Right off the bat, there’s a lot to love about Blumhouse and David Gordon Green’s Halloween.
For one, the long-anticipated sequel has made a conscious effort to honor the legacy of its forebear, which will mark its own 40th anniversary this October. In doing so, the Powers That Be have welcomed the return of Jamie Lee Curtis, whose Laurie Strode is on the verge of confronting Michael Myers (AKA The Shape) for the final time. But there’s a twist.
Whereas Nick Castle had been cast as the imposing Myers, his stunt double, James Jude Courtney, recently confirmed what many had already assumed to be common knowledge: Courtney will handle the bulk of Michael’s physical performance, particularly now that Nick Castle is 70 years young.
Director David [Gordon Green] was also really sensitive and generous when he said, ‘We’re inviting Nick Castle to come back to do a little work. Do you have a problem with that, because you’re the Michael Myers now?’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God. Are you kidding? What an honor it would be, first of all to meet the guy, but secondly to work with him. How good does that get?’ I can’t remember if it was the second or third week that Nick came in and did kind of a cameo. He did a couple of scenes, and I’m in the scenes with him, which is really beautiful. He and I were hoping that would happen, because he even said, ‘This is the passing of the torch.’
And it turns out Courtney had a frame of reference in mind when it comes to the physicality and subtle mannerisms that make up Michael Myers: he studied his pet cat, Parcival.
I think cats are the perfect hunting, killing machines on the planet. And the beauty of it is we don’t judge a cat for what a cat does. A cat does what a cat does because that’s a cat. So I sort of carried that movement and the non-judgmental approach to the way I moved as The Shape, which I learned from my cat Parcival. He’s a little Grail Knight. He’s a badass.
So, there you have it; Nick Castle’s involvement in Halloween is more akin to a nostalgic, crowd-pleasing cameo than anything else. The question, really, is whether viewers will be able to spot the difference between the two Michaels.
Horror hits home (and Haddonfield!) on October 19th.