The film industry is a business. While us movie and TV fans may view it as entertainment, at the end of the day it is still just another business. Case in point is the reason why for the delay in the sequel Halloween Returns. As it turns out ComingSoon.net is reporting that the long awaited sequel is more than just delayed. It is dead. In fact it’s deader than one of Michael’s victims, and the reason is a business one. Dimension Films has lost the rights to the franchise.
Originally announced to begin production in Louisiana under partnership with Trancas International Films in July (which obviously never happened), the last update anyone ever heard regarding Halloween Returns came in September when director Marcus Dunstan said he wanted to cast Community star Gillian Jacobs for the lead role, then again in October when Halloween franchise producer Malek Akkad told Daily Dead:
“Unfortunately things happen in Hollywood where you have issues with studios and different variables—we’ve had to take a step back and now we’re trying to refigure this beast that is the new Halloween.”
TheWrap has confirmed reports that Miramax is now shopping the franchise rights to other studios, and adds that Dunstan and his co-writer Patrick Melton (with whom he wrote a number of the Saw films) have been cut loose as Miramax attempts to distance themselves from any baggage associated with Dimension. The studio had controlled the property since 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. This, of course, opens up the possibility of a crossover film, with Myers potentially taking on Jason Voorhees if the rights land at Paramount, or Freddy Kruger if it goes to Warner Bros./New Line.
Halloween Returns would have followed the events of 1981’s Halloween II that would pave a new continuity from there, ignoring all subsequent sequels and remakes. It would follow the first sequel’s Deputy Gary Hunt (originally played by Hunter von Leer), who accompanied Dr. Loomis to the school and is now acting sheriff of Haddonfield, Illinois. Dunstan’s approach was said to be more subtle than previous remakes by Rob Zombie, and was looking to shoot on film before he hit a roadblock with Dimension.
Dustan stated that his vision was for a more an “old school” horror film.
“The coolest thing we’ve done so far is a couple motion tests of potential Michaels. I want to see a film shot on film. I want it to be one that stands on its own. Suspense isn’t expensive. A karate fight in a burning room is expensive. Michael Myers is subtlety and suspense.”
Before Dunstan and Melton, Dimension had hired director Patrick Lussier and screenwriter Todd Farmer (My Bloody Valentine) to make Halloween 3D as a direct follow-up to the Zombie films and featuring the return of Halloween III: Season of the Witch star Tom Atkins, but after the duo’s failure with the Drive Angry starring Nicholas Cage it was decided that they might not make for a “good fit.”
So is this franchise dead in the water? Should it be left alone for a time, or should it never be revisited at all?
Let us know what you think in the comment section below!