Today we learned that the Halloween franchise is bringing back its biggest icon (besides Michael Myers, obviously), as Jamie Lee Curtis will be returning as Laurie Strode in the upcoming Halloween sequel. However as this news spreads across the web, longtime fans of the Halloween franchise are all echoing one big question: How does Laurie Strode's return make sense?
The makers of this latest Halloween movie (Eastbound & Down duo Danny McBride and David Gordon Green) have previously stated that it will be a direct sequel to John Carpenter's Halloween II, set years later, leading many to believe that it would negate the events of the latter Halloween sequels.
Therefore, the breaking news flash that Laurie Strode is indeed returning for this new film (with thirty-plus years of age added to her appearance) certainly makes things more confusing. Here's what we know:
What the Filmmakers Want
This is the vision that Danny McBride laid out for this Halloween sequel, during an inteview earlier this year:
“Look at where the Halloween franchise has gone. There’s a lot of room for improvement... we are humongous fans of John Carpenter and of what he did with the original Halloween, so I think from watching this and being disappointed by other versions of this series, I think we’re just trying to strip it down and just take it back to what was so good about the original."
Some of the changes that McBride described involved stripping the supernatural aspects and general invincibility that became part of the Michael Myers lore in later sequels.
So the new Halloween won't be revisiting the Thorn Cult or Michael Myers as the vessel for unkillable evil, but the question remains: how will this new film get around the fact that those fantastical changes occurred in the franchise, or that Laurie Strode is, technically, dead?prevnext
Canon vs. Non-Canon
The Halloween franchise has already played with the idea of ignoring elements in the later sequels that haven't worked. John Carpenter famously dropped out of the franchise after doing Halloween and Halloween II; when he left, he took the Michael Myers character along with him, forcing Halloween 3: Season of the Witch to try (and fail) to launch a new storyline. After that film flopped hard, Myers was brought back into the franchise for The Return of Michael Myers, Revenge of Michael Myers, and The Curse of Michael Myers (parts 4 - 6).
Those films introduced the supernatural elements of Michael Myers and are considered so bad that eventually they were removed from official franchise canon. Halloween: H20 was released in 1998 and brought back Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode for a story that negated the events of parts 4 - 6. Halloween: Resurrection followed in 2002 and is considered the last canonical chapter of the original series. The film actually killed off Laurie Strode early on, removing Jamie Lee Curtis from the franchise for good (or so we thought). After Resurrection, the Halloween franchise was rebooted into the Rob Zombie films.
Halloween: H20 and Resurrection were considered to be critically and financially successful (respectively), but neither holds up all that well. That's all to say: while both are considered to be canonical sequels to Halloween II, there's room for both to be swept under the rug, as this new situation warrants...prevnext
How Laurie Is Coming Back (Again)...
"Same porch. Same clothes. Same issues. 40 years later. Headed back to Haddonfield one last time for Halloween. Release date 10/19/18." pic.twitter.com/IvptiZctyw— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) September 15, 2017
This brings us to the question of McBride and Green's film, as there are only two real ways this new Halloween could conceivably bring back Laurie Strode:
The New Halloween 3 - Green and McBride may view Halloween 7 & 8 as failures that shouldn't be included in the main canon. Therefore, their new film will take the story approach of having Laurie Strode's story continue from the events of Halloween II straight into this new chapter. Ironically, it's something the franchise has tried before: Halloween 4 brought Michael Myers back into the franchise after a long absence by explaining that the killer was left in a coma for a decade, after the events of Halloween II. That same premise could be recycled, with this new film hopefully using it better than Halloween 4 did.
The New Halloween 5 - The other approach would be to accept the events of Halloween 1, 2, 7 & 8 as all being canon, and this new sequel would essentially be the fifth film in original series. That would require a lot more narrative acrobatics, as Halloween Resurrection brought a definitive end to the Laurie Strode character, when she died in a final confrontation with Michael Myers on the roof of a mental institution. However, given how that milestone kill played out (a stab in the back and short fall to the ground), there's wiggle room for the reveal that Laurie actually survived, and has been in hiding ever since.
Either approach has its problems when it comes to stretching the boundaries of believability. However, for our part, we're hoping that Green and McBride indeed choose to take the big risk, and erase every Halloween film after Carpenter's sequel from the canonical lineup. Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode always deserved a better epilogue than H20 or Resurrection provided - and hopefully she's about to get one.
The new Halloween will be in theaters on October 19th, 2018.0comments
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