Friday, October 11, 2013

John Carpenter & Debra Hill Depart The Halloween Franchise

Surprisingly, John Carpenter was not against doing Halloween 4.  Following their release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (a very underrated horror-comedy), Canon Films wanted to resurrect another figure of horror's past, Michael Myers.  Jason Voorhees was big business and Freddy Krueger was on the rise.  The slasher genre was experiencing its second wind.  Canon approached John Carpenter to write and direct the film.  Carpenter and production partner Debra Hill still were involved in II & III, just from producer standpoints (and in Carpenter's case serving as composer).  They also shared rights (and much less of them) with the financier of the original, Moustapha Akkad.

Carpenter brought in author Dennis Etchinson to help him pen the script/outline of what was to be the fourth film.  Canon Films requested that Michael Myers be brought back in this fourth installment.  And after the 3rd film's financial disappointment and audience backlash, I don't think it was an issue.  Etchinson had penned the novelizations for Halloween II & III so he was very well versed in the series at this point.
Now, information on this is very scarce.  But, its said that Carpenter and Etchinson's Halloween 4 was to deal with Haddonfield in the years following the '78 murders.  That Michael Myers still haunts the lives of these people.  It was to be kind of a ghost story and then kind of not.  Apparently it was a really unique idea.  An idea so unique that majority shareholder Moustapha Akkad scoffed at, said it was "too cerebral" and shitcanned it.  
Akkad wanted more of the same.  Halloween III had burned the guy.  He wanted success.  He wanted some good financial returns.  Michael Myers, flesh and blood stalking and killing.  Carpenter and Hill weren't interested in retreading this a third time.  They ended up agreeing to sell all their rights that remained to Moustapha.  Etchinson's script was thrown by the wayside as well.  Moustapha Akkad became the sole rights holder of the Halloween franchise.  Halloween 4 would now be fully under his lead and supervision.

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