Danny McBride is having a moment no one could have predicted right now. Not only is the former “Eastbound & Down” star in Ridley Scott’s anticipated “Prometheus” sequel, “Alien: Covenant” (in theaters Friday), but he’s also in deep development on a reboot of the “Halloween” franchise.
“We’re currently on that full-time,” McBride told Business Insider last week of bringing the Michael Myers character back to the screen.
McBride is in the midst of writing the screenplay with director David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”) through their production company Rough House Pictures, which they created with writer-director Jody Hill (“Eastbound & Down,” “Vice Principals”) back in 2009.
McBride said he and Green have immersed themselves in the “Halloween” franchise, watching all the movies constantly to create a story that gives the fans the core aspects that they’ve craved since John Carpenter created the first movie back in 1978, but with a more grounded feel than the recent movies in the franchise.
“At the end of the day you’re dealing with a masked man who kills people and it’s crazy to see all the different sequels and what people tried to do or what might have been lost from the original in the hopes of creating more story,” McBride said. “So we’re just trying to learn from that, and I feel what happened with Michael Myers, unfortunately, is in those later sequels he almost became a Frankenstein’s monster. He became this superhuman — nothing could really kill him. That doesn’t make him scary anymore. For us, we look at it, and it’s much scarier to just have that man who is hiding in the shadows as you’re taking the trash out to the backyard, as opposed to a guy who could be shot a bunch of times and still keeps coming back to life.”
That’s why McBride said he and Green are focusing on the tone and scares from the first two “Halloween” movies to guide the development of their movie.
“This is definitely a continuation [of ‘Halloween’ and ‘Halloween II’] and a little bit of a reinvention,” McBride said. “But we’re really trying to take it back to what John Carpenter originally started with and what was so horrifying about it.”
In February, Carpenter announced on his Facebook page that McBride and Green would be writing the script with Green directing. He also announced that horror titan Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions (“Get Out,” “Split”) would be producing the movie.
According to McBride, the movie will begin shooting in the fall and is slated to be released in theaters around Halloween in 2018, which dovetails with the 40th anniversary of the original film.
Carpenter, who is an executive producer on the movie, also teased in his post that he may do the movie’s score. Along with creating the franchise, he came up with its synthesized sound. As far as McBride knows, Carpenter is really going to do it — that is, if he likes the movie the guys make.
“In the meeting he said he would, yeah,” McBride said of Carpenter’s interest in doing the score when McBride and Green pitched their reboot to him. “So we hope that we don’t let him down and deliver a piece of s— that he wouldn’t want to score.”
McBride said the biggest takeaway from sitting with Carpenter was seeing how unopposed the legendary director was to two people known for their comedy work making a horror movie.
“Whether it’s to make [the audience] laugh or make them scream and s— their pants, it’s all in the engineering of the pace,” McBride said. “It was cool to see that he got that and didn’t think we were being brought on to make the franchise funny, because that really isn’t me and David’s ambition for this at all.”