File this one under Things Too Good to Be True: Word has broken this very day from the hallowed halls of Variety Magazine (the entertainment industries version of the Holy Bible. Accept no substitutes) that former Brat Packer – and the coolest Rusty Griswold ever – Anthony Michael Hall will be stepping into the role of Tommy Doyle in the upcoming Halloween sequel, Halloween Kills.
Let’s unpack a few odds and ends, kiddies: For those not in the know, the character of Tommy Doyle was the red headed munchkin under the care of babysitter and all-around Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis in horror maestro John Carpenter’s original Halloween. Originally essayed by child actor Brian Andrews in the first flick and then reprised some years later in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Meyers (the sixth entry in the series) by an awesomely awkward Paul Rudd in his screen debut, Tommy has been MIA from the series since 1995, although Brian Andrews, bless him, has gone on record as stating that he would totally be open to returning to do battle with the Shape. And now the character is officially announced as coming out of moth balls for the edification of horror movie geeks everywhere.
But, not content to simply bring the character back to Haddonfield with a relatively anonymous actor – you know the kind: that actor who you’ve seen planted in a million and one Hallmark movies; good skin, pearly white teeth, full head of hair with a smile right out of an Aqua Velva advertisement – David Gordon Green and the fine folks at Blumhouse have dropped one of the coolest icons from the 1980s into this role in the form of Anthony Michael Hall. That’s right dear readers you’ve got the straight dope: Anthony – The Breakfast Club, National Lampoons Vacation, Sixteen Candles and Weird Science – friggin’ Michael Hall will be starring alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in a Halloween movie and it doesn’t get any better than that.
So who is Tommy Doyle exactly? Tommy survived the first Halloween bloodbath thanks to the quick thinking of Curtis and Mr. Donald Pleasance and was sort of the stand-in character for a battalion of nerds (of which I was proudly one of) who loved watching creature features every Friday and Saturday night and who gorged themselves endlessly on comic books and video games. Heck, Tommy even read comics himself, producing a stack of them for babysitter Laurie Strode to read to him before the Boogeyman came a’ knockin.’ So Tommy Doyle is kind of a big deal in the world of freaks and geeks.
“But,” I hear the plaintiff cries of Millennials attacking my senses, “who the hell is Anthony Michael Hall?” Hall was sort of our 1980s Poster Child for Geeks With No Hope and we loved him for it. He was emotionally powerful and transcendent in The Breakfast Club and dropped the mic on the rest of his cast mates with the best one-liners ever committed to film stock (“Did your mom marry Mr. Rogers?”“Uh, no, Mr. Johnson”). He was a nerd when being a nerd wasn’t cool and somehow that made him a friend to an entire generation of losers, sad sacks and dorks.
This new announcement sent me into fits of apoplectic nerd glee and my wife is still questioning why I’m so happy with Hall’s casting that I’m nearly weeping. The only answer I can think to give her is a total non sequitur stolen from Sixteen Candles: “This information cannot leave this room. Okay? It would devastate my reputation as a dude.”
My wife smiles patiently at me and she just knows that I’ll be dragging her along to reunite with Michael Meyers and Anthony Michael Hall in Halloween Kills on October 16, 2020. In the meantime, you can revisit this and other halloween movies on tv to revisit the glory of the original and the new one, and much more.