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John Carpenter says you shouldn't count on definitive ending to Halloween franchise; hints at revisiting They Live

By Josh Weiss
John Carpenter

John Carpenter took a break from scoring the stab-worthy exploits of Michael Myers and setting shape-shifting aliens ablaze to discuss his prolific horror career during an hourlong spotlight at Keystone Comic Con in Philadelphia this weekend. When talk turned to the two sequels slated to follow 2018's soft reboot of HalloweenHalloween Kills (Oct. 16 of 2020) and Halloween Ends (Oct. 15 of 2021)—Carpenter discussed his involvement with them and how we shouldn't expect a definitive conclusion to the iconic slasher franchise.

“As long as there’s money in this, I wouldn’t count on an ending,” said the filmmaker at the panel, which SYFY WIRE attended Saturday, while describing the release dates put forth by Universal as “very preliminary.” He also confirmed that he'd help score and promote the movies. For Halloween 2018, he both wrote and recorded the music alongside his son, Cody Carpenter, and his godson, Daniel Davies.

“[Jason Blum] convinced me to stop sitting on the sidelines and bitching and get off my butt and help … No one’s ever asked me before," added Carpenter. “I loved what the director, David Gordon Green, did. I thought he did a great job, and it was terrific ... [Jamie Lee Curtis] was fabulous, just fabulous. She’s still great ... Go see the next Halloween movies, they'll be good!"

John Carpenter Keystone Comic Con

Of course, no chat with John Carpenter would be complete without bringing up his 1982 remake of The Thing. While panned by critics and audiences upon its original release (after all, Spielberg's E.T. had come out a few weeks before), the movie has since come to be regarded as a true genre classic that broke new ground with its creature designs by Rob Bottin.

“I don’t understand what happened with The Thing … It was hated by critics and the fans, I don’t know why. I’d like a little payback with critics. I just need five minutes alone with a critic in a room," joked the director, assuring the audience that his alternate ending to the film will most likely never see the light of day.

Looking at the horror genre as a whole, Carpenter admitted that he isn't as easily frightened as he once was. That being said, he really enjoyed 2008's Swedish vampire flick Let the Right One In, which he feels "reinvented the vampire myth."

“It’s always been a part of my life, since I was a little kid," he explained. "I know the plumbing, so it’s doesn’t scare me anymore ... Horror is the most durable, most lasting genre in movie. Every generation comes along and remakes it for themselves.”

In terms of future projects, Carpenter wants to put most of his focus on music, but he's also got a Joker comic over at DC and even hinted at revisiting They Live, possibly via the medium of television. He's even open to helping out with that Big Trouble in Little China remake and/or sequel that's been floating around Hollywood for a while. The IP is now owned by Disney, which acquired 20th Century Fox back in March.

“If they wanna pay me money, sure, I’ll do it … If they come along waving a check, I’ll consider it," he concluded.