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Firestarter Writer Scott Teems named as the Writer of New Halloween Movie from Leading Horror Studio Blumhouse


21 February 2019

It feels like we’ve only just had a brand new ‘Halloween’ movie, but there’s already a fresh sequel in the pipeline, and as of this month it has a writer attached to it. It’s not any old writer either; it’s Scott Teems, the man responsible for ‘Firestarter.' Teems is no stranger to writing horror, as his ‘Firestarter' credit proves; he's adapted not one, but two Stephen King books for the big screen, and so will be regarded as a safe pair of hands for the veteran franchise.

The most recent ‘Halloween was released in October last year, with an ending that doesn’t at first glance seem to leave room for a sequel. In the climax of the movie (warning: if you haven’t seen it yet, look away now), all of the surviving members of the Strode family other than Michael conspire to trap him in the basement of a house, and then burn it down with him inside it. The new film is explicitly being described as a sequel rather than a prequel, and so it would seem that Michael Myers has, yet again, cheated death. At this point, it seems he will go on to be revived as many times as the legendary series of films itself. 

At one point during the early production phase of the 2018 ‘Halloween' movie, there was talk of creating two films and recording them back to back, but the idea was abandoned, and production company Blumhouse have elected to go in a different direction. Producer Jason Blum stated in September 2018 that so long as the 2018 movie performed there would be another film made, so there was an air of inevitability about this latest entry in the series being confirmed only two weeks after the last film was released. It's understood that Teems came to them with a treatment that he'd already written, and Blumhouse was impressed enough to give him the green light.

 

 

At this early stage of production, there's no confirmation of specifically who will be appearing in what will be the twelfth entry in the series of movies, but it's generally expected that Jamie Lee Curtis will take on her most famous role once again. It wouldn't be ‘Halloween' without Curtis, as it's the tale of her character which runs as a thread throughout each film and connects the narrative.

We're also waiting to hear news on who the director may be. Teems does have directorial credits to his name including 2009's indie cult-hit ‘That Evening Sun,' but at this point has only been confirmed as the writer. David Gordon Green is the most recent person to sit in the chair for the ‘Halloween' movies, and could yet be selected again. Both Scott Derrickson and Fatih Allen have recently worked with both Teems and Blumhouse to create the two King novel adaptations (‘The Breathing Method' and ‘Firestarter' respectively), and either one of them could also be in the frame for the job, too.

While it's not entirely impossible to have the movie shot and edited in time for Halloween 2019, it's on the outer edges of ‘unlikely,' and so it's more plausible that ‘Halloween 12' (which is just a working title) will be released for Halloween 2020 instead. There is currently an unknown Blumhouse movie scheduled for release on October 18 this year, and they could yet surprise us by rushing the new ‘Halloween' out on that date, but it's more likely being kept for their well-received Sundance Film Festival submission ‘Sweetheart.' The producers could also go for a release date earlier in 2020, but it wouldn't be in keeping with either the theme or the tradition of the previous movies.

 

 

While there are plenty of cinema-goers and even industry professionals who are growing tired of the number of remakes and sequels hitting our screens, money ultimately talks much louder than anything else in the world of cinema, and studios like to err on the side of caution when it comes to investing big money in projects. When you release a fresh entry into a series which has an established fan base, you have a significantly increased chance of seeing a return on your investment. Last year's ‘Halloween' grossed $76m at the box office during its opening weekend, and $253m overall by the end of its movie theater run. As it cost a comparatively meager $15m to make, that's a huge return, and will likely have been the primary motivator to return to the well yet again and commission the sequel.

Halloween is one of those franchises, like ‘Star Wars' and ‘The Fast and the Furious,' which has become an industry in its own right, and ownership of the intellectual property is almost a license to print money. There are official dolls and clothing lines attached to the movies, and a licensed ‘Halloween' slot game which is available to players at Money Reels, which features the sounds and characters from the movies. It’s proven to be popular with online slot players, who have an added incentive to survive Michael’s attacks. The characters in the movies merely escape with their life if they successfully avoid the masked killer. If the players of the game can stay out of his way, they’re also in line to win money!

 

 

As long as people keep coming up with fresh ways to present the ‘Halloween’ story, studios will continue to make them. The franchise has survived two questionable versions created by rock music legend Rob Zombie just over a decade ago, and also huge changes to its own established continuity without losing its audience. The 2018 film was presented as a direct sequel to the 1978 original, set in an alternate timeline so as to completely disregard the events of all ten films which came after it. The box office receipts prove that, as with the rebooted ‘Star Trek’ film series, viewers are happy to go along with that so long as the story gives them what they want. With Teems at the helm, we’re confident that when Michael Myers comes back once again, he’ll be even more frightening than ever before.

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