Some days, I really have to pinch myself, because getting the opportunity to be at tonight’s Halloween announcement is easily one of the coolest moments I’ve had in the seven years I’ve lived in California.
Last week, I received a mysterious call from Josh Raffel at Blumhouse Productions, who invited me to a secretive event to be held tonight, May 23rd, and other than providing me with a time, that’s all the information I was given. Once I arrived tonight, along with a select group of journalists, the mystery was finally revealed with the announcement of a new partnership behind a brand new Halloween, which is bringing together Miramax, Blumhouse Productions, Trancas International’s Malek Akkad (longtime producer of the Halloween franchise), as well as legendary Master of Horror John Carpenter in an executive producer role for the film. And if all goes well, Jason Blum is hoping Carpenter will even come on board to score the new movie, too.
Here are some highlights from the announcement event tonight, and you can check out the full press release below for all of the details. I could not be more excited about this news, and the fact that this team came directly to the horror community instead of going straight to the trades, demonstrates just how much respect they have for the genre fans who have admired and supported the Halloween franchise over the last 38 years.
Malek Akkad on the new Halloween: "I can honestly say that I am the most excited about this grouping here, to be working with this great team at Miramax and obviously nothing needs to be said about Jason, Ryan [Turek], and the team at Blumhouse. So we are so thrilled and I think this is something that will really excite the fans immensely. We are so excited."
Jason Blum on involving John Carpenter: "All of us felt that the next Halloween movie shouldn’t exist without John Carpenter. And so when we all started talking about it, it was really cool because we all said that if we are going to do this, we gotta do this with the guy who started all of it. So John is going to executive produce the film, and hopefully score it too—he drives a hard bargain [laughs]."
John Carpenter on returning to the Halloween franchise: "I decided that after years of bitching about all the Halloween sequels that I said to myself, “You know what? If I come aboard and shepherd this thing, and help and support the director, being here with Malek Akkad and horror superstar Jason Blum, what could go wrong?” So we’re going to give it a try.
But Malek and I have been friends for some time now and he said to me, “Why don’t you come aboard,” and then I met with Jason, and I was sold."
John Carpenter on going back to the basics for a new Halloween: "We’re probably going to go back to the basics and the original traditions that we started with early on. It’s kind of gone astray a little bit; Michael Myers isn’t a character. He’s a force of nature, he’s not a person. He’s part supernatural, part human. He’s like the wind, an evil wind, and when you start straying away from that and you start explaining, you get lost. So hopefully we can guide it back in that direction."
Jason Blum on the status of the new Halloween: "We’re not being vague because we don’t want to tell you [things]; we’re being vague because we don’t know a lot of details yet. We’ve been talking about a lot of different things and all of us want to go back to that feeling [of the original Halloween]. We don’t want to make it too meta; we want to go back to the basics."
Jason Blum on a release date for the upcoming Halloween and directorial plans: "We don’t have a timeline in mind [for release], but we’d like to hit a Halloween; my guess is 2017. And I wouldn’t want to box myself into saying one way or another, but I think we’d like to work with someone who has a couple of movies under their belt."
John Carpenter on the biggest challenge going into a new Halloween: "The biggest challenge is being true to the original spirit of Halloween and not get carried away. Tell a simple story. Don’t get carried away with it. This is a Halloween movie and the original was made for very little money, and it was a little scary tale. That’s what we should be doing. That’s my opinion."
Press Release: LOS ANGELES, May 23, 2016 – John Carpenter, the multiple award-winning and legendary filmmaker and creator of the original Halloween films, will return to the franchise as executive producer on a new production of the iconic horror movie, it was jointly announced today by MIRAMAX® and Trancas International Films — MIRAMAX® and Blumhouse Productions will co- finance development and production, with Malek Akkad serving as producer under his Trancas banner and Jason Blum producing for Blumhouse. MIRAMAX®, which holds worldwide distribution rights, will determine its theatrical distribution partner at a future date.
The HALLOWEEN film franchise that was started in part by Carpenter and Moustapha Akkad in 1978 has spawned ten films generating a total of nearly $400 million in worldwide box office.
John Carpenter said: “38 years after the original Halloween I’m going to help to try to make the 10th sequel the scariest of them all.”
Malek Akkad said: “Trancas International is thrilled to be teaming up with Miramax on Halloween, one of the most enduring horror franchises in film. We are also very excited to be working with Jason Blum and the whole team at Blumhouse. Together, along with the return of legendary filmmaker John Carpenter, we are eager to make a film that will be a milestone in the franchise's legacy and that will excite the fans, young and old.”
Zanne Devine, MIRAMAX’s EVP Film & Television, said: “Malek Akkad’s legacy with the Halloween franchise accompanied by Blumhouse’s unprecedented talent in the horror genre lays the foundation of a formidable team to create the next chapter of this iconic fan favorite. Having John Carpenter godfather the reboot of the iconic franchise he helped create brings it full circle. We couldn’t be in better company bringing Halloween back to the big screen.”
Jason Blum said: “Halloween is one of those milestone films that inspired everyone at our company to get into the world of scary movies. The great Malek Akkad and John Carpenter have a special place in the hearts of all genre fans and we are so excited that Miramax brought us together. We cannot wait to find and collaborate with the right filmmaker to give Halloween fans the movie they deserve."
David Thwaites will oversee the reboot for MIRAMAX® with Carpenter and the companies planning to immediately go out to filmmakers and fast-track the project.
The Academy Award®-winning John Carpenter has written, directed, composed and/or edited over 20 films over the course of his career. An international household name, he is probably best known for his iconic features Halloween, The Thing, The Fog and Big Trouble in Little China, to name a few. As a musician, Carpenter kicks off his world tour in Los Angeles later this month, featuring songs from his Lost Themes and Lost Themes II albums – which he recorded with his son, Cody Carpenter. The 30+ city tour ends in Paris late November. He is repped by APA and Stankevich Law.
MIRAMAX® is a global film and television studio best known for its award-winning and original content. New projects include both film and television, among them Bad Santa 2 starring Billy Bob Thornton, who reprises his Golden Globe nominated role as Willie Soke, and Oscar®, Golden Globe and Emmy winner Kathy Bates, with Broad Green Pictures co-producing/co-financing and handling U.S. theatrical; Bridget Jones’s Baby from Working Title for Universal Pictures, MIRAMAX® and StudioCanal, with Oscar® winners Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth reprising their roles in the third installment of the Bridget Jones film series; the recent acquisition Southside With You, inspired by the first date of Barack and Michelle Obama, starring Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter, with MIRAMAX® and Roadside Attractions partnering on the U.S. release; and The 9th Life of Louis Drax starring Jamie Dornan, Aaron Paul and Sarah Gadon; as well as Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” heading into its third season in the U.S. on El Rey Network.
In 2015, MIRAMAX® together with Roadside Attractions, released the critically acclaimed Mr. Holmes, one of the year’s most successful independent hits, directed by Academy Award® winner Bill Condon and starring Academy Award® nominees Sir Ian McKellen and Laura Linney; as well as the Kevin Hart hit comedy The Wedding Ringer with Sony-Screen Gems.
Collectively, MIRAMAX’s unrivaled library of more than 700 titles has received 278 Academy Award® nominations and 68 Oscars®, earning most notably four Best Picture awards for The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Chicago and No Country for Old Men. More iconic titles from the library include critically acclaimed and commercial hits alike, such as Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, Bridget Jones’s Diary, the Scream film franchise, Kill Bill Vol. 1&2, and The Aviator.
“Oscar®” and “Academy Award®” are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“MIRAMAX®” and the “MIRAMAX” Logo are the registered trademarks, trademarks and service marks of Miramax, LLC.
About Trancas International Films
Trancas International Films is a motion picture production and distribution company based primarily in Los Angeles, California, but operating worldwide. In addition to numerous other films in its library, Trancas, along with its subsidiary, Compass International Pictures, has been involved with each film in the iconic Halloween franchise, and has production and distribution deals with companies including Miramax, Dimension Films, The Weinstein Company, and Anchor Bay Entertainment.
About Blumhouse Productions
Blumhouse Productions is a multi-media production company that has pioneered a new model of studio filmmaking: producing high-quality micro-budget films. Blumhouse has a first-look deal with Universal Pictures and has produced the highly profitable The Purge, Insidious, Ouija and Paranormal Activity franchises which have grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide. In 2015, Blumhouse produced the two highest grossing horror films - M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit and Insidious: Chapter 3. Blumhouse’s award winning films include Whiplash and Jason Blum won Emmys for his producing roles on HBO’s The Normal Heart and The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. In television, Blumhouse is currently producing Sharp Objects starring Amy Adams for HBO, based on Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel.
Photo by Eric Charbonneau. Pictured left to right: Zanne Devine, Malek Akkad, John Carpenter, Jason Blum, David Thwaites.