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Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends release dates, trailer and cast

For over 40 years, the silent and masked figure of Michael Myers has terrorized the fictional town of Haddonfield and movie audiences alike. If Myers was a Game of Thrones character, he'd definitely be House Greyjoy: What is dead may never die. 

The Halloween franchise itself has been on an interesting journey. Many of the sequels to John Carpenter's 1978 original went off in new and different tangents — often with less-than-satisfying results. Halloween II reveals that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is Michael Myers' long-lost sister, an arc that returns again and again, particularly in later Curtis-starring installments like 1998's Halloween H20 and 2002's Halloween: Resurrection. A tangle of lore involving complicated bloodlines, shadowy cults, and familial curses came to define the series, until Rob Zombie remade Halloween in 2007, this time with a focus on the psychology of Michael Myers.

But it was the real-time Halloween follow up in 2018 that took the franchise back to its roots, becoming one of the most popular sequels in recent history. With Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her original role as Laurie (who is not related to Michael Myers this time), the sequel became much more than just a horror movie. Ignoring all previous sequels and catching up with Laurie 40 years after that one fateful night, 2018's Halloween was a terrifying yet moving reflection on trauma and post-traumatic stress through the intergenerational lens of the Strode family. And their story is far from over.

Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends release dates

John Carpenter returned to the franchise he helped create with 2018's Halloween, serving as producer after having no involvement with the series since 1982's Halloween III: Season of the Witch. His most important contribution, though, just might have been his return to the role of composer, lending the new film the same trademark stripped-down synth sound he gave his 1978 original, albeit with a fresh flourish. But while he may be a maestro of malevolent music, Carpenter did not come to play around. 

In July of 2019, Carpenter and Curtis not only announced that will there be two more installments of the Michael and Laurie saga, they even shared their back-to-back release dates. Halloween Kills will have its theatrical release on Friday, October 16, 2020, and almost exactly a year later, Halloween Ends will arrive on Friday, October 15, 2021. 

Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends teaser trailer

The announcement of the two forthcoming sequels was accompanied by a brief, tone-setting video. "The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode isn't over," intones a menacing voice overlaid with the final scene of 2018's Halloween. Laurie's house burns with Michael's masked figure framed in the basement as the dates of the upcoming sequels flash across the screen. The term "teaser trailer" could just as well have been invented for these 24 seconds that reveal absolutely nothing about what we might expect from the upcoming films... except that Michael and Laurie will both be back.

In a world where we're inundated with reports about progress on upcoming movie sequels, the showmanship of revealing this information with a little bit of video is much appreciated. While Halloween fans certainly wish there was more information included in the teaser, the filmmakers have done a great job repurposing footage to hint at what we all suspected: that Michael Myers still lives. Even if Halloween does indeed "end" in 2021, his terror probably never will.

The leading cast returns for Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends

The first Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends casting news was, of course, confirmation from Jamie Lee Curtis herself that we'd see her again as Laurie Strode. Judy Greer and Andy Matichak are also expected to reprise their fierce roles as Karen and Allyson. Original Michael Myers Nick Castle and stuntman James Jude Courtney have also confirmed their intentions to once again share the iconic mask. 

Jamie Lee Curtis has retired from playing Laurie Strode twice already, but when director David Gordon Green and writer Danny McBride approached her about their revival, she had such faith in their vision that she signed right on. For better or worse, Laurie Strode is the role that will define Curtis' career and 2018's Halloween may well have been the performance of her life... at least until Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends hit screens. 

Who's behind the camera for Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends?

Both sequels are coming in hot with some major talent returning to back the newest installations in the battle of Michael Myers vs. Laurie Strode. Halloween Kills will be written by the same team that brought us 2018's Halloween: director David Gordon Green and Danny McBride, joined this time by Scott Teems. Halloween Ends will be penned by McBride, Paul Brad Logan, and Chris Berier. Green will again serve as director, with Malek Akkad, Jason Blum, and Bill Block producing.

The stellar team of executive producers includes John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jeanette Volturno, Couper Samuelson, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, and Ryan Freimann. For Blumhouse Productions, former screenwriter Ryan Turek will supervise both projects. Blumhosue, of course, has been responsible for a kind of renaissance in mainstream horror movies, being the backers of Jordan Peele's exceptional films Get Out and Us, as well the popular Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and Insidious franchises. 

Where did Halloween (2018) leave off?

To begin speculating about what we might see in Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends, we must first look at what happened in their predecessor. 2018's Halloween erases every sequel that came before it, picking up with Michael Myers (Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney) institutionalized 40 years after his Halloween night killing spree. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is in full-on survival mode, living in a fortress-cabin out in the woods like a less ripped Sarah Connor. Her relationship with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) is strained, and her mental illness is starting to erode her connection to her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), too. 

A visit from two journalists recording a podcast about Michael's murders stirs something in the near-catatonic inmate, particularly when they show him his infamous mask. The night before Halloween, Myers and his fellow patients are being moved to a new facility when their bus flips over. Michael makes his way into town, murdering unrepentantly until he retrieves his mask. The death toll is more than triple than in the original Halloween as Michael stalks toward Laurie and the confrontation that the "new Loomis," Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer), thinks will help both their healing. 

Though Karen has always thought that her mother's house was a prison of her own making, Laurie reveals that the cabin is in fact a trap big and strong enough to hold Michael so she can finally kill him. Laurie sets the home on fire with Michael in the basement as she, Karen, and Allyson escape. But we don't see Michael burn. After the credits, we can hear his grotesque breathing.

What will Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends be about?

We may know next to nothing about what will happen in these sequels, but one of the things horror nerds love to do is speculate about what might happen next. That's especially true in a beloved (albeit messy) franchise like Halloween. To that end, the news of not one but two sequels is a goldmine of possibilities. 

One fan theory suggested that Laurie might have caused the bus crash that released Michael Myers back into the world. After all, we see her watching the bus being loaded, but we don't see the crash itself. Could Laurie have a confession to make?

Then, of course, there's the matter of Michael's survival. We last saw him trapped in the basement of a burning house. With all of Laurie's paranoia and attention to detail, it's hard to imagine that Michael managed to escape the basement trap. Will it actually be Michael Myers himself who returns or will it be a copycat? 

And what about Allyson? After witnessing the murder of her friend Oscar (Drew Scheid), being held captive in a cop car by deranged Dr. Sartain with Michael Myers, and escaping into the woods while chased by a serial killer, she isn't going to be okay going forward. The death of her beloved father Ray (Toby Huss) is also going to compound her grief. Will the trauma drive Allyson crazy? Will she become a killer? The way she's holding the bloody knife as they drive away from Laurie's burning house is creepy and haunting. 

The themes of Halloween

Will Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends dive deeper into the generational trauma of the Strode women, as well as the collective trauma for the town of Haddonfield? More than three times as many people were murdered in the 2018 events than in 1978, which means many more families who will be affected. Will the survivors make Laurie a scapegoat? Will there be a new-new Loomis? Maybe someone who will have to treat Laurie, Karen, and Allyson for their revived acute PTSD? 

If we take into account the original 1978 film, we will have a rare horror quartet here (others in this vein are Scream and — if you don't count the prequels — Alien), which can complicate the narrative arc in interesting ways. Might Halloween Ends feature a time jump like Scream 4, possibly introducing a new Strode relative into the mix? Or should we approach the new Halloween films as a trilogy? In which case, we can expect some juicy hidden backstory to emerge about Laurie's family history, and possibly Michael's enigmatic past. A Collider interview with writer Danny McBride suggests the trilogy theory holds water. 

If you really want to go wild with fan theories, there's an idea making the rounds about Michael Myers being a tethered from Jordan Peele's Us. Both are Universal/Blumhouse properties. Possible? Technically. Likely? Definitely not. Amusing to think about? Absolutely. 

Where will Halloween Kills and Halloween ends be shot?

While 2018's Halloween was filmed in Charleston, North Carolina, the location has moved up the road to Wilmington (at least in part) for Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. Kills began shooting in September 2019, with only a short break expected in between shooting each installment. 

This marks a return to Wilmington for several members of the Halloween cast and crew. Jamie Lee Curtis worked there while filming the 1999 flop Virus. Judy Greer will be returning to Wilmington once more in 2019 after filming indie movie Uncle Frank there earlier in the year. Director/co-writer David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride filmed their show Eastbound and Down in the city from 2008–2013.

Dubbed the "Hollywood of the east," Wilmington has been a popular filming location for years, where popular shows and movies such as Dawson's Creek, One Tree HillIron Man 3, The Conjuring, and Good Behavior have been made. 

Will Halloween Ends truly be the end of the franchise?

As with any franchise featuring an unkillable monster, it's unlikely these new installments will be fans' last trip to Haddonfield. Writer Danny McBride told Collider that the new films will have "strong, different narratives," indicating these might not be straightforward follow-ups to the 2018 Halloween. 

In the same interview, David Gordon Green elaborated further: "They're never done telling the Frankenstein story, and at this point, Michael Myers is a classic movie monster. But our Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode/Michael Myers saga will be done. The fun of it is also seeing it end and knowing that it can." 

McBride even went so far as to compare the legacy of Michael Myers to James Bond in how his character allows for new people to come in and take the story in different directions. If that's the case, then we will really need a better explanation about why this dude simply does not die.

Teasing what's to come

In an interview with Slashfilm, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends writer Danny McBride cryptically said, "It's just a continuing story that's got a beginning, middle and end. I'm excited to begin it... The middle is chaos and the ending is very satisfying." McBride also explained, "It's telling the story, moving forward. It's not another reinvention, or anything like that. It's this world that we've established, and then it continues beyond the events of the first one." Okay, we get it. You're playing the plot super close to the chest. 

McBride did say that they are in the process of developing a creative new set of murders for the final two films that will be different than the gory 16 we saw in 2018's Halloween. He also revealed that the 2018 sequel was always planned to be a trilogy filmed back-to-back from the get-go. The team simply decided to make sure audiences were here for the new take first before jumping all in... which, of course, we were.

Blumhouse supervisor and producer Ryan Turek says that the films follow "a wild arc," and that the story will "be crazy." Sounds promising indeed. We'll have our eyes peeled and our masks on as we await further developments in the Halloween saga.

John Carpenter confirms his return to the Halloween sequels

Horror master and Halloween co-creator John Carpenter has finally confirmed that he will be returning to score both Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. Speaking at Keystone ComicCon in Philadelphia, SyFy Wire reports Carpenter also confirmed his son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies will return to help score the upcoming movies alongside him, as they did with the 2018 movie. At the same panel event, Carpenter warned audiences not to expect that Halloween Ends will actually be the end of the franchise. "As long as there's money in this, I wouldn't count on an ending," he told the audience. 

Speaking to ComicBook.com, Carpenter also offered insight into his decision to make Laurie Strode Michael Myers' sister — and why he's okay with the new movies undoing that decision. "NBC purchased the rights to show Halloween on network television. But our movie was too short for them," the director recalled. He went on to explain that "there was nothing to add. The first movie was just what I wanted to make... So I came up with this brother thing. It was awful, just awful. But, I did it." Knowing that, it's no wonder that 2018's Halloween lured the master back to the franchise for the first time in decades — it's a chance to scare off the boogeyman of regret that's haunted him ever since.

The original Halloween kids join the cast

2018's Halloween may have brought back original stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie and Nick Castle as Michael Myers (not to mention a voice cameo from P.J. Soles, a.k.a. Lynda), but two major characters were conspicuously absent. The 1978 film found Laurie fighting to protect babysitting charges Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace. Where are those kids now, all grown up these 40 years later? Well, we're about to find out.

Young Tommy was first played by Brian Andrews, and later by Paul Rudd in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Though neither actor is returning for Halloween Kills (Rudd was reportedly asked, but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts with Ghostbusters), a notable replacement has been found. In August 2019, The Breakfast Club and The Dead Zone star Anthony Michael Hall was announced for the cast of the sequel. It's worth noting, however, that there is no news about Hall's involvement in Halloween Ends, so poor Tommy's story might be coming to its conclusion in the first sequel. 

After appearing as Lindsey at age nine, Kyle Richards grew up to become a staple on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. At the end of August, Jamie Lee Curtis revealed that Richards will be joining her once more for Halloween Kills. "She will join MANY original characters and their performers," Curtis teased, making us wonder what other cast members might be announced.

More stars of the original Halloween will return in Halloween Kills

Jamie Lee Curtis' comments about the greater trauma surrounding Michael Myers' two rampages in 1978 and 2018 have been confirmed by some exciting casting news that will bring back original characters from John Carpenter's Halloween, as well as the original actors who played them. 

Bloody Disgusting reported a leaked set photo that shows Charles Cyphers reprising his role as Sheriff Leigh Brackett, who appeared only in the first two Halloween films. Sheriff Brackett's daughter, Annie, was the first victim of Michael's Halloween night spree in '78, and the sheriff made no secret that he blamed Dr. Loomis for her murder. 

Another returning original cast member is Nurse Marion Chambers, played once again by Nancy Stephens. Nurse Marion was Dr. Loomis' assistant, and the one who learns during the events of Halloween II that Laurie Strode is actually Michael Myers' sister, a plot twist in early films that has been thankfully abandoned for the new sequels. Stephens also reprised the role in Halloween H20, in which Marion was murdered — another event that's been erased from the current continuity.

Before Michael Myers' rampage unfolded in '78, a group of bullies headed by Lonnie Elam (Brent Le Page) tormented Tommy Doyle, trying to convince him that the boogeyman was after him. In 2018's Halloween, we hear talk about Lonnie's continued bad behavior and drug abuse over the years when Alyson Strode starts dating his son, Cameron. Robert Longstreet (Aquaman, Haunting of Hill House) has been tapped to play Lonnie .

Who else is joining the cast of Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends?

One of the most memorable characters from 2018's Halloween has officially joined the cast of the sequels. Even as Michael Myers loomed over Halloween night, it was hard to not be charmed by Vicky's (Virginia Gardner) snarky babysitting charge Julian, played by Jibrail Nantambu. This smart-mouthed and very smart survivor kid is confirmed for both Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends, which hopefully means more (likely very necessary) comedic relief. "I will not die!" the young actor told the fansite Halloween Daily News. If it's true, rock on, Julian. 

In more juicy casting news, an extras call for Halloween Kills in Wilmington indicated some very specific and somewhat peculiar background charcters. Included on the list: identical triplets, ventriloquists with their own dolls, people with mid-1960s to 1970s cars, and extras with real-life law enforcement and/or medical experience. Does this hint at a carnival backdrop for the next Halloween sequel? Or a dream sequence? We can't wait to find out.

Jamie Lee Curtis shares a photo and some intriguing details

The inimitable Laurie Strode is officially back! Jamie Lee Curtis set Halloween fans' hearts on fire with an Instagram post showing the actress in full make-up for her first day of filming Halloween Kills in Wilmington. The image doesn't offer us many clues, but Laurie is as grizzled and dirty as she was when we last saw her in 2018's Halloween sequel. Could Halloween Kills be picking up where the last one left off? Or is she freshly beaten up in a new fight for survival? Time will tell. 

In comments to Collider, Curtis teased story details, confirming what many fans suspected: the new sequels will continue to explore not just the Strode women's generational trauma, but the collective trauma of Haddonfield residents who survived Michael Myers' original rampage. "What I love that David [Gordon Green] and Danny [McBride] and company did is they connected the dots for forty years," Curtis said, "[and] now they're going back to really unpack the first movie, bringing back all those characters whose lives were affected by what happened in 1978." 

She goes even further, hinting at what's to come in Halloween Ends: "And then the last movie is the sort of cultural phenomenon of violence, that's what the third movie ultimately is, a very powerful examination of violence... It comes at it from a slightly different way. You'll like it... If you believe in me at all, I promise you what David Gordon Green has come up with as a way to complete this trilogy is sensational." Hurry up and take our money already.

Does the working title of Halloween Kills offer any clues?

While the titles of both the 2020 and 2021 Halloween films have already been revealed, it's customary in the industry to have a working title for a project for privacy during filming. We can be grateful in the case of Halloween Kills — its working title, "Mob Rules," gives us a big clue as to what we can expect in the film. Jamie Lee Curtis has said that the movies explore the collective trauma of Haddonfield 40 years later, and the idea of resulting mob or group violence/anger on account of the new trauma fits. 

That many original characters are returning also suggests this movie will be about more than just the battle between the Strodes and Michael, but also between the Strodes and town itself. The death toll in 2018's Halloween was more than three times than the first film. That's a lot of new affected families, joining the families from back in the day whose traumas will be provoked by Michael's recent rampage. 

Port City Daily released a photo from the production of a street scene featuring Michael Myers looking as menacing as ever, with a backdrop of 1960s cars. This might suggest that a dream sequence or a flashback to the 1978 Halloween is in the works. Residents also reported that the houses on the street were all dressed for Halloween, even though the production crews denied they were making a Halloween installment. Local resident Rebecca Gushanas said, "They're still not saying it's Halloween even though you'd be crazy not to realize what they're filming in the neighborhood... Everyone sees Michael Myers — everyone knows." 

​Jamie Lee Curtis reveals the first footage from Halloween Kills

It wouldn't be Halloween without, well Halloween, and our intrepid scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis had a treat for us all on October 31st, 2019: a first look at footage from Halloween KillsThe video may only be 21 seconds long, but it packs as huge a wallop as Michael Myers. Starting with an ominous fog shrouding the camera crew and director David Gordon Green, a hysterical voice that sounds like Laurie Strode frantically asks, "Where did you see him?! Where was he?!" 

In our first glimpse at Anthony Michael Hall as returning character Tommy Doyle, he menaces his way across the screen bathed in red light and holding a baseball bat, Negan-style. Images of someone's bloody hands, children trick-or-treating, a girl on a swing, and a gun-toting Lindsay Wallace are interspersed with Karen and Alyson Strode in some desperate situations. Michael's imposing figure appears numerous times, backlit with flames, his mask blood spattered, at one point seemingly looking over someone in a hospital room. The footage ends with a very bloody Jamie Lee Curtis strapped to a gurney in an ambulance, cheekily smiling as she says, "Happy Halloween, everybody."  

But how much of this can we take at face value? Could the scenes of Michael surviving be a dream sequence? Laurie has entirely different injuries since we last saw her, which could indicate either a new attack or a fevered hallucination as a result of the trauma of Halloween 2018's events. We'll have to wait and see.

Filming of Halloween Kills wraps in Wilmington

The saga of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers might not be over, but Halloween Kills wrapped filming in Wilmington after only 36 days of work. While initial reports indicated that both Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends would be filmed back to back, this is clearly no longer the case. MovieWeb reports that finishing principal photography so soon fits with a Blumhouse pattern of working under budget in order to eventually maximize profits, but also that there is still plenty of time for re-shoots and post-production work before Halloween Kills hits theaters on October 16, 2020. 

Since principal photography is now complete, more substantial teasers and a full trailer may well be incoming. There is no news yet how soon Halloween Ends will begin filming. Waiting makes a lot of sense since casting details in particular might end up spoiling the events of Halloween Kills before anyone even has a chance to experience it

Robert Longstreet reveals Lonnie Elam's backstory

Originally played by Brent Le Page in the 1978 Halloween, Lonnie Elam was the leader of a vicious little gang of bullies who taunted young Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) by telling him the boogeyman was after him. Of course, they weren't wrong, even if Lonnie never actually had contact with the monster. In the 2018 sequel, we meet Lonnie's son Cameron (Dylan Arnold) and hear from Allyson's dad Ray that Lonnie had long been a troublemaker. 

In an interview with Bloody Flicks, the new Lonnie Elam, Robert Longstreet, opened up about his character and some of what we can expect in the upcoming Halloween Kills. "Lonnie is a complicated, troubled guy who is haunted by his past. Particularly chickening out on going into Michael Myers' house when he was a kid. I think this broke something in him that f**ks with his manhood." He goes deeper, saying, "The Elam family is very unorthodox. They love drugs and alcohol more than most. [Director] David [Gordon Green] said a funny thing to me about that. He said 'Lonnie knows his wines.' Ha!!! I don't think I'm a very appropriate father but I love my son. The stories of mushrooms with Ray continue." He also goes on to talk about his character sharing screen time with his movie son Cameron and Cameron's ex-girlfriend Allyson. 

About Halloween Kills in general, Longstreet says that "it might be the nastiest of all of them" and "it has some terrifying scenes in it." Halloween 2020 just can't come soon enough. 

The first test screening reactions are in, and Halloween Kills "does not disappoint"

It's not uncommon for genre films (especially hotly anticipated sequels) to undergo test screenings early on in post-production, so that filmmakers and studios can determine what might be needed in reshoots. In January of 2020, Halloween Kills had its first test screening, and according to snippets from the 200 or so folks in attendance, the movie "genuinely impresses" and is "surprisingly emotional." 

Dark Universe Horror reports the following spoiler-free notes that are as tantalizing as they are disturbing: "The eerie blue lighting is back. One major character returns. Michael Myers is ultra violent and brutal. The flashback scenes are incredibly well done. The movie is like Halloween on acid. It's balls to the wall crazy. The movie has some great callbacks to past Halloween films but remains original. The mask used for the Halloween '78 flashback scenes is going to have fans going bonkers." 

From Reddit user TrickyDude98 writes, "the director and writer finally delivered a sequel that will impress more than depress" and says it might be the first time in the Halloween franchise's history that a screening went perfectly. They also note, "1978 is back and i felt it every time the flashbacks happen — the tone, the feel, the music, even The Shape's attitude and movement [is] all there. As for present day, I don't think horror has felt more organic and emotional in my whole life." These are the kinds of endorsements Halloween fans are absolutely thirsting for.