As much as we love the Halloween series — give or take a few Halloween remakes and quasi-sequels — the idea that there were unmade films in the series makes us both giddy at the prospect and simultaneously sad at the loss of what we never got to see. Join us as we share several of the Halloween movies that never got made.
A totally different version of Halloween II: When Carpenter and Hill were both lured back to the nascent franchise — well, as much of a franchise as one film and a proposed sequel can be — an early script had Laurie Strode living in a massive apartment complex years after the original murders. They even discussed filming it in 3D!
Unnamed Halloween anthology films: 1982’s Halloween 3: Season of the Witch is a definite break in the saga of Michael Meyers, as creators John Carpenter and Debra Hill intended the end of the second film to be the actual end. The goal for this third film was to use the brand name to create a whole new series of annual films. Director and co-writer Tommy Lee Wallace told Fangoria, “It is our intention to create an anthology out of the series, sort of along the lines of Night Gallery, or The Twilight Zone, only on a much larger scale, of course.” Sadly, this never came to pass.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers: After their 1986 release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Cannon Films approached Carpenter and Hill to write and possibly direct this movie. Carpenter worked with Dennis Etchison, who had written the novelizations of the second and third films under the nom de plume Jack Martin, to create a script that Moustapha Akkad rejected as too cerebral. That script involved a Haddonfield where Michael Meyers and Dr. Loomis are dead, parents have banned the holiday of Halloween and Tommy Doyle and Lindsay Wallace drawn to one another by fate, as the phantom spirit of Meyers soon shows that he is stronger than even death itself. There’s even a drive-in setpiece that has Carpenter’s The Fog and Christine playing before The Shape emerges and sets the screen ablaze during a screening of a Friday the 13th sequel. Despite discussions with Joe Dante to direct, Carpenter and Hill would finally sell off their rights to the film and leave the series behind.
Another take on Halloween V: As messy and bad as this movie got, the proposed sequel script by Robert Harders (De Palma’s Home Movies) had The Shape brought back to life by lightning after being blasted down a mineshaft and down a river. All of the evil would have been taken out of him and by the end of the film, Dr. Loomis would unsuccessfully defend him against an angry mob.
Could Halloween 6 be worse? Maybe: For all of the chances that this series has — and hasn’t — taken, this insane script by Phil Rosenberg might be the craziest of all. It starts with The Shape as a homeless man, hiding out for five years before a Chicago TV reporter named Dana comes to Haddonfield to do a story on the town’s history with Halloween. Before you know it, she learns that she’s a forgotten sister of Laurie Strode, Tommy Doyle is able to view Hell and its Samhain festivals through the Matrix and Dr. Loomis shows up as a patient in Smith’s Grove. You can read it right here if you want.
Pinhead vs. The Shape? Say it isn’t so. OK, it isn’t: Doug Bradley, Pinhead himself, told Your Move Magazine that “I was told that the year before Freddy vs. Jason was released, Dimension Films rejected two scripts for a Hellraiser–Halloween crossover, which was obviously where they would go because they owned both franchises. I was told the reason they turned it down is because they didn’t think it would work. They predicted that Freddy vs. Jason would bomb, but it opened at the top of the box office and stayed there for a second weekend – I think I’m right in saying that it was the first movie that year to do so. After its success, Dimension wanted a Hellraiser–Halloween movie made immediately, so it was certainly going ahead. I had a couple of phone conversations with Clive Barker about it and I was getting quietly excited. Clive said he would write it and I heard reports John Carpenter would direct. The Akkad brothers, who produced Halloween, retained control of the sequels and didn’t want the crossover to be made. I guess they didn’t want Michael Myers hanging around with the likes of Pinhead.”
Halloween H2O + Carpenter: Carpenter was originally in the running to be the director for Halloween H20: 20 Years Later since Jamie Lee Curtis wanted to reunite everyone from the original film. Carpenter agreed, but his starting fee as director was $10 million, which he felt was proper compensation for revenue he never received from the original film. When Akkad refused that offer, Carpenter walked away.
Halloween 3D? Not with Rob Zombie: The director’s cut of Zombie second — and most divisive take on Haddonfield — ends with The Shape, Dr. Loomis and Laurie Strode all dead. Where can you go from here? Dimension gave writer Todd Farmer and director Patrick Lussier (the remake of My Bloody Valentine and Drive Angry) an entire week to figure that out. He emerged with a script that changed the ending, with Laurie stabbing Loomis and her running away from the police with Michael, who disappears and leaves her to be committed to Smith’s Grove and a new head doctor, played by Tom Atkins. At the end, Laurie would commit suicide to free herself and Michael revealing that his face had actually become the mask. Sadly, even though the script went over well, the team had already committed to Drive Angry.
Halloween by way of Saw: There was also 2015 movie that was almost made by the team of Saw IV-VII, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. It would have had Michael of a rampage in Russellville, a neighboring town of Haddonfield, on the night of his execution. Officer Hunt, played by Hunter von Leer in Halloween II, would return to protect his daughter. The film would have taken place in 1988 and had some really gory kills in the script, but Dimension lost the rights to Blumhouse.
Did I miss anything? Is there a script that you know about that didn’t get made? Do you want to talk about the demonic teenager who originally nursed The Shape back to health before it was switched to the old man in Halloween V? Wouldn’t a movie about the Cult of Thorn be awesome? Let me know!