Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake and its sequel are divisive with audiences, largely due to their replacement of the subtlety of John Carpenter’s iconic film with excessive violence and a generally bleak atmosphere. However, one aspect of the 2007 effort that does work reasonably well is the use of young Michael Myers, as played by Daeg Faerch, whose performance has been praised by high profile fans of the picture. The actor was switched out for Halloween II with Chase Wright Vanek, though, raising the question of why Zombie recast the role.
According to ScreenRant, the reasons behind the move are straightforward, even though they might be exaggerating a bit when they say that it was an “incredibly controversial choice” to replace Faerch. The explanation given for the decision is that the performer was intended to reprise the character of young Myers, even recording screen tests, but had grown too much to return.
While there are only two years between the Zombie versions of Halloween, it appears that the director had a clear idea of how Myers should look. I’m not really sure that the casting choice was a big deal at the time, but in any case, keeping Faerch wouldn’t have solved the other problems with the sequel.
Although the 2000s Halloween is also flawed, it does have its moments, compared to which Halloween II is something of a depressing slog through an unpleasant situation. It’s worth noting, though, that Zombie actually prefers the follow-up to his first take on the franchise, likely due to the greater freedom he had. Meanwhile, Faerch went on to appear in projects such as Hancock and Pushing Diaries, and has combined appearances in low budget indie productions with a rap career.
Of course, the emphasis by Zombie on the psychological development of Myers through Halloween II was later thrown out in David Gordon Green’s Halloween for a return to the more mysterious Shape seen in Carpenter’s 1978 feature. And looking ahead, we have high hopes for Halloween Kills, which after COVID-19 enforced delays, should be with us in 2021, with Halloween Ends following in 2022.