When a select few horror outlets were invited to the Blumhouse offices for a super-secret announcement, we really couldn’t guess what the news might be. It could be anything from the resurrection of Vincent Price to them telling us there will be a sequel to Creep. Honestly, either one of those would have made us happy.
But they made us ecstatic with the news that John Carpenter has teamed up with Blumhouse to do an all-new Halloween movie, with a target release date of October 2017.
After we assembled in the Blumhouse screening room, Jason Blum took the stage (well, he stood in front of the screen). “There are only a few movies out there that really got people ‘into’ scary movies in the first place, or maybe just movies in general. And we are about to embark on a journey to make one of those movies.”
He checked the time and teased, “A special guest is coming soon. First, these are my partners from Miramax, and this is Malek… he and his family have been involved with this movie for a long, long time. Malek has been guiding this franchise forever…”
Um, that’s Malak Akkad, whose father produced the first Halloween film in 1978. Malek himself is a producer best known for Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), the Halloween remake (2007), and Halloween II (2009).
We’ve heard rumors here and there about a Halloween reboot, and in fact we asked him earlier this year for confirmation of reports about a TV series based on Halloween, and Malek emphatically said, “No.” But he knew all along this big news was just around the corner and hiding in the closet!
When Jason said Malek has been with Halloween forever, Malek said, “Well hardly forever, since I was only 9 when the first movie was made. But for a long time, and I can honestly say I am most excited about this grouping here – to be working with this great team at Miramax and Blumhouse and Jason. This is something I think that’s really going to excite the fans immensely. And yes, it will be named Halloween.”
Jason added, “All of us felt that the next Halloween movie shouldn’t exist without John Carpenter. We were saying, when we were first talking about it, ‘We’ve gotta do this with the guy who started it all,’ and… here he is, right here!”
The room erupted into genuine applause as the true master of horror, John Carpenter, entered the screening room, bag of popcorn in hand.
Jason was applauding, too. “Here he is, the godfather. He’s going to produce, and hopefully score… he drives a hard bargain but I am a good negotiator, so hopefully he is going to score it too. He’s going to godfather us, be involved with this movie creatively, and in the initial few conversations that we’ve had with directors, they’ve felt the same way we did: No one wanted to do this without John. So we are real excited he’s here. He is the main attraction and the main event.”
John was his usual unruffled self. “Hi, guys! What’s happening?”
Oh, nothing. THERE’S JUST GOING TO BE A BRAND-NEW HALLOWEEN MOVIE!!!
John took a bite of popcorn and said, “So… I decided, after bitching for years and years about Halloween sequels, I would come aboard and shepherd this thing. I’ll help, support the director, and since I’m here with Malek Akkad, and the horror superstar Jason Blum, what could go wrong? So, we’re going to give it a try.” John said his son Cody will work with him, if he does indeed do the score for this fresh Halloween movie.
We wondered if this flick would be a new story, a remake, prequel, or sequel? “We can’t tell you yet… because we don’t know,” John said. “What I can tell you is, it’ll be a movie.” Yup. Cue the rim-shot. “You know what? We’re probably going to go back to the original tradition that we started. It’s kind of gone astray. I feel like the remakes maybe went off somewhere that I didn’t want them to go.” And somewhere, Rob Zombie is wiping his tears with $100 bills.
John then summed up feelings fans have had for years. “Michael Myers is not a character. He is a force of nature. He is not a person. He’s part supernatural, part human. He’s like the wind, an evil wind. If you start straying away from that, and you get into explaining, then you’ve lost. So hopefully we can guide it back in the original direction.”
Jason said, “I think we want to take it back to basics and not get into too much backstory.” As for who may be tapped to direct, it’s too early to say. “We’ll more than likely work with a director that’s got a couple of movies under their belt. Not sure, yet.” Single film? Franchise? “We’ll see,” said John.
Turns out, John didn’t need much convincing to come back. “Malek and I have known each other for a while, and when he said why don’t you come aboard, I met with Jason. I like say, he’s a horror superstar. I just met him two weeks ago.”
Jason added, “But we’ve been talking for about a year, with Miramax and Akkad.”
John soon got antsy. “You know guys, I missed a basketball game to be here,” he joked. But the godfather of the reboot did leave us with this enticing tidbit: “The biggest challenge is to be true to the original spirit of the movie. Don’t get carried away. Tell a simple story. Tell it right. The original Halloween was made for very little money and it was a little, scary tale. That’s what we should be doing.”
From the Press Release:
John Carpenter, the multiple award-winning and legendary filmmaker and creator of the original Halloween films, will return to the franchise as executive producer on a new production of the iconic horror movie, it was jointly announced today by MIRAMAX® and Trancas International Films — MIRAMAX® and Blumhouse Productions will co-finance development and production, with Malek Akkad serving as producer under his Trancas banner and Jason Blum producing for Blumhouse. MIRAMAX®, which holds worldwide distribution rights, will determine its theatrical distribution partner at a future date.
The HALLOWEEN film franchise that was started in part by Carpenter and Moustapha Akkad in 1978 has spawned ten films generating a total of nearly $400 million in worldwide box office.
John Carpenter said: “38 years after the original Halloween I’m going to help to try to make the 10th sequel the scariest of them all.”
Malek Akkad said: “Trancas International is thrilled to be teaming up with Miramax on Halloween, one of the most enduring horror franchises in film. We are also very excited to be working with Jason Blum and the whole team at Blumhouse. Together, along with the return of legendary filmmaker John Carpenter, we are eager to make a film that will be a milestone in the franchise’s legacy and that will excite the fans, young and old.”
Zanne Devine, MIRAMAX’s EVP Film & Television, said: “Malek Akkad’s legacy with the Halloween franchise accompanied by Blumhouse’s unprecedented talent in the horror genre lays the foundation of a formidable team to create the next chapter of this iconic fan favorite. Having John Carpenter godfather the reboot of the iconic franchise he helped create brings it full circle. We couldn’t be in better company bringing Halloween back to the big screen.”
Jason Blum said: “Halloween is one of those milestone films that inspired everyone at our company to get into the world of scary movies. The great Malek Akkad and John Carpenter have a special place in the hearts of all genre fans, and we are so excited that Miramax brought us together. We cannot wait to find and collaborate with the right filmmaker to give Halloween fans the movie they deserve.”
David Thwaites will oversee the reboot for MIRAMAX® with Carpenter and the companies planning to immediately go out to filmmakers and fast-track the project.
The Academy Award®-winning John Carpenter has written, directed, composed, and/or edited over 20 films over the course of his career. An international household name, he is probably best known for his iconic features Halloween, The Thing, The Fog, and Big Trouble in Little China, to name a few. As a musician, Carpenter kicked off his world tour in Los Angeles this month, featuring songs from his Lost Themes and Lost Themes II albums – which he recorded with his son, Cody Carpenter. The 30+-city tour ends in Paris late November. He is repped by APA and Stankevich Law.
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