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'Halloween Kills' producer considered Paul Rudd to reprise Tommy Doyle role before Anthony Michael Hall was cast
Halloween Kills not only preys on fresh victims, but also on fan nostalgia. The sequel to director David Gordon Green's 2018 reboot of the long-running slasher franchise brings back a number of characters from the 1978 original, including Tommy Doyle (one of the children Laurie Strode babysat for just prior to her fateful encounter with Michael Myers).
The adult version of Tommy is played in Kills by Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles alumnus Anthony Michael Hall, who was not the only person considered for the part. Believe it or not, longtime Halloween producer Malek Akkad floated the idea of casting Paul Rudd in a sort of meta nod to the fact that the Ant-Man star portrayed a grown-up Doyle in 1995's poorly-received Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (along with Clueless, it was one of Rudd's first big screen roles).
"I was so excited to have Paul reprise that role and would have been wonderful in a way," Akkad told ScreenRant during a press event for the new movie. "... that was my first producorial role and even in the casting of Paul, I remember it just like it was yesterday. He hadn’t done a film, I’m pretty sure it was his first film at that point, so we’re both kind of starting and what a spark he had, then you know the difficulties we had on six — don’t get me started — but it would have warmed my heart and definitely there’s some disappointment there."
Akkad ultimately decided against the idea, concluding that Rudd's A-list presence might be too overpowering.
"Anthony Michael Hall fulfills this role in a way that’s maybe less jarring for the narrative and maybe won’t take people out of it," the producer explained. "Because Paul Rudd is so big for a lot of things like comedy and whatever, he’s a fantastic actor, I think it turned out this way for a reason and we’re so excited. Anthony Michael Hall does a knockout performance, it’s definitely gonna be one of the fans' favorites."
This was probably for the best since Gordon Green's revival trilogy ignores all of the murky continuity established by the sequels (as well as the two Rob Zombie films).
"I did recently see the version that Paul Rudd did, and that was obviously a different time frame. So it's a different universe for the franchise," Hall remarked during a recent interview with SYFY WIRE. "They take the original and they reintroduce these characters in the sequel, but also the bigger plan is the trilogy. So it's all unfolding. So I thought not just for Tommy, but for all the characters, I thought it was brilliant how they created space with these other characters. And it extends to not just the locals that we knew from '78, but [new characters, too]."
Halloween Kills is now playing in theaters (you can buy tickets here) and streaming on Peacock.