under an assumed name as the headmistress of a posh boarding school in California with her son John. Directed by Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Parts 2 & 3), H20 starred the aforementioned Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin as Will Brennan, Michelle Williams as Molly Cartwell, Adam Hann-Byrd as Charlie Deveraux, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe as Sarah Wainthrope, Jamie Lee Curtis’ mom Janet Leigh as Norma Watson, Josh Hartnett as John Tate, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jimmy Howell, LL Cool J as Ronny Jones and in a nice throwback, from Halloween (1978) and Halloween II, Nancy Stephens as Marion Chambers-Whittington. Chris Durand played Michael Myers in H20.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002): Resurrection picks up with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in a mental institution after killing an innocent man instead of her brother Michael at the end of H20. After three years goes by, Michael returns to shore up that old business before returning to Haddonfield to break up a reality show that is happening at his childhood home. Characters in Halloween: Resurrection include: Busta Rhymes as Freddie Harris, Bianca Kajlich as Sara Moyer, Thomas Ian Nicholas as Bill Woodlake, Ryan Merriman as Myles Barton, Sean Patrick Thomas as Rudy Grimes and Tyra Banks as Nora Winston. Brad Loree played Michael Myers in this one which was written by Larry Brand and Sean Hood and directed by Rick Rosenthal (who directed Halloween II).
Halloween (2007): A reimagining/remake of the 1978 film, written and directed by Rob Zombie that shows Michael Myers’ backstory in order to show Halloween fandom why Michael is how he is. The cast of Michael’s childhood features Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Samuel Loomis, Sheri Moon Zombie as Michael’s mom Deborah Myers, William Forsythe as Michael’s stepdad Ronnie White, Hanna Hall as Judith Myers and Richard Lynch as Principal Chambers. When we move to the present day, the three babysitters are played by Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode, Danielle Harris as Annie Brackett and Kristina Klebe as Lynda Van Der Klok. Then we have Brad Dourif as Sheriff Lee Brackett, Danny Trejo as Ismael Cruz, Lew Temple as Noel Kluggs, Tom Towles as Larry Redgrave and Bill Moseley as Zach Garrett. Zombie always likes to load the cast with names from the past so there’s also Dee Wallace, Ken Foree, Sid Haig, Sybil Danning, Mickey Dolenz and more. Young Michael Myers was played by Daeg Faerch and older Myers by the 6’9” Tyler Mane. Also, importantly, Halloween (2007) was the first film in the entire Halloween series not produced by Moustapha Akkad as he was killed, along with his daughter, in the 2005 Amman bombings in the Grand Hyatt hotel in Jordan. His son Malek Akkad produced and has produced each Halloween film since.
Halloween II (2009): This one is not a remake of 1981’s Halloween II, but rather a new sequel that takes place two years after the events of 2007’s Halloween. Michael Myers is presumed dead and Laurie Strode is trying to cope with the events of the past. Returning to the cast are Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode, Malcolm McDowell as Samuel Loomis, Sheri Moon Zombie as Deborah Myers, Brad Dourif as Sheriff Lee Brackett and Danielle Harris as Annie Brackett. New to the cast are Brea Grant as Mya Rockwell and Angela Trimbur as Harley David. Some Rob Zombie favorites that he sprinkled in are Richard Brake, Margot Kidder, Sean Whalen, Chris Hardwick, Howard Hessman, “Weird Al” Yankovic and more. Tyler mane returns to play Michael Myers, only the second time anyone has played Myers twice. Young Myers was played by Chase Wright Vanek as Daeg Faerch had grown too much to reprise the role.
Halloween (2018): The latest Halloween retcons all sequels and acts as a direct sequel to Halloween (1978). This film picks up 40 years after the events of the 1978 original. 40 years ago, Michael Myers was found and arrested after attacking Laurie Strode and her friends and has been a ward of Smith’s Grove Psychiatric Hospital ever since. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode has been preparing for an epic showdown. Written by Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and directed by Green, this film brings back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode. Other cast members are Judy Greer as Laurie’s daughter Karen Nelson, Toby Huss as Laurie’s son-in-law Ray Nelson, Andi Matichak as Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson Nelson, Will Patton as Deputy Frank Hawkins, Haluk Bilginer as Dr. Ranbir Sartain – the doctor who took over care for Michael Myers after the death of Dr. Loomis, Virginia Gardner as Vicky, Dylan Arnold as Cameron Elam, Jibrail Nantambu as Julian, Miles Robbins as Dave and Omar Dorsey as Sheriff Barker. Michael Myers is played by James Jude Courtney through the vast majority of the film, but series original Nick Castle wears the mask for one scene. Important to note that John Carpenter came aboard to provide the music and consult for the first time since 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
Halloween Kills (2021 – tentative): Written by Scott Teems, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and again directed by Green, not much is known about the plot other than the remaining Strode girls will band together with others to try and end Michael Myers once and for all. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode as does Judy Greer as Karen Nelson, Andi Matichak as Allyson Nelson, Dylan Arnold as Cameron Elam, Jibrail Nantambu as Julian, Omar Dorsey as Sheriff Barker. New to this particular series but originals from Halloween (1978): Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace, Nancy Stephens as Marion Chambers and Charles Cyphers as retired sheriff Leigh Brackett; Anthony Michael Hall will be playing Tommy Doyle. Michael Myers will again be played by James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle with a young Michael played by Airon Armstrong.
Halloween Ends (2022 – tentative): Written by Chris Bernier, Paul Brad Logan, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and will again be directed by Green. No confirmed plot and only confirmed cast so far is Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, Judy Greer as Karen Nelson, Andi Matichak as Allyson Nelson, Mahogany Raspberry as Nurse Jasmine Law, John West Jr. as Sheriff Eric Lane, John Flanagan as “Doctor” and Kourtnei Green as “Gas Station Worker”. Michael Myers will again be played by James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle which will make the third time for James and fourth for Nick Castle as The Shape.
Michael Myers Body Count
How many people has Michael Myers killed so far in the series, you ask? It’s hard to say exactly as fans differ because of several key factors: off-screen deaths, deaths that only occur in dream sequences, different versions of the same film (ie. Unrated cuts, extended cuts, TV cuts), etc. From what we can tell, Michael has killed 124 people (dogs excluded) over the course of the franchise; here is the breakdown:
Halloween (1978): 5
Halloween II (1981): 9
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982): 0
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988): 17
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989): 12
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995): 17
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998): 6
Halloween: Resurrection (2002): 11
Halloween (2007): 18
Halloween II (2009): 13
Halloween (2018): 16
Halloween Kills (2021 – tentative): ?
Halloween Ends (2022 – tentative): ?