The Franchise Has Been On A Roller Coaster Ride For Over 40 Years. What Will Be The Ultimate Fate For "Halloween" and Michael Myers
Hopefully, this October will see the release of the latest entry in the Halloween saga Halloween Kills. A direct sequel to the critically lauded 2018 restart. It has been a longtime question for the franchise and Michael Myers in particular. The series has only deterred directly from Michael Myers once. The result was a resounding rejection by fans of the franchise. The franchise, and its fanbase, have certainly grown since 1982. It’s been a long time since a franchise as beloved by the masses has done anything as risky as replacing its “mascot.”
Michael Myers has been the franchise’s face, surviving through its sequels, reboots, and remakes. Unlike most other horror franchises, such as Texas Chainsaw and A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween had developed plans to move away from its mascot. Originally series co-creator John Carpenter had envisioned a series of anthology tales, each set on Halloween night. Since the poor reception from Halloween 3, those plans were abandoned. A Halloween 4 was quickly developed to continue the character’s story with a complete retcon explaining Michael’s survival. The character proved to be too much of a franchise attractor at the time to be sidelined.
The horror genre evolved over the last 30 plus years. Today’s fans want something different than they had in the 80s. With audiences’ attention geared more towards an evolving story and likable protagonist. While Michael’s effect on the series characters will maintain, there are opportunities to move the franchise forward.
There seems to be no end in sight as producer Jason Blum has already committed to more sequels pending Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends’ success. There is no doubt that for many fans Michael Myers, the Shape, represents the franchise.
The franchise to survive has limited options as it nears 43 years old; Reboot, Remake, or continue without “The Shape.” The former has been attempted several times. “Halloween” suffered three continuity reboots (in Halloween 4, H20, and 2018) and Rob Zombie’s remake. Only one attempt has been made in continuing without Michael Myers just once. There are plenty of stories to tell in Haddonfield. Still, it remains to be seen if the franchise’s allure can continue without its headline act. There is a question as to whether fans will respond to a continuation. The option to allow the franchise to sleep is seemingly off the table.
As a longtime Halloween fan, I would be remiss to not take it aside. Personally, seeing the franchise spread its wings and fly from the shadow of Michael Myers is tantalizing. The latest installment has set up two intriguing new characters who certainly have the strength to carry the franchise on. Perhaps Halloween could take a more scream-like approach for continuing installments, be it multi-film arcs or roaming antagonists.
If there are plenty of interesting characters and new ideas, the franchise has a good chance at continuing. Instead of washing away continuity, it is time to see if the franchise has the legs fans desire.
The way Hollywood operates, we are likely to get another reboot or remake. The allure of the iconic mask and the man behind it might prove to be too powerful to avoid. Time will tell what happens with the franchise’s future. What is assured is two more installments are coming down the pipeline. As October nears Halloween, fans are already eager to see what David Gordon-Green lined up. Halloween Kills, hopefully, releases this October, with Halloween Ends coming October 2022.