Horror fans got a huge surprise this fall when it was announced that Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter were teaming up again for a brand new Halloween film that will be out in October of 2018.
Fans speculated what movies from the franchise the new plot would “acknowledge” as the history of the plotline is somewhat fractured. For the unfamiliar, here’s an overview of how the Halloween franchise works:
There are 11 Halloween films in total, but the “universe” these movies exist in isn’t very cohesive. Here’s an overview of how the movies fit together:
Original Halloween World (canon)
John Carpenter and Debra Hill wrote the first two Halloween films which are considered the universe’s “canon”. Both movies take place in the same Halloween night and star Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode.
Season of the Witch
John Carpenter and Debra Hill were producers on the third film in the franchise, Season of the Witch, but the plot is not related to the first two films and Michael Myers does not appear. This was an attempt to turn the franchise into an anthology, similar to American Horror Story, instead of a literal franchise that would feature endless retellings of the same story. Fans and critics did not like the idea, to put it mildly. The rest of the Halloween movies feature Michael Myers and follow similar storylines to the originals.
Halloween 4 returns to the Michal Myers storyline, but John Carpenter and Debra Hill no longer have any association with the franchise. This movie was released 10 years after the original and features Myers coming out of a ten year coma and then returning to Haddonfield. Halloween 5 and Halloween 6 follow similar storylines.
Pretending Halloween 3-6 didn’t happen
Halloween H20, the 7th Halloween film released 20 years after the original, is supposed to be a direct sequel to Halloween and Halloween II. John Carpenter and Debra Hill were not involved, but Jamie Lee Curtis reprised her role as Laurie Strode, who said to have died following the events of Halloween II (This is mentioned in non-canon Halloween 4) but had actually gone into hiding. John Carpenter was interested in directing this film, but the production couldn’t afford his $10 million fee (He was paid $10,000 to direct the original). He may have been an uncredited producer on this film.
Kevin Williamson wrote a scene into Halloween H20 that would have explained the continuity of the entire franchise, but it wasn’t shot.
Halloween Resurrection is the 8th film in the franchise and was released chronologically after H20 and builds on the story developed there. Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode, and is supposedly killed by Michael Myers.
In 2007 Rob Zombie wrote and directed a remake of the original Halloween movie. It’s a reimagining of Carpenter and Hill’s script, giving Myers a lot more backstory and featuring a lot more action and gore. In 2009 Zombie directed a sequel to his remake, but the sequel is not a remake of Halloween II. The story instead picks up one year later.
In a Q & A today John Carpenter announced that the new film will take place after the original first movie, as if none of the sequels had ever taken place.
“I don’t know how to describe it. It’s almost an alternative reality. It picks up after the first one and it pretends that none of the other [sequels] were made. It’s gonna be fun. There’s a really talented director and it was well-written. I’m impressed.”
The biggest news is that the plot now likely revolves around Michael Myers as a stalker who kills strangers. Curtis’ character, Laurie Strode, was revealed to be Myers’ sister in the original sequel, a detail Halloween (2018) writer Danny McBride doesn’t like. I LOVED the original sequel, but I’m on McBride’s side here, a man who kills a stranger is a whole lot scarier than a man who kills a family member.
It sounds like Carpenter is convinced the team and the script are stellar, I can’t wait to see what they come up with!