"I hung on tight to Halloween II for a while."
With Michael Myers stalking back into theaters to go toe-to-toe with Laurie Strode one more time, there's a major change happening. The new Halloween film isn't another in a long line of sequels to the franchise. Instead, it's disregarding Halloween 2-8 and instead following up directly on the first movie alone.
That means Laurie and Michael are no longer siblings, Busta Rhymes never live streamed the killer murdering teenagers online, and Michael's long-standing feud with his niece--which somehow lasted three movies--never took place. Instead, the new film picks up 40 years after the "babysitter murders" in the first film, leaving audiences to discover whatever became of Laurie and Michael after that one night.
For Jamie Lee Curtis, that's an important aspect of the characters, especially Laurie, to explore. "I believe Laurie Strode went to school November first. I think she went to school with a bandage on her arm, maybe some stitches from the emergency room," she said during a group interview at the Halloween press junket. "I think her parents sent her back to school. And of course, two days before, she was an intellectual honors student heading off to be the valedictorian, no doubt, of her class, was going to go to Smith, do you know what I mean? She was going to get out of Haddonfield, she was going to go off, expand her mind. And two days later, she was a freak."
Of course, there was more behind the decision to retcon those other movies away. The franchise has simply gotten too complicated with a number of fragmented timelines. In some movies, Jamie was Laurie's deceased daughter. In Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, though, Jamie was removed from continuity entirely, and Laurie has a son named John.
With such a muddy canon to wade through, the answer was clear. In the words of executive producer Bill Block, "you simplify it." He continued, "You come back to the core of a family tragedy, the impact and I'll call it the cascade effect of the tragedy, sustain it down through the generations trying to act like it never happened."
Doing that, according to producer Jason Blum, was a call made by director and writer David Gordon Green, along with his co-writer Danny McBride. "There have been a lot of bad ones, a couple of good ones, the first one's the greatest horror movie ever made," executive producer Jason Blum told GameSpot. "And I was excited to attack that challenge. I did not have, no one here had a specific idea of how we would do that and the notion to make this movie simply a continuation of the first movie."
"The two didn't exactly see eye-to-eye at first, though," Green admitted, "I hung on tight to Halloween II for a while and McBride was always trying to get me to let it go." There's one specific scene, though, which screened at San Diego Comic-Con that changed his mind. "Actually, our collaborator, Jeff Fradley, wrote the scene where Michael goes door-to-door and had this thing in his head of this whole one-shot thing," he said. "And we're like, 'Oh yeah.''' And when I read that, I was like, 'Okay. But that only works if he's not just trying to kill his sister.'"
In the end, if the reviews are any indication, it was a smart choice to make. It might have been difficult for Green to let go of Halloween II as part of the film's plot, but even he can't deny how much better the new Halloween is for it. "I'd much rather him get out of the cage and he's just doing what does and then this lady is like, 'Don't forget about me. I'm over here,'" he said. "I like that where the victim can turn the tail on the task."
Halloween is in theaters on October 19.