Laurie and Michael Myers were never intended to be siblings… Just like the original Halloween was never supposed to have a sequel.
It’s October! And although some of you may have seen this little tidbit from John Carpenter over the summer, we thought it was worth revisiting and placing in the appropriate context. ComicBook.com spoke to Carpenter about the new Halloween franchise after news emerged that there was not going to be a sibling connection between Laurie and Michael Myers. In the original films, the connection was not revealed until Halloween II (1981). Here’s what Carpenter had to say about it:
“Well, the brother reveal was caused by NBC. NBC purchased the rights to show Halloween on network television. But our movie was too short for them. So we needed to add some time. I think we had to add, what was it, eight minutes or something like that, I don’t remember. And there was nothing to add. The first movie was just what I wanted to make… I don’t have anything to add. So I came up with this brother thing. It was awful, just awful. But, I did it.” – John Carpenter
The familial connection was simply an expedient driven by the demands of a major network. Carpenter even suggested that he may have been drunk when he made the decision.
But what went relatively unnoticed about his remarks, probably because Carpenter quickly got back on track, was the ‘first movie’ comment. “The first movie was just what I wanted to make”. It was assumed he was talking about his original cut to Halloween 2 and maybe he was, or maybe it was a slip.
In 2011, Tommy Lee Wallace, Film Editor for the original 1978 movie, revealed that there was never any intention for a sequel whether Halloween enjoyed commercial success or not. It was assumed in retrospective that Carpenter wanted to leave that window open because Michael Myers disappears at the end.
What people forget was that there was no formula before Halloween. Halloween was the accidental benchmark of slasher films. The intention was to scare… And what’s more scary than ending the story with Michael Myers not on film, but out there amongst us. “Okay, this was a story. But now it’s in your face, its on your street, it’s everywhere.” Wallace said. Just like the boogieman.
The final thing you see in Halloween (1978) are shots of the neighborhood and the last thing you hear is Michael Myers breathing in his mask… And the breathing seems to be getting closer, until it feels like he is right next to you. That is the ‘amongst us’ ending that was intended. There was never supposed to be closure, which is why Carpenter waited so long to write the sequel. He never wanted to do it in the first place.
But… Eventually, he gave the studios what they wanted, just like he gave the network what it wanted.