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SYFY WIRE John Carpenter

John Carpenter Explains Why Halloween's Michael Myers Is Like Godzilla

The master of horror commented on the enduring appeal of his signature character at New York Comic Con.

By Matthew Jackson

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Halloween, the legendary slasher film helmed by director John Carpenter, which marked the debut of the monstrous shape we call Michael Myers. In the years since that first film, Myers has become a horror icon, appearing in 11 feature films since the original, novels, comic books, countless pieces of merchandise, and so much more. He's even been seemingly definitively killed onscreen at least three times, but that doesn't mean he's gone forever, and Carpenter knows the reason why. 

Speaking at New York Comic Con earlier this month while promoting projects like his new Peacock original series, John Carpenter's Suburban Screams, Carpenter was asked why he thought Michael Myers would never truly die as a pop culture force. His answer, according to Screen Rant, was short, to the point, and even nodded in the direction of another iconic movie monster. 

Why John Carpenter Thinks Michael Myers Just Won't Die

"Well, I’ll tell you what, he’s an all-purpose character," Carpenter said of Myers. "If you want the first movie, you’ve got that. If you want him to be able to kill all the time, you’ve got that. The only other all-purpose monster is Godzilla."

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Carpenter and Halloween's co-writer and producer, Debra Hill, famously designed Michael Myers as a sort of personality-less killing machine, a force of nature dubbed "The Shape" in the original film's credits. With his blank, white mask, almost robotic sense of movement, and completely wordless drive to kill, he's the kind of character you can project a lot of different ideas and concepts onto, and indeed the franchise has spent the last 45 years doing exactly that. He's been a purely physical threat, a product of supernatural meddling, an unstoppable killing machine, and even a towering figure capable of turning others into killers. He's been in brutal films, surprisingly funny films, and everything in between. 

RELATED: Your Guide to John Carpenter's Suburban Screams

And he's probably not done yet. Earlier this month, Miramax announced a new vision of Halloween that will begin in the TV world and hopefully work toward a new "cinematic universe" for the franchise, ushering in a new incarnation of Carpenter's creation. We don't yet know exactly what that means for the mythology, or for Michael Myers, but like Godzilla, who just keeps coming back after nearly 70 years, Michael Myers is determined to keep moving. 

Want more Michael Myers? Check out Halloween (2018), Halloween II, and Rob Zombie's pair of Halloween films, all streaming on Peacock. And be sure to check out the Master of Horror's new offering, John Carpenter's Suburban Screams, too!