HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Friday, September 14, 2018

Universal Pictures, Miramax and Blumhouse Productions' "HALLOWEEN" with Jamie Lee Curtis -- New Pics, Poster, Info


A MALEK AKKAD Production
In Association with ROUGH HOUSE PICTURES 


In Halloween, JAMIE LEE CURTIS returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.  Master of horror JOHN CARPENTER executive produces and serves as creative consultant on this film, joining forces with cinema’s current leading producer of horror, JASON BLUM (Get Out, Split, The Purge, Paranormal Activity). 

Inspired by Carpenter’s classic, filmmakers DAVID GORDON GREEN (Stronger), DANNY MCBRIDE (HBO’s Eastbound & Down) and JEFF FRADLEY (HBO’s Vice Principals) crafted a story that carves a new path from the events in the landmark 1978 film, and Green also directs. Based on characters created by Carpenter and DEBRA HILL, Halloween is also produced by MALEK AKKAD, whose Trancas International Films has produced the Halloween series since its inception, and BILL BLOCK (Bad Moms, District 9).  

Curtis is joined on screen by JUDY GREER (Jurassic World, Ant-Man) as Karen, Laurie’s daughter who was taken away from her when Karen was a child, and who fluctuates between sympathy for her mother and frustration at the nonstop paranoia; newcomer ANDI MATICHAK as Allyson, Karen’s teenager who is attempting to navigate the rift between her mom and grandmother; WILL PATTON (TV’s Falling Skies, Armageddon) as Officer Hawkins, who was a young cop the night Michael Myers was taken into custody 40 years prior; HALUK BILGINER as Dr. Sartain, the psychiatrist who’s overseen Michael’s incarceration for decades; VIRGINIA GARDNER (Hulu’s The Runaways) as Vicky, Allyson’s best friend since they were young girls; and stuntman/performer JAMES JUDE COURTNEY (Far and Away), who portrays Michael Myers/The Shape. 

As well, NICK CASTLE (1978’s Halloween) appears in a cameo as The Shape. Accompanying Green behind the scenes is a seasoned group of creative talent, including director of photography MICHAEL SIMMONDS (Paranormal Activity 2, Cell), production designer RICHARD WRIGHT (Mud, All the Real Girls), Academy Award® winning special effects makeup designer CHRISTOPHER NELSON (Suicide Squad, Avengers: Infinity War) editor TIM ALVERSON (Insidious: The Last Key, Orphan), costume designer EMILY GUNSHOR (TV’s The Last O.G., Salt) and composers CODY CARPENTER (TV’s Masters of Horror) and DANIEL DAVIES (Condemned), who are joined in those duties by John Carpenter.

ZANNE DEVINE (I, Tonya), DAVID THWAITES (Black Swan), JEANETTE VOLTURNO (Get Out), COUPER SAMUELSON (The Purge series), RYAN FREIMANN (The Hatred), and Curtis executive produce the film alongside John Carpenter.  Green and McBride serve in the same capacity under their Rough House Pictures banner.   Universal Pictures distributes Trancas International Films, Blumhouse Productions and Miramax’s Halloween worldwide.


Resetting the Timeline: Halloween Begins

Malek Akkad—whose family’s production company, Trancas International Films, has produced the Halloween series since its inception—was open to a fresh take on the story and found a likeminded creative partner in Jason Blum.  His fellow producer, whose Blumhouse Productions—responsible for delivering smash-hits from Get Out and Split to the films in The Purge series—has a first-look deal with distributor Universal Pictures. 

Long impressed by Blum’s ability to marry abject terror with impeccable quality, Akkad was keen to embark upon a project with a fellow filmmaker who had a deep passion for his father’s co-creation…and someone who could help him breathe unexpected new life into the franchise. Akkad gives us a bit of background on how it all began, an incredulous 40 years ago: “The original film came about when my father, Moustapha Akkad, and a gentleman named Irwin Yablans started a distribution company, Compass International Pictures.  They were looking for some projects that they could self-finance and distribute and were fans of John Carpenter’s early work: Assault on Precinct 13.  They had a meeting with him, and he had a concept for a low-budget film called The Babysitter Murders.  They took a risk, and the rest is history.”

Carpenter remembers those early years.  “The distributor asked me to make this film for 200,000 bucks, and I said, ‘Sure I can.  I just want creative control and my name above the credits.’”  Reflecting on his creation with co-writer Debra Hill, Carpenter understands why audiences continue to be terrified by this embodiment of fear.  “Michael Myers, with his mask and his gas-station attendant’s uniform, is a character who is between a human being and the supernatural.  He is the ultimate force of evil.  He is ruthless, and there’s no reasoning or praying to God to save you.  He has a single purpose, and that’s to kill you.  Michael Myers is a relentless force of nature.  He’s just coming, and you got to get out of his way.”

A massive fan of the first Halloween, Blum feels that it’s one of the most perfect horror films ever made…and had no interest in developing the project without running it by the director who’d inspired much of his own career.  “Getting John Carpenter’s blessing was a prerequisite for Blumhouse being involved in this movie,” Blum reflects.  “I wasn’t going to pursue making a Halloween movie without him.  So, the first person I went to was John.  I asked him, ‘Do you want to jump in?’  He happily agreed to do just that.” Blum promised Carpenter—who calls Blum “the LeBron James of horror cinema”—that they wouldn’t move forward until he was happy with the director they had in mind…as well as the script that was being developed.

To that end, Blum knew one filmmaker he thought might be interested.  What he found was that David Gordon Green would not only want to helm Halloween, he’d want to collaborate with his longtime writing partners to craft the screenplay.   “We believe strongly at Blumhouse that you don’t need a great horror-movie director to make great horror movies,” the producer says.  “You need a  of horror cinema”—that they wouldn’t move forward until he was happy with the director they had in mind…as well as the script that was being developed.

great movie director.  I’ve admired David since his first film, George Washington, and I’ve reached out to him on multiple occasions hoping to lure him in.  Halloween was when it finally happened.  David fits very much into our philosophy: If you’re a great director, we can help you make a great scary movie.” When it came to a chapter that would wake up the franchise, the producers leaned into this idea of this filmmaker not known for horror. 

“After having met so many directors and hearing several pitches, Miramax and I were able to bring Jason on board, and he deserves credit for bringing David to the picture,” lauds Akkad.  “I have been a fan of David’s for years, and before even meeting I thought it would be an amazing opportunity.  Jeff, Danny and David came in and pitched their take; the rest is becoming history.”

For Blum, it is the not knowing the why behind Michael Myers’ motivation that is so terrifying.  He also wholly agreed with the collaborators’ idea that this should be Laurie’s final confrontation with Michael, and that the film would reset the series.  “This was 100 percent their pitch to me.  The idea I brought to Jeff, Danny and David was to make a new Halloween movie.  I told them they should imagine what would excite them and what they would most like to see.  It was their idea to make this movie a continuation of the first Halloween.”

Green recalls that hearing from Blum was one of the more pivotal episodes of his career.  “I remember that moment vividly, getting up in the morning and seeing this email from Jason asking to have me in the Halloween franchise.  I immediately felt strange, like when you’re standing on the edge of a cliff and your legs start to give out.  It triggered a lot of my enthusiasm from when I was a kid and would sneak into movies I shouldn’t have been watching.  Halloween was the pinnacle of all of them.” 

Block, who has produced fare as varied as the thought-provoking District 9 and Elysium to the crowd-pleasing Bad Moms films, agreed with his fellow producers that Green was the ideal choice to direct the new film.  “You see few directors move in genres as effortlessly as David has in the course of his career.  He has this scholarly understanding and elevation of all that has come before.  He has digested it and taken it a giant step forward; that’s set up a new bar of excellence.”

The producer shares that the matchup between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode is one for which audiences have waited a long time, and Green surpassed his expectations.  “You go to a movie for an absolute thrill ride and for the surprise.  The journey, particularly in this one—and this confrontation that has been brewing for 40 years between these two—upon his release is very satisfying.”


No comments: