'Halloween': How a Real-Life Killer Inspired the New Michael Myers

The world is ready for Michael Myers' return, in David Gordon Green and Danny McBride's new Halloween (2018) movie, which is about to open in theaters. The new Halloween brings back the original "Shape" actor Nick Castle for an iconic reunion scene with Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode; however, a majority of Michael Myers' screen time in the new film is filled by actor James Jude Courtney.

Courtney has some big shoes to fill (literally and figuratively), but early Halloween footage has shown that Courtney truly embodies what Michael Myers' is all about. The big man glides and moves through scenes and sequences with unnatural smoothness and even what could be called grace. It's the type of predatory menace that first made Michael Myers a slasher film icon; and according to Courtney, the inspiration for his 'Shape technique' came from a real-life predatory killer!

Here's what Courtney revealed to Vanity Fair in a recent interview:

"Years ago, I met a real hit man through a mutual acquaintance — he wanted his life story written, so he was living with me. He had just left a safe house and served in a penitentiary up in the Northwest. I absorbed his life just by hanging out with him every day. I took him to see a film I was in called The Hit List. We walked out of the screening, and he said to me, 'Jimmy, it’s a really nice movie, but that’s not how you kill people.'


'I’m gonna show you how.'

There’s a stealth efficiency to the way an actual trained killer works. Movies tend to dilute that quality with dramatic pauses and dialogue, which a true predator would never waste time doing. That efficiency is what I took to the part of Michael Myers."

A lot of hardcore Halloween fans will hear that take on Michael Myers and fully applaud it. John Carpenter's original Halloween movie centered around the idea of demonstrating just how flimsy the "safe bubble" of suburbia really was - and how easily it can be penetrated by a evil, predatory, forces. The latest Halloween (2018) trailer was a strong showcase for how Courtney's Michael Myers will use the camouflage of Halloween night to slip in and out of homes along the streets of Haddonfield, dispatching citizens with impunity, never being truly "seen," and constantly being underestimated for how fast and agile he actually is.


As horrible as the source of the information may have been, Courtney's experience learning from an actual hitman may prove invaluable. The original Halloween is somewhat dated in actor Nick Castle's approach of depicting "The Shape" as a somewhat clumsy killer, who missed easy ambushes and fatal strikes all over the place. If Courtney's Michael Myers is more precise and efficient, we could actually be looking at the best depiction of Michael Myers, to date.

Halloween opens in theaters on October 19th.