What We Know About Halloween 2…So Far

Facts, speculation and other musings

Michael Myers drives people crazy. Fact. And I’m not just talking about the adoring fans who keep the message boards buzzing with theories about the killer’s latest movements. The press gets swept up in a rumor volleying frenzy whenever news surfaces over a new Halloween film, too. He said this, she said that. We’re all guilty of it. But after two weeks since we exclusively broke the news that Rob Zombie was returning to the franchise (here’s the original break) – during which time I watched everyone snicker with doubt as if I haven’t been doing this for years and forgot that I got the scoop on Zombie’s involvement in the remake during my tenure at Fangoria – confirmation came down when a press release was finally issued. It was met with a mixed response. But that’s par for the course. I don’t think there has been any other film in the last decade that elicits such a divisive response like Rob Zombie’s Halloween. I’m talking full-on verbal assaults (I’ve never seen it come to fisticuffs in public, though). Like I said, Myers drives people crazy.

And now we have Halloween 2, or, as Zombie is calling it H2. It even says so on a piece of promo art that was likely whipped up by the man himself solely for the announcement. The title selection may simply be the director’s choice, or, a possible maneuver to avoid confusion/legal entanglement with Universal who owns 1981’s Halloween II. Now it’s just one zero shy from looking like Dimension’s former attempt to reboot the series H20. Whatever the case, let’s take a look at, and address, some of the many other discussions swirling around H2.

• Shooting start and release: Production is expected to begin in March with an October release planned. Even though Dimension Films (moreover the Weinstein brothers) is notorious for doing the release date shuffle, they’ll probably hold to this. And it’s entirely feasible. Yes, it’s a quick turnaround. Say what you will about his end product, there’s no denying he’s diligent and focused (check out the exhaustive 4 1/2-hour documentary on the new three-disc Halloween). Plus, he’s worked under these conditions before on the remake. He was shooting in early 2007 for a late-August release. On top of that, he had extra time somewhere in between to go back for some additional shooting. So yeah, I don’t think he’s going to have a problem next year. Especially since they’re eyeballing an October debut for the next film. We’ll see if that remains solid – and I’m not saying that it’s not realistic, I just wouldn’t be surprised if Dimension gets antsy and pushes it up to a Labor Day weekend release to reap the same profits the remake captured (it opened to $26.3 million).

• The story: No one knows what it is. But we do know what it’s not. It’s not a remake of Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween II and somehow that’s lost in a few message board discussions I’ve sifted through. Whatever Zombie has up his sleeve, we suspect it’s an idea he’s been nurturing a little while now despite the fact that, yes, he’s said he would not do a sequel. He also said he would not do a remake, yet he had a good reason for his change of mind when filming commenced on his version of the Carpenter film. Hollywood’s a fickle place. It’s something you have to get used to. I just find it odd that the Weinsteins tried to attach Myers to other directors first before returning to Zombie. That’s like having your girlfriend experimenting with other guys before she settles on you. Myers, you dirty whore.

• Casting: To date, the only person confirmed is Tyler Mane. Although there have been rumors in the last day or so that much of the principle cast from the remake will come back in some capacity, you can never be so sure. Scout Taylor-Compton seemed pretty quick to slam us this month stating you shouldn’t believe what you read on the ‘net leading us to believe she didn’t even know about the sequel until this week’s announcement, so unless Zombie put out calls to his regulars telling them to be prepared, I’ll reserve comment on who’s returning and who’s not until it’s official. Taylor-Compton would seem to be the next obvious attachment. And we hear the powers-that-be are mulling over replacing a key player in the Myers saga. Zombie is loyal to actors he responds to (a strong sense of allegiance everyone loves to call him on), so I’m not sure what will happen at the end of the day. I won’t name the actor and I won’t name the character, but replacing him/her could be both a detriment and a possibly good thing.

• The mask: In-the-works. At least that’s what I’m hearing through the grapevine. It’s been in the works for the last few weeks. And, given the remake’s conclusion, I wonder if we’ll be seeing any bullet holes in this sucker.

• What’s this mean for Tyrannosaurus Rex?: Other than, you won’t be seeing it next year? Zombie spent a good part of the summer teasing his fans with dynamic concept art full of brawn ‘n blood, so his passion for the project palpable. But were the Weinsteins, staggering headlong into 2009 with economic problems, so eager to bet on untried material? Let’s just say investing in something familiar with Rob Zombie is much more attractive. I don’t doubt Tyrannosaurus Rex. I really want to see it happen. It just might not happen with the Weinsteins.

The next three months are about to get very interesting as Zombie barrels towards H2. It will be followed with enthusiasm and dissent within the horror community. That’s to be expected. For me, someone who remains on the fence about Halloween (acknowledging its merits and flaws), I’m curious to see what he’s going to do. And I’ll do my best to cover this next chapter ever step of the way with an unbiased eye.

Source: Ryan Rotten, Managing Editor


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