In case you missed Friday’s big announcement from Universal Pictures: Blumhouse, Miramax and Trancas International are moving forward with not one, but two sequels to 2018’s ‘Halloween’! The two films will be shot back-to-back this fall, with David Gordon Green returning to the Director’s chair. Although no story details have been revealed at this time, the announcement came with release dates and titles.
‘Halloween Kills’, written by David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Scott Teems, will be released on October 16th, 2020.
‘Halloween Ends’, written by David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Paul Brad Logan and Chris Bernier, will be released on October 15th, 2021.
While the titles may not be the greatest, I’m at least very thankful for the fact that media outlets can finally stop referring to the sequels as ‘Halloween 2’ and ‘Halloween 3’; the confusion of what any sequel to the 2018 film would be called stems from the decision to release that film as the simply titled ‘Halloween’, despite the fact that it acts as a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s masterpiece from 1978. It is of my opinion that ‘Halloween’ (2018) should have been released with a subtitle since it’s essentially an alternate reality ‘Halloween 2’, making the upcoming two sequels technically ‘Halloween 3’ and ‘Halloween 4’ – but that argument is now irrelevant as they wisely decided to ditch numbering in favor of title extensions.
As far as those new titles go, though …
‘Halloween Kills’ is an awkward title for sure, but I’d count on it pertaining to some sort of context within the new film – I’m speculating here, but perhaps we could see some sort of movement from the families of the victims and the residents of Haddonfield to push for the banning of the holiday, and maybe ‘Halloween Kills’ is a slogan? Or maybe ‘Halloween Kills’ will be the name of a documentary on Myers rampage through Haddonfield within the film? Until story details are released, we won’t know for sure, and while admittedly neither of those speculations make the title any better, I’m just hoping that there’s some sort of justification for it – I’d be more forgiving if it relates to a plot point.
One thing I’m willing to bet on is that ‘Halloween Kills’ is going to end with a massive cliffhanger. The fact that both films will be shot back-to-back suggest that like ‘John Carpenter’s Halloween’ (1978) and ‘Halloween 2’ (1981), both films will most likely be set on the same night, making them two halves of one large story.
‘Halloween Ends’ is a title that I’m totally fine with as it’s a lot less awkward than the other, and promises to bring a conclusion to the new timeline. But will this be the ending of the ‘Halloween’ franchise as a whole? Fuck no. I see a lot of fans online taking this new title to heart and believing that there will be no new movies following the 2021 sequel – that this will be the complete and total end to Michael Myers/The Shape, but that is something I just cannot see happening. I have a real hard time believing that Malek Akkad, who has been involved with this series since he served as a Production Assistant on ‘Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers’(1988), and who took the reigns as franchise caretaker since his father’s untimely and tragic death in 2005, is going to be done with the franchise that keeps Trancas afloat. There’s no way that’s happening. ‘Halloween Ends’ will be the end of the new timeline/story-line that began with the 2018 sequel, and will most likely be the very last time we’ll ever see Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, but the franchise will live on. There may be another gap in time before we see a return to the world of ‘Halloween’, but there will be more.
In an interview just last year, Malek Akkad had expressed interest in developing ‘Halloween’ for the small screen as a potential television series; if that doesn’t pan out, I’m sure we’ll get more movies – let’s face it, since ‘Halloween: H20’ (1998) this franchise hasn’t followed a linear continuity and is divided up with multiple different timelines, so it’s not like the future of this series has to adhere to the previous films to live on – who knows, maybe Danielle Harris will get her wish and we’ll see an alternative version of Jamie Lloyd’s fate following the ending to ‘Revenge of Michael Myers’ (1989); or maybe we’ll get a post ‘Resurrection’ sequel with Michael once again targeting John Tate; maybe we’ll get a third film to the Rob Zombie saga; or maybe we’ll just get something new entirely. My point is that this series has had its share of highs and lows, in terms of quality and box office, and has reemerged from the shadows without resorting to direct-to-video efforts, and considering the enormous box office success of the 2018 film, this franchise isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Until Malek Akkad makes an official press release stating that the ‘Halloween’ franchise is coming to a permanent close, ‘Halloween Ends’ is not the end of ‘Halloween’.
Speaking of the newly announced movies, fans of the franchise might be interested to know that the two new films will set new franchise records:
- ‘Halloween Kills’ and ‘Halloween Ends’ will be Jamie Lee Curtis’s sixth and seventh appearance in the franchise. As of the 2018 film she’s tied with the late-great Donald Pleasence with five films, and just behind them is Danielle Harris with four films (divided between two different characters, which isn’t that big of a deal considering Jamie Lee played two different takes of one character).
- ‘Halloween Kills’ and ‘Halloween Ends’ are going to be David Gordon Green’s second and third ‘Halloween’ films, making him the only director to do three consecutive films in the franchise; previously, the record was held at two films between Rick Rosenthal, who directed ‘Halloween 2’ (1981) and ‘Halloween: Resurrection’ (2002), and Rob Zombie, who helmed ‘Halloween’ (2007) and ‘Halloween 2’ (2009).
- IF James Jude Courtney returns as Michael Myers in the two new films, he’ll be the only stunt actor to portray the character three times. As of now the record is tied at two between George P. Wilbur, who portrayed “The Shape” himself in ‘Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; (1988) and ‘Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers’ (1995), and Tyler Mane, who played the character in ‘Halloween’ (2007) and ‘Halloween 2’ (2009).
- ‘Halloween Kills’ and ‘Halloween Ends’ will mark the twelfth and thirteenth entries in the series, and will finally surpass ‘Friday the 13th’ for most films in a slasher franchise. ‘Friday the 13th’ sits at twelve films, with a bleak future ahead amidst an on-going law suit.
So, what are your thoughts on the new announcement? How do you feel about the new titles? Do you think ‘Halloween Ends’ will be the last of the franchise? Let us know!