At the turn of the 21st Century, the trend for remaking horror classics really kicked into high gear, and at this stage, every recognizable property under the sun has been remade at least once. In recent years, though, the focus has shifted to ignoring continuity and instead making a direct sequel to the beloved original, which is an approach that worked wonders for David Gordon Green’s Halloween.
Not only did it score the best reviews the franchise had seen in 40 years, but it also blew the box office total of every previous installment out of the water, and Michael Myers is now back in a big way. Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake and the sequel did decent business, but they were soon swept under the rug and quickly forgotten about after any plans for a third entry were abandoned.
Writer Jake Wade Wall has now revealed, though, that following 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection, he was tasked with penning a direct follow-up that would have marked the ninth movie in the main timeline, before the decision was made to hand Zombie the keys to the property instead.
“After turning in Resurrection, I was told that there was kind of an internal, ‘Let’s press pause on where the franchise goes next’. So I had come up with the idea for The Missing Years, and basically said, ‘Hey, it’s a completely different direction, but maybe this is the shot in the arm it needs to keep the franchise going, but in a different direction’. They responded to my take, they hired me, and I wrote it. I was really excited about the prospect of that one. A year or two after finishing that script, it was decided internally, ‘No, let’s hire Rob and just do a remake’. The Missing Years would have been the last of that franchise before it was remade.”
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Wall is no stranger to the genre, of course, having scripted When a Stranger Calls and The Hitcher remake, and he also admitted that his idea for Halloween: The Missing Years would have doubled down on fan service by connecting the mythology to 1982’s Season of the Witch, the one that doesn’t feature Michael Myers at all.
“Halloween III was my inspiration. We have Halloween and Halloween II, and it’s Mike Myers, and it’s Laurie. Halloween III comes out in the theaters, and it has nothing to do with any of them. For years, I thought, ‘Where was Michael that year? When we saw Season of the Witch, where did he go?’. So the whole concept of Halloween: The Missing Years, was to fill in where he was during Season of the Witch. That was the concept of, ‘How can we, for the diehard fans, tie Season of the Witch into the franchise?’.”
It certainly sounds like an interesting pitch, one that would have deepened the Halloween mythos, but with remakes all the rage at the time, is isn’t surprising to find out that the studio wanted to take a fresh approach.