Spirit Halloween is headed to a theater near you! No, that doesn’t mean it will be taking over the spooky old neighborhood multiplex to sell seasonal decorations, costumes, props, and accessories — well, okay, admittedly it probably will do that if the space is available. No, instead of just selling costumes sourced from this year’s movies, Spirit is skipping the middleman and becoming its own self-themed holiday film spectacular.
Perhaps such a thing might seem to be laughable if held up to the standards of a time long ago but it’s useless to pretend that Hollywood isn’t willing to take a chance on the film rights on almost anything that’s proven itself a financial success. Video Game adaptations are a perfect example. Many if not most films sourced from successful franchises have brought in less than stellar reviews and box office results but that doesn’t ever seem to deter the industry from continually trying to capture money-making lightning in a movie franchise-shaped bottle. Remember Battleship? The Cat in the Hat? Tomorrowland?
And for every few unsuccessful rolls of the dice, Hollywood does occasionally throw a natural. G.I Joe may not have scored big, but Transformers has brought in millions. Tomorrowland face-planted but Jungle Cruise did just fine and Pirate of the Caribbean spawned a multi-film franchise. Battleship sank but there’s a third Trolls movie coming out next year. Hasbro even has a Play-Doh movie in the works
So, why not a Spirit Halloween movie. It’s even got “Halloween” in the title. Kids like Halloween, right? So why not?
The proposed picture, co-produced by Hideout Pictures and WarnerMedia Latin America’s Particular Crowd label working with Strike Back Studios, has managed to score some star power to lend some muscle to the skeleton of the story — veteran character actor and comedian Christopher Lloyd and Josie and the Pussycats star Rachel Leigh Cook.
“When a new Spirit Halloween store appears in a deserted strip mall, three middle-school friends who think they’ve outgrown trick-or-treating make a dare to spend the night locked inside the store Halloween night,” reads the film’s logline, reported by Variety.
“But they soon find out that the store is haunted by an angry evil spirit who has possessed the creepy animatronic characters. The kids embark on a thrilling and spooky adventure in order to survive the night and avoid becoming possessed themselves.”
In addition to Lloyd and Cook, the film will feature Donavan Colan, Jaiden Smith of Blue Bloods, and Dylan Frankel and Marissa Reyes from Raven’s Home. The movie will also feature Marla Gibbs, best known to audiences as the maid Florence in the 1975-1985 sitcom, The Jeffersons. Gibbs was last seen in 2019’s El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. Cinematographer and Film Editor David Poag will direct the movie in his feature film debut. Australian-born screenwriter Billie Bates has written the script.
Strike Back Studios president Noor Ahmed told Variety the film struck a chord with him as it reminded him of the movies he grew up watching. “One of the reasons I immediately connected with the script is it is very much inspired by some of my favorite kid adventure films growing up from ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Gremlins,’ ‘Monster Squad’ and so many great films made by Amblin Entertainment.”
Spirit Halloween has wrapped filming, anticipating an October 2022 (of course) release date.
We are certain the creative team hopes the film will stay in theaters much longer than the store itself will remain in your local strip shopping center past Halloween.