“Halloween Kills” and the Mystery of the Missing Trailer

Full disclosure time everyone: In case you missed it, ye olde tin-eared writer loves – LOVES – the Halloween film franchise. So much so that I’ve taken to writing an infrequent series of UPDATE articles which have attempted to chronicle any news I can get my grubby mitts on regarding the upcoming David Gordon Green sequel, Halloween Kills. This professed love now a matter of public record hopefully might go some way in excusing my inexcusable faux pas in my last update in identifying recurring Halloween character Tommy Doyle as Tommy Lee Wallace. GULP – Did I ever catch an earful on that gaffe, deservedly so; some of the more kindhearted Vents Magazine readers let me off the proverbial hook, realizing that I had suffered a momentary confusion between the fictional one-time mop top (essayed to perfection by the likes of Brian Andrews, Danny Ray, Paul Rudd, Skyler Gisondo and Anthony Michael Hall) and the director of the underappreciated Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. These things will and do happen, but it makes it awfully hard for a fellow to walk through a horror sci-fi convention with his tired old noggin held high. Ah well, se la vie. Thank the mighty Fango and Famous Monsters Gods that I didn’t refer to everyone’s favorite Charlie Brown as Tommy Jarvis, the redoubtable hero of the Friday the 13th franchise. This may have permanently fractured my love affair with the horror community.

 The above ad hoc apology out of the way, I wanted to check back in on everyone’s favorite knife wielding psychopath – that’s Michael Myers to you and me, Dear Readers – and bring everyone up to date on Halloween Kills. Of course, since the last time I wrote on what is to be the penultimate entry in the series (Halloween Ends is set to be the grand finale, with an October 15, 2021 release date) we were not in the throes of a global pandemic, nor was the entire globe on Meltdown Mode in regards to, well, everything else under the sun. What a difference a few months makes, eh?

The Big Question everyone and their mother have right now is when will the first official trailer for Halloween Kills drop? In a typical year we might have gotten at least a teaser trailer by now to sate our appetites for what is promising to be one hell of a bloody reunion, but this is anything but a typical year. The film is still tentatively set to be released on October 16, 2020, however, per a new interview with our upscale cousin Entertainment Weekly, Jason Blum, the Big Kahuna of Blumhouse, the studio which released the last Halloween flick, is wisely playing it coy with that date now, stating that he’s “trying to get that movie out before the end of the year…We’ll see.”

Movie releases have become bipolar to the extreme, necessitated by the pandemic. Simply put, there are still a lot of fine folks out there who have reservations about sitting in an enclosed area with dozens of other film fans. This has become problematic for many of the bigger studio tent-pole pics such as the latest Fast and Furious entry, Wonder Woman 1984 and others. Many studios have opted to release some of their more middle budgeted to bigger offerings to streaming, allowing us to witness the unheralded phenomenon of such things as the new Tom Hanks film immediately hitting the watch at home circuit. This is the filmatic equivalent of witnessing a UFO landing on the White House lawn or discerning the image of Jesus in a Frito pie. Still other studios have decided to wait out the pandemic, pushing some ready-to-go blockbusters from their 2020 summer schedule to the distant land of 2021. Like I said, these are curious times.

 The sheer uncertainty of everything has thus played tentative havoc with the release of Halloween Kills and, in turn, its anticipated trailer. In a Q&A with horror fans on Fandom, Blum spelled out their challenges a little bit more, admitting that they do not want to begin promoting a film that might not hit its intended drop date.

 “The reason it hasn’t come out yet,” Blum said, talking about the trailer, “is because we don’t know what the world is going to look like in October. Right now, we’re still planning on releasing the movie in October, but if there’s no way to release it (in movie houses), then we’re not sure. So we’re not going to release the trailer until we really are sure when people are going to get to see the movie. So that’s the hold-up.” Blum went on to confirm that they have a trailer cut already and he enthused about the quality of the new film, which managed to finish filming before the Apocalypse hit.

With the above bit of news now a matter of public record, one of the more intriguing rumors this Dime Store detective has rooted out is that Halloween Kills might just feature the return of The Shape’s ultimate arch-nemesis (with all due apologies to Ms. Laurie Strode), Dr. Sam Loomis (A.K.A. Donald Pleasance). Wait, wha’ the wha’?!?

 Pleasance is moviedom royalty and the legendary actor appeared in a whopping five Halloween films before shuffling off this mortal coil in 1995, making a return to the franchise rather difficult. But hey, this is Hollywood, land of smoke and mirrors and magic. The same rumor has it that Pleasance would appear courtesy of a flashback to the original 1978 Halloween. Has a convincing stunt-double been found to essay the Loomis character for a 2020 audience? Will Blumhouse use face morphing technology a la Carrie Fisher in the recent Star Wars films to pull off this task? Perhaps the legendary John Carpenter, who is involved in Halloween Kills, has a canister of deleted scenes from his original magnum opus that he is allowing Green’s production to use for this new story? This looky loo doesn’t have an exact answer on this conundrum, but rest easy Halloween and Donald Pleasance fans, I’ll endeavor to dig into this titillating rumor post haste.

That concludes this latest UPDATE on Halloween Kills. Keep your bloody eyeballs peeled (OUCH!) to this section of our beloved magazine for future updates!

About Ryan Vandergriff

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