Halloween (2018) brought together several key production companies—Blumhouse, Miramax, and Trancas International—in a spirit of collaboration to revive the beloved horror franchise and give fans a showdown that’s 40 years in the making.
At the recent press day for the newest Halloween, Daily Dead spoke with producer Bill Block from Miramax, who discussed how the sequel provided him with the opportunity to also launch the production company in a new direction and work alongside a great team of notable filmmakers as well. Block also talked about why David Gordon Green was the perfect choice to direction Halloween (2018), whether or not they’re thinking about future movies in this series, and more.
From a producing standpoint, when this all started to come together, what was the initial appeal for you? Because you've done bigger movies, you've done smaller movies. Was there something in particular about this project or Halloween itself that you just knew the time was right?
Bill Block: Well, it was a Miramax IP. So coming into this opportunity there to launch both Miramax the new studio and take one of its most valuable properties, combined with Jason Blum, and this being my first green light, those three things made it an easy decision, which I give Jason credit for, and David Gordon Green, too. It’s not easy to get a director like David in a genre picture, either, especially one that's part of a franchise. But I think that challenge appealed to him, and his freshness to the horror genre is also what worked so well in this film.
From your perspective, what was it about David in particular where he just felt like the right person to steer the ship on this film?
Bill Block: It was his story take and his passion—his knowledge, too. I'll call it a scholarly knowledge of the genre, of the Halloween movies in particular. He had a great handle on what has worked and what hasn't worked in the sequels, so he’s very smart guy, and has a great love for this series and these characters. When someone like that comes in, you immediately want to work with them. And David had a real vision of what this film could be, and he knew how use that vision to drive this story forward into the present day with excitement because it's new territory for him, but somewhat new territory for us as well.
When you guys were in the script process, was there anything you had to have them pull back on? Or did you guys just let them do what they wanted to do and then they took it from there?
Bill Block: There were maybe a few things, just because there's always a yin and a yang to making a horror movie. There may have been moments where we encouraged more of a push towards the horror, the scares. But because they so effectively laid out the character family dynamic, there was nothing there that needed adjusting.
What would have happened had you guys approached Jamie Lee with this and she said "no"? I mean, she's the cornerstone to this film. Could you have moved forward without her?
Bill Block: As businessmen, there is that conversation and the conversation is about thirty seconds long. In my opinion, we could not move forward without her. As I said, you have that, "Could we do this without Jamie Lee Curtis?" And fifteen seconds later, there is no plan B. We've got to get her. We can't do it without her. It would imperil the whole possibility and you'd be inauthentic to the audience, too. Without Jamie, this movie would be something entirely different.
Have you already thought about where this new series of films could go from here if everything goes well with the release? Have there been discussions about that, or is it just a "wait and see how the film does first" type of situation? I don't think you guys are going to have any issues with opening weekend.
Bill Block: Yes, we are definitely thinking about it. I know everybody wants to see how things happen, too. But we have a partner here in this wonderful studio, Universal, who's absolutely the goddamn best at doing these films. They really are a terrific factor in how this film will do. But it'd be premature to say that the next one is set, but we certainly hope so.
From your perspective and looking at what you guys have been able to come together and achieve on Halloween, what has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?
Bill Block: I will say that what I have enjoyed the most is this real sense of camaraderie and a deep collaborative relationship with Jason [Blum], Couper (Samuelson), and Ryan Turek at Blumhouse, and then David [Gordon Green], Danny [McBride], Jamie Lee, and John Carpenter, too. My big takeaway here is a family. This movie is about a family, and I was honored and thrilled being a part of a new family to make this movie. I hope we get to all come together and do this again.
Stay tuned to Daily Dead in the coming days for more interviews for the new Halloween, and in case you missed it, check here to catch up on all of our previous Halloween (2018) coverage!