Halloween Kills’ director says that while the new films ignoring previous sequels was a creative choice, there’s also a major legal aspect at play.
Halloween Kills director David Gordon Green says that while it was a creative choice for his new Halloween trilogy to ignore all previous sequels, there is also a major legal aspect at play that certainly made the decision easier.
“It is a tricky job in the writing of it, because there are certain things you’re drawn to do,” Green said in a recent interview with Uproxx. “But, also, a lot of these films have different rights holders. So there are different things you can and can’t do legally. And so you have your creative toolbox, come up with all the ideas, and then you have to propose it to the legal department. ‘Can I bring this character back? Who owns that? Is this a subplot that we could include or not?’
“It was certainly a creative choice to exclude most of the narrative of the franchise, but it significantly simplified the legality of it,” the director continued. “And whenever I’ve tried to reach into some of the moments that I appreciate from the others, I always get the no-no.”
Green’s Halloween trilogy began in 2018 with Halloween, which serves as a direct sequel to the 1978 film of the same name. The revival trilogy continues with Halloween Kills, which releases this coming Friday, and is slated to conclude with Halloween Ends, which is currently slated for release on Oct. 14, 2022.
Mind you, this isn’t the first time the franchise has purged its own canon. 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later — the seventh film in the Halloween franchise — did something very similar, acting as a direct sequel to 1981’s Halloween II and ignoring every film released in the interim. With Green’s Halloween striking Halloween II as well, a few major revelations have been removed from series canon, most notably the brother-sister relationship between main protagonist Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and main antagonist Michael Myers.
To Green’s point, the Halloween series has changed hands multiple times over the years. The original 1978 film was an independent movie produced and distributed by Compass International Pictures. Halloween II, meanwhile, was produced by the Dino De Laurentiis Corporation and landed a major distributor in Universal Pictures. Universal also distributed 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch, produced by Dion De Laurentiis and Debra Hill Productions.
1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and 1989’s Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers were both distributed by Galaxy International Releasing, with Halloween 4 being produced by Trancas International and Halloween 5 being co-production between Trancas and Magnum Pictures. 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, 1998’s Halloween H20 and 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection were all produced by Dimension Films, Nightfall Productions and Trancas and distributed by Miramax.
Green’s Halloween revival films are produced by Miramax, Blumhouse Productions, Trancas and Rough House Pictures and distributed by the aforementioned Universal. This could serve to explain how the Halloween Kills team was able to work in an homage to Universal’s Halloween III, a standalone film that previously had nothing to do with Michael Myers’ story. While speaking with Uproxx, Green even said he’d like to see Halloween III get a proper remake one day. Still, the fact remains that when it comes to Halloween rights, there are certainly a lot of different companies in play.
Halloween Kills releases in theaters and on Peacock on Oct. 15.
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