Todd Farmer, the scribe behind Jason X, My Bloody Valentine, The Messengers and Drive Angry, talks about taking over the Halloween franchise from Rob Zombie, and how the studio nearly turned the slasher threequel into a Paranormal Activity knock-off…
You’ve written a treatment for Halloween 3. How are you planning on reinventing the series? Will you be going back to its roots or taking anything from Rob Zombie’s films or even perhaps going back to John Carpenter’s classic original?
I love the Halloween series and want it to continue. It’s interesting, as it has changed quite a bit over the years. When we first wrote it we started at the end of Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 and told that story. Then we took it back to a John Carpenter Halloween tale and Drive Angry came along. Then the Weinsteins asked us to work on Hellraiser, which was going to be a reboot or a remake. So we wrote three different stories. They came back to us and said, ‘Let’s talk Halloween again.’
By this point too much time had passed, so they didn’t want to do a sequel to Rob Zombie’s movie; they wanted something different. We just threw different ideas about. The found footage phenomenon was popular, so they suggested a found footage reboot. I argued that with found footage you want to believe that it’s possible, which is why the Paranormal Activity movies work. With Jason [Voorhees, of Friday The 13th] and Michael Myers you already know they’re fiction, and so the found footage stuff playing for real is difficult to believe. We went down every road, and now I’m not sure what they’re going to end up doing. But if they call us we’d be very happy to be involved.
So going back to classic Carpenter could still be on the cards?
I certainly would do that, because that was one of the movies that influenced me. The idea of taking the concept from the Rob Zombie movie but bringing it back in tone to the John Carpenter movie would be a dream come true!
Todd Farmer is hosting a Screenwriting Master Cclass at the Gold Coast Film Festival, held 22-23 April 2013. Pick up Drive Angry on DVD for £3.85 or on Blu-ray for £8 from Amazon.co.uk.