Tackling the simplest thing is often usually the most difficult.
While contemplating the look of the upcoming Halloween sequel, FX and makeup specialist Chris Nelson was tasked with coming up with the look of Michael Myers's new mask. Sounds pretty basic, right? After all, the Myers mask is one of the most iconic in movie history.
As it turns out, this was a pretty big ask. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Nelson said:
“You can’t recreate that iconic image. I think the original, that mask, they way they did it, who it was on, how he wore it, and how they shot it, was the perfect storm. It was the perfect storm, never to be imitated ever again. You just can’t do it. So, the goal was to try to get the form of the original, the expression of the original, the feel for that character. [That] was the goal. It wasn’t trying to copy it, it was just trying to take it a step further and bring that character back again.
The mask from the 1978 original was born out of necessity. In order to stay within the platry $300,000 budget, the production made use of a simple Captain Kirk (William Shatner) mask that was painted a ghostly white.
"[I looked at] hundreds and hundreds of reference photos [from the original film], and behind-the-scenes, and still photography, and books," Nelson added. "Getting a copy of that Captain Kirk mask, and looking at that copy, and going, How did this work? And when you look at that original mask, you just have no idea how that worked. I have no idea. Because it’s so simple, and not much to it, but again it was just the perfect storm of how it was all shot and how it was all played."
Directed by David Gordon Green (Your Highness), the new film will act as a direct sequel to the first movie and follow an older Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who is still traumatized from her encounter with the murderer 40 years ago. When Michael (played by both James Jude Courtney and OG Myers actor Nick Castle) escapes his mental asylum, she's ready, prepared to kill the man that turned her life into a living Hell.
“The mask in the context of this story is forty years old, so I’ve studied a lot of forty-year-old masks, and how they warped, and how they rotted, and how they weathered, and just tried to do that with a cinematic license, and bring that character back to life," Nelson continued. "It’s made out of slip latex, like all Halloween masks are. So, we went old school. We wanted it to be a Halloween mask and that’s what it is. Hopefully, when fans — real fans — see it for the first time they’re not put off by it, they’re not disappointed by it, they know that that character’s back in the movie and that was point. But really hard to do. A lot of research and then also just a lot of heart. I mean, I’ve been studying that face for forty years, so I know it fairly well!”
Halloween, co-written by Green and Danny McBride, opens in theaters Oct. 19.