I’m sure writing the final chapter of the Laurie/Michael saga was quite surreal?
Incredibly. I co-wrote the screenplay, which we developed for four years, so I had plenty of time to get used to the idea.
Did you read the 2018 novel or Kills to get a feel for writing the character?
Since I’d been writing him for the screenplay, I had ideas about how I wanted to write him in the book. I didn’t want to give him any definition. This is different for everyone, but I think the second you get a hint of intention or perspective from Michael, he loses his power. Some probably disagree, but that was my approach. Before getting started on the book, I only had a chance to read Tim Waggoner’s book for Halloween Kills, which I really dig. I read John Passarella’s 2018 novelization after, which I also really enjoyed. Those guys are truly gifted writers. I strongly suggest checking out both their novelizations.
Did you meet with David Gordon Green to discuss how to handle the novel? Or is it a case of Universal give you all you need?
David and I are old friends. In addition to writing the script for Halloween Ends, I’ve written many other screenplays for him, including a movie called Manglehorn that he directed about ten years ago. I was on set during the shoot, rewriting and adding new things when the offer to write the novelization came through. I had five weeks to write it, which just happened to be the duration of the shoot, so while on set every day, I was scribbling as fast as I could. I would have loved to have had six months to write it, but I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to explore this world further.
Out of DGG’s trilogy, what is your favourite movie and why?
Obviously, I’m a little biased toward the one I wrote, and now I’m kind of obsessed with it. But boy, do I love the chaos in “Halloween Kills.” I love the look and energy of that movie. I love the vibe David created for ours.
Ends has got some mixed reviews, I personally loved it, what are your thoughts on the movie?
See above! Anytime you put something in the world, you want people to embrace it. I’m just happy it’s been in the conversation.
I’m going to assume your a fan of the franchise, do you have a personal favourite?
Carpenter’s original is a horror classic, and I think that it’s still underrated! What they pulled off with their budget and schedule is unbelievable. John is one of the best directors we’ve ever had. I actually think all the sequels have some great things about them. My personal favorites are “Season of the Witch,” “Halloween II” Part IV, “The Return of Michael Myers” (first one in the series I got to see in the theater), I gotta say I really appreciate a lot of the stuff in the “Curse of Michael Myers,” and I could watch “Halloween Kills” forever. I just really love this series. I could go on about the “Revenge of Michael Myers” “H20” “Resurection” Zombie’s two films, and David’s 2018 film but I think I’ll just say I love this franchise.
My only gripe would be the length. Oddly enough, I wish it was longer! Haha.
Give me six months!
Let’s talk about the book!
The opening would have been great for the movie, briefly picking up where the film left off. Was this your own opening or from a script?
Nope, that was my opening. It was more functional than anything, but I love these characters, so I was excited to explore what they did in that time gap. In the movie, we can have that opening with Jeremy Allen, cut to credits, and then begin with the quick montage, bring us up to speed, and then get into the movie. Plotting that out from point A to B in a book would have been trying. But I wanted to write a novel for this world more than a novelization, so I took some liberties.
The backstory to Coreys mum was a great addition and made me hate the character more, she essentially created the monster he will become, right?
God, I love that character! In the script, I wrote many more instances of her affections toward Corey. I was very fortunate that in writing the screenplay, I had also written this lengthy backstory for Corey just for my own reference, the same with Laurie’s writings, so I had plenty of material to draw from.
This passage “Corey belonged to a secret Cult of Samhain along with other important figures in Haddonfield, including judges, sheriffs, and people in local government.” Was that a slight nod to Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers?
Of course! But also, living in the world today, those theories don’t seem so fictitious. There are Haddonfields everywhere, and plenty of new theories popping up.
I loved how the book fleshes out Corey, the looking out the window at the radio tower would have been a great addition in the movie and explained the fascination Michael had with staring out the window…
I went full tilt with writing Corey at that window. It ended up being a way to contemplate the speculations about what Michael sees.
I loved the side story about the little girl in the cabin, what inspired that?
I started talking to David about sequel ideas in the summer of 2018 before his movie came out, and that was one part of an idea I had. He ended up getting Scott Teems to write that script, but I never lost my love for this other idea.
The backstory on the hobo under the bridge, was that your idea? It gave so much more clarity as to how he survived there in close proximity to Myers..
Yes! I had the idea while writing the screenplay, but there wasn’t enough time in the movie to devote to that character, so I got to do it here.
The aftermath of Halloween ’78 and Laurie’s story and how Loomis helped her after that night was a fantastic idea. How many alternate ideas were used before setting upon the storyline used?
Fortunately or unfortunately, because of the quick deadline for this and writing it while working on the movie, I had to commit to ideas. But that sequence I had written in 2019 when writing Laurie’s memoirs for personal reference.
Did you fanboy a little when you got to include Loomis in the novel?
YES! I love that character and think he’s so important in this world.
Towards the finale in love your homage in the friends names, John, Debra, Tommy, Nick and Dean, nice touch!
It’s all love!
Michaels journey from the sewer to retrieve his mask was a fun read, I felt this made the story more engaging, right! Especially the seance segment!
I got a kick out of that too.
Having Michaels evil transfer, do you think all along he was using Corey to heal himself? Was his every intention to dispose of Corey when the time was right?
Again, I don’t want to get too into Michael’s motivations just because his terror dies the second you explain him, but I certainly have my ideas about it.
Was it your idea to change the demise of Corey’ mum?
Oh, yeah, that was interesting. We shot the scene as Corey doing the deed, and then while editing, David told me it was going to be Myers. So, I quickly made the adjustment and thought it worked for what I’d done in the book with Michael’s journey to Laurie’s. And then I saw a test screening, and it was Corey. Oh well.
Allyson’s story wrap up was great and it put extra emotion to the Corey/Ally love story!
I got so emotional writing that. I really love Allyson, and I fell hard for Corey too. I forget what I have Simmons in that scene tell Corey, but it was me talking. Oh, while mentioning that, all of the non-movie characters are people who worked on the movie. Atilla is our AD/Producer. Simmons is the cinematographer. Cindy Mah, in the bank with Frank, is our incredible assistant prop manager. Nelson Christoper, the vagabond, is Christopher Nelson, the makeup FX genius. Everyone, Chris Gebert, Richard Wright, Derek! Because I was adding so much new stuff, I never knew how Titan would respond. I figured if they said, no, this isn’t the novelization we want, I could at least pass it around the crew.
Let’s talk about that ending!! Hot damn, a nice twist, was that your ideal ending or from a draft?
That ending… we went back and forth and back and forth. I think the movie is a great close to Laurie’s saga. She’s been through so much it’s nice to see her get a somewhat happy ending. I thought the book could leave things a little darker.
You can read our review of the novelization HERE