John Carpenter returns to ‘Halloween’ in a genuinely surprising announcement

John Carpenter”s returning to Halloween.

That is a very surprising thing to type. I”ve had long conversations with John about Halloween and Michael Myers, and I would have said there would be no way he would return to the series. It”s not that he doesn”t like Myers; he does, and quite a bit. He”s justifiably proud of the film he made in 1978, and he”s definitely got thoughts about the films that followed his first movie. I”m still a fan of the idea of a series of different horror films all set on or around the holiday, and I”m glad to see that over time, Halloween III: Season Of The Witch has become more and more respected.

While I”m not a fan of the ongoing story of Michael Myers, I”m aware that there are people who love all of it, who really are invested in all of that continuity. None of that has anything to do with the original film that John directed, and even in the sequel that he co-wrote, he found himself retroactively re-inventing things about Michael and Laurie. I”m curious what rights, if any, this new team has to the material that exists in other movies, and I”m equally curious how much they care about any of it.

Here”s one of those things that a lot of fans never seem to understand: John Carpenter doesn”t own Halloween. He hasn”t had anything to do with those films, and he doesn”t make anything on any of them. He figured out the perfect loophole years ago, though, because every one of the sequels has used the theme song that he does own. And every single time, he has charged them an indecent amount of money to use the music. It”s brilliant on his part, and he never has to lift a finger in order to benefit from the ongoing fascination with his version of the boogyman.

I am delighted to see how active John”s been recently. His two Lost Themes albums are great fun for fans of his iconic film work, and he”s had real success in comics as well. It”s really nice see him hard at work with Cody, his son, who also wrote the scores for both of the films I made with John, and his wife Sandy remains a tireless champion of all things John related. He”s on the road now for a 30-city tour with his band, and I”m excited to be seeing him live on June 18th here in Los Angeles.

The announcement that he is executive producing the tenth Halloween film, made tonight at an event at Blumhouse in Los Angeles, is an interesting attempt to try to start this next film in the franchise with as much fanfare as possible. Honestly, there”s no other name that could lend some semblance of dignity back to the series. Malek Akkad and Jason Blum will co-produce, with both Trancas and Blumhouse partnered on the film, and Miramax is already onboard as worldwide distributor.

Beyond that, it doesn”t sound like they have anyone else attached. I”m curious to see how quickly this get misreported as Carpenter either writing or directing the film. I'm already seeing people greatly overreact based on the announcement that was actually made. I'm glad he's involved, yes, but it's not like he's actually “making” the film. That”s not impossible, obviously, but I”d be greatly surprised if either of those things happens.

Having John”s voice in the mix is a good thing. He has a very low tolerance for bullshit, and with his creative energy running on high right now, this might be the best moment for him to help figure out how to make Halloween cool again.