Danny McBride co-writing a new Halloween movie with Superbad director David Gordon Green sounds like a joke, but the Vice Principals star is taking this thing very seriously. In a new interview, McBride spoke about making the series scary again, getting Jamie Lee Curtis to return, and trying to honor a series beloved by so many. That last one is admittedly tricky when you’re literally ignoring every single movie in the franchise except the original, but hey, if there’s one horror series that needs emergency surgery to stay alive, it’s Halloween.
Speaking with Yahoo, McBride re-confirmed that their movie is a direct sequel to the original film, discarding the increasingly convoluted sequels that built an extensive mythology around masked killer Michael Myers:
We’re kind of ignoring all the films past the first one. It picks up after the first one, but it’s sort of an alternate reality. It’s as if the first Halloween ended in a slightly different way.
Previous statements have suggested that Halloween II would also be canon in this new film, but McBride’s comment suggests that the first follow-up is also being wiped away. If that’s the case, will Laurie Strode still be Michael’s long-lost baby sister, a revelation made in the sequel? Or will that detail be quietly erased so the new film can focus on other things?
In any case, McBride seems pretty stoked about getting Jamie Lee Curtis to return to the role of Laurie (who actually died in the original series canon in the awful Halloween: Resurrection):
I think everyone was kind of on the mindset of it’d be a grab to get her, but no one really knew if we would be able to. So Dave and I just busted our ass on this script to really make that Laurie Strode character something she wouldn’t be able to say no to. When we finished the script, we sent it to her, and she said she was in. So we just flipped out. We were over the moon about her involvement.
Still, McBride is aware that he’s playing with fire here. Horror fans are a dedicated lot, the kind of people who obsess over continuity and consistency, and the thought of a guy best known for starring in (often very funny) stoner movies taking on a horror icon raises eyebrows. And yes, McBride can feel your skepticism:
I just hope that we don’t f––k it up and piss people off. This is such a diehard fan base. You don’t want horror fans being your enemies because they show up at your house with masks on. We are diehard fans of Halloween. We’re watching all the sequels and where things have taken left turns here and there that maybe bites for fans, and at least trying to deliver what we would have wanted to see. Hopefully that will line up with most fans.
McBride also notes that the new Halloween is definitely not a comedy (there is only one joke in the script) and that the film is “straight horror.” While this may seem like a jarring turn of events for people who watch McBride from afar, this is very much in line with his recent work. While very much a raunchy comedy, HBO’s Vice Principals revealed a new side of McBride, a dark reflection of his stock “blustering buffoon” character. McBride has played plenty of live-action cartoon characters before, but that series revealed a dramatic edge previously unseen in his work, an interior pain that defined and refined the awkward comedy. And then there’s his strong work as a genuinely heroic character in this year’s Alien: Covenant, where he left a strong impression in a cast stacked with more typical dramatic actors.
Danny McBride seems ready to reinvent Danny McBride. And that’s good. The guy’s got talent. And if the Danny McBride reinvention process involves reinventing Halloween so it matters again after decades of lousy sequels…well, godspeed.
Halloween will be directed by David Gordon Green and is set to open on October 19, 2018.
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