Yesterday and today have unleashed a veritable blood bath of new information and casting news about the David Gordon Green helmed upcoming sequels to John Carpenter’s classic film Halloween. Along with the informational bits and pieces which have already slowly trickled out since the two follow-ups to Green’s 2018 smash hit Halloween were initially announced this year, one could be forgiven for losing track of all of the pertinent new info on Laurie Strode, Haddonfield, Illinois and – of course – Michael Myers. Well, never fear dear and constant readers VENTS has you covered with ALL pertinent and known information to the 2020 release of Halloween Kills and the 2021 release of Halloween Ends. Consider this one stop chopping for all the new Halloween information that’s fit to print.
The ball got rolling when Jason Blum, head of one of the production houses behind the revived 2018 Halloween, teased…something on June 5, 2019 during a visit with Halloween actress Jamie Lee Curtis, stating: “We’re discussing stuff.” This led to a flurry of speculation in the fan press that possibly a new film in the franchise was forthcoming. Skeptics pointed out that the photograph of Curtis and Blum in his Twitter feed seemed to be a promotion for a line of Halloween toys and paraphernalia since the ingenue of the franchise can be seen prominently displaying some merchandise in the image.
Things became clearer a short time later. From the top and to recap: After the surprising box office success of David Gordon Green’s and Danny McBride’s direct sequel to the original Carpenter and Debra Hill 1978 masterpiece, an announcement was made on July 19, 2019 that not one, but two sequels would be shot back to back with release dates almost one year apart from one another: Halloween Kills on October 16, 2020 and Halloween Ends on October 15, 2021.
The first film in this new spate of Halloween films eschewed all of the films in the Halloween series (ten up to that point) except the first ’78 magnum opus, choosing to act as a direct continuation of the original rather than focusing on the sometimes convoluted storylines involving the infamous Curse of Thorn plotline, the extended family of Michael Myers (including Jamie Lee Curtis being retconned as Myers’ sister in Halloween 2) and Rob Zombie’s complete reboot of the series in 2007 and 2009. This was a fresh take that introduced an insular and isolated Laurie Strode (the Scream Queen herself, the legendary Jamie Lee Curtis) dealing with the emotional trauma and fallout from that long ago Halloween night back in 1978 when an escaped psychopath named Michael Myers decided to enact his own twisted and deadly version of trick ‘r’ treating. Along the way, it also became a generational story which outlined the ripple down effect Laurie’s traumatic night had on her own family while also telling the story of a newly escaped Myers and his bloody reunion tour with the much put upon Midwestern town of Haddonfield. That’s a lot to pack into an hour and a half genre film, but Green and co-writer McBride did so quite successfully and audiences turned out in droves, partially inspired by the return of Curtis and John Carpenter who returned to the franchise after a three decade plus absence as a producer and composer (along with his son Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies).
It was Carpenter who broke the news about the two sequels, taking to Twitter to announce his own return to the new films, saying: “The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode isn’t over.” A short confirmation teaser was released simultaneously by the producing studios of Universal, Blumhouse and Miramax implementing snippets of footage from the 2018 film.
In quick succession, Curtis made her own announcement the same day, establishing beyond any reasonable doubt that Laurie Strode and The Shape would do battle again: “‘It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.’ Well, my friends and fans…I’m just WARMING UP. Happy Halloween 2020/2021.”
Jason Blum, head of Blumhouse and the key architect in spearheading the whole Halloween revival had final say on that July 19 day: “FINALLY: Not one but TWO new Halloween movies: Halloween Kills (2020) and Halloween Ends (2021). Yes, the gang is ALL bak, including @jamieleecurtis, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green and @TheHorrorMaster John Carpenter. Oh yea.”
Along with the return of Jamie Lee to the new films, Judy Greer and Andi Matichak who respectively played Laurie’s daughter and granddaughter in the 2018 film were also known to be returning to the new story.
The week after this announcement fell upon the horror community like a ten megaton bomb, director and co-writer Gordon Green spoke with our friends over at Collider and elaborated a little bit on the two new films in the franchise.
“They’re never done telling the Frankenstein story, and at this point, Michael Myers is a classic movie monster. But our Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode/Michael Myers saga will be done. The fun of it is also seeing it end and knowing that it can. If you just keep trying to elongate it and milk it for all of the money, then that’s boring.”
In the same interview, Halloween Kills and Ends co-writer Danny McBride added that, “I’m sure that, when we’re done, other people will come in and do the same thing, or have their own reinvention. Michael Myers is iconic enough to allow that, too. He’s like James Bond, where you can have different actors and different filmmakers. He represents something so simple and scary that he can be translated by lots of different people.”
It was noted in this same Collider article that, while McBride and Green wrote the script for Halloween Kills (along with Scott Teems) they had writing assistance in Halloween Ends from Paul Brad Logan (Manglehorn, Be Comfortable, Creature) and Chris Bernier (The House: A Hulu Halloween Anthology).
Casting quickly began to line up with the July 25 Twitter announcement by original 1978 Michael Myers Nick Castle that he would be stepping back in the shoes of Myers: “You can’t kill the boogeyman. Just heard the news. I’m coming back.” On July 26, Castle Tweeted out that along with his return, actor and stunt double James Jude Courtney who essayed the more physical elements of Myers in the 2018 film would also be coming back: “I’ll be returning but, you know Big Game James still got the torch! More later.”
John Carpenter meanwhile began to elaborate a little more as to just what his duties would be returning to the sequels, telling our pals over at ComicBook.com that, “I’ll do the score, do a new score. That’s always fun…I’m on board. Let’s go.” IMDb also lists Carpenter’s return as executive producer, echoing his credit from the 2018 film. He would be joining fellow producers Malek Akkad (son of original Halloween producer Moustapha Akkad), Blum and Bill Block, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jeanette Volturno, Couper Samuelson, McBride, Green and Ryan Freimann with Ryan Turek overseeing the project from Blumhouse.
Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends began to come into focus story-wise with the sudden spate of casting announcements of characters besides Jamie Lee that had been fortunate enough to escape the carnage of Halloween 1978. Suddenly, much like the 2018 effort, the new films seemed to announce that a theme for the storyline going forward would be the trauma of the survivors of Michael’s original run of terror and how they would – or perhaps would not – deal with such an ordeal over the subsequent forty plus years.
First up was the announcement from Variety on August 26, 2019 that the character of Tommy Doyle would be returning to Halloween Kills. First introduced as Laurie Strode’s young charge in the 1978 classic and played by child actor Brian Andrews, Tommy was seen briefly in the flashback segment of Halloween 2 and then returned as a peripheral character in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. The character had a larger part to play in 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, portrayed in that film by the then unknown Paul Rudd. He popped up again in Zombie’s 2007 remake and then the character was abandoned after that entry never to be heard from again until now. Iconic 80s actor Anthony Michael Hall was announced as taking over the role from Andrews, Danny Ray, Rudd and Skyler Gisondo, delighting a generation of fans desperate to see Rusty Griswold take on The Shape.
A Tale of Five Tommy’s: (from top to bottom, left to right): Jamie Lee Curtis w/Brian Andrews in the original Halloween; Danny Ray as Tommy circa 1988 with co-star Sasha Jenson; Paul Rudd gets freaky in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Skyler Gisondo as Tommy in 2007; the new Tommy, Anthony Michael Hall.
On the heels of this announcement came the August 30 news that Tommy would be joined by his fellow survivor, Lindsey Wallace who was babysat by Myer’s victim Annie Brackett. Returning to the role would be actress Kyle Richards who originated the part in Carpenter’s first film. Previously the character was seen in the fourth entry of the franchise and in Zombie’s 2007 reboot.
We all have doubles…or triplicates: Left to right Michael Myers and Jamie Lee Curtis welcome back original Lindsey Wallace Kyle Richards; Leslie L. Rohland takes a stab a the part in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Jenny Gregg Stewart tries on the part in Zombie’s 2007 remake.
Making it a triumvirate of characters who survived the first film as children back in ’78 and returning to the franchise as adults came the September 5 news from those blokes over at Bloody Disgusting that actor Robert Longstreet (The Haunting of Hill House) would be stepping into the shoes of neighborhood bully and all-around pumpkin smasher Lonnie Elam who had the bejesus scared out of him by legendary actor Donald Pleasance in the original film (“Hey Lonnie, get your ass away from there!”). In the 1978 film Lonnie was essayed by actor Brent Le Page. Footage has apparently already leaked of a possible flashback scene in the upcoming Halloween Kills of a young Lonnie being pursued by Michael Myers courtesy of Bloody Disgusting reader Mike M.
— Jordana 🎃 (@Jordana_LaQueen) October 5, 2019