Above: John Carpenter and Tony Moran on the Halloween set

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John Carpenter has been a busy guy. He followed up his gritty Assault on Precinct 13 with the surprise hit Halloween, introducing a new name for children to whisper in fear… Michael Meyers.

Carpenter may have a franchise on his hands, and pre-production work has already started on Halloween II. Carpenter is co-writing the script with producing partner Debra Hill, but has stepped back from directing this one. We haven’t heard who he’s handing the reins over to yet, but I for one hope they take a long hard look at Bob Clark. Clark’s horror film Black Christmas seems to have had an influence on Carpenter’s Halloween as the two share some undeniably similar stylistic choices, and I’d love to see what Clark could do with the Halloween follow-up.

Carpenter on the other hand, just recently released a new vision in terror. The Fog, which he wrote and directed, rolled onto screens in February, and I know I speak for my partner-in-crime Brian Salisbury when I say that we loved it. Will anything rival the theatrical experience of seeing a great scary movie at the drive-in? I hope not. Brian and I caught the film at the Lone Star drive-in here in Austin, and I’m still wearing his fingernail marks in my arm.

And now Carpenter is already hard at work on yet another writing/directing gig titled Escape from New York. We’re hearing that Carpenter and the studio are clashing over casting choices right now, with Carpenter lobbying for Kurt Russell for the main role and the studio wanting Tommy Lee Jones. Not sure what Carpenter sees in Russell, but the studio is obviously looking to ride the wave of buzz that Jones has generated with the release of the fantastic Coal Miner’s Daughter this past March.

I’m leaning towards Tommy Lee on this one, I’m not sure Russell has what it takes to carry a more adult film since most of his work up to this point has been in family-friendly fare. Actually, I’d love to see them go with someone like a Robert Forster for this, but it probably won’t happen. I guess we’ll have to wait awhile longer to see how things play out.

Filming on Escape is tentatively scheduled for August of this year, and we’ll see a lot more from Carpenter in the near future.

What do you think?


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