Next October will see the release of an all-new chapter in the Halloween saga, the first installment since Rob Zombie's Halloween II in 2009. The upcoming film sees the return of original star Jamie Lee Curtis, director John Carpenter as an executive producer and actor Nick Castle as "The Shape." With all these integral components of the original film returning, the question still remains over whether or not the sequel will embrace the biggest narrative thread that inspired many of its sequels, with Michael Myers' goal being to kill his family members.
The original film saw Michael Myers killing his sister on Halloween night, earning him a trip to a mental institution. 15 years later, Michael breaks out of the facility to head to his hometown, picking off teenagers before Laurie Strode (Curtis) can fight back long enough for Michael's doctor, Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence), to shoot the killer.
The next film in the series picked up where the previous film ended, with Laurie headed to a hospital and a Michael still pursuing her. As the police search for the killer, they end up discovering that Laurie is Michael's younger sister, a fact that Laurie was also oblivious to.
Many of the film's sequel used this familial connection as justification for Michael's actions, regularly recuperating from near-fatal wounds to stalk members of his family.
Curtis left the franchise before Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, instead shifting the focus to Laurie's daughter Jamie (Danielle Harris). That film's climax involved Jamie temporarily inheriting her uncle's deadly ways, with Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers seeing Michael once again setting out to kill Jamie. In Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, Jamie gives birth and manages to help the baby escape before getting killed, with the baby now being Michael's target.
With Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Curtis returned to the franchise, effectively erasing the events of the previous three films. The familial connection was once again the reason for Michael's pursuits, as the bloodline also inspired the events of Rob Zombie's reboot films.
If one of the main ingredients of the Halloween films is the motivation for Michael being his family, why would a new film ignore that factor, especially given that Curtis is returning for the sequel?
Earlier this year, co-writer Danny McBride shared the concept of the film which may hint at what to expect with the sequel.
“We’re kind of ignoring all the films past the first one,” McBride told Yahoo!. “It picks up after the first one, but it’s sort of an alternate reality. It’s as if the first Halloween ended in a slightly different way.”
The majority of installments in the 10-film series feature the familial connection, yet many audiences forget that there is zero evidence of this connection in the original film, much in the same way some audiences forget that Jason Voorhees isn't the killer in the original Friday the 13th.
The film that solidified the familial bond was written by Carpenter, who admits he did so begrudgingly.
"I had to write the second movie, and every night I sat there and wrote with a six pack of beer trying to get through this thing," Carpenter told Deadline in 2014. "And I didn’t do a very good job, but that was it. I couldn’t do any more."
In other words, Carpenter never intended for the overall mythology of the character being dependent upon bloodline, which also explains why the next film in the saga, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, abandoned the Michael Myers concept entirely and instead focused on a Halloween mask company run by a villainous mastermind.
Other comments McBride has made seem to suggest that the only film in the franchise that matters is the original, with his film potentially ignoring anything related to family.
"The original is all about tension. Laurie Strode doesn't even know that Michael Myers exists until the last minutes of the movie," McBride shared with the Charleston City Paper. "So much of it you're in anticipation of what's going to happen and the dread that Carpenter spins so effortlessly in that film, I think we were really trying to get it back to that. We're trying to mine that dread. Mine that tension and not just go for gore and ultra-violence that you see some horror movies lean on."
All of these clues reveal that McBride and co-writer/director David Gordon Green will ignore most or all of the plot details of any of the sequels, that Carpenter, who has given his blessing to the project, wasn't a fan of the direction of the films after the original and that the tone of the film is more important than the specific narrative elements.
Judy Greer will be playing Laurie's daughter while Andi Matichak plays Laurie's granddaughter, so there will be a larger family for Laurie in the upcoming film, but we won't be surprised if the upcoming installment abandons that concept completely to circumvent audiences' expectations.
The upcoming Halloween sequel is slated to hit theaters on October 19, 2018.