Curtis, who's reprising the role of Laurie Strode in the film for the first time since Halloween: Resurrection in 2002, took the Hall H stage to an intense and warm ovation that was one of the loudest we've heard at Comic-Con so far this year. This time around, Curtis is playing a version of Laurie who hasn't been pursued by Michael all her life, but who's been waiting for him to return for 40 years, ever since that one fateful night in Haddonfield. As a result, her adult life has been kind of a mess.
""Laurie Strode had her child taken from her and lives in complete isolation because she knows Michael Myers is coming back for her," Curtis said.
Speaking of Michael, the panel also featured a graphic new clip from the film showcasing director David Gordon Green's approach to Halloween horror. In the footage, Michael bumps into some children on a street (a nod to a classic moment from the original film, no doubt) then undertakes a seemingly random double murder.
First, he wanders into one house, kills a woman offscreen by bludgeoning her with a hammer, and takes a knife from her kitchen. As the scene continues in one long, tense take, Michael moves down the street to another house, peers in the front window, then moves away to the back of the house. When another apparently random woman walks to the window to pull down the shade, he makes his move, emerging from the back of her living room, and stabbing her through the throat with the stolen knife.
Though Green and his co-writer Danny McBride are best known for their comedy efforts (Pineapple Express, Your Highness), this brand-new footage made it clear they're ready to push the horror as far as possible.
Despite all that horror, though, Curtis also managed to make the panel somewhat inspiring. As we've seen from the film's first trailer, this version of Laurie is determined to one day defeat Michael, something Curtis framed as the story of a woman taking her own power and her own story back.
"She has carried the trauma and PTSD of that attack all this time," Curtis said. "And the story they wrote is 'I'm not that trauma, I'm going to take back the narrative and the legacy of my life' and she is going to confront the person who did that."
The power of that statement, and the power of Halloween in general, also carried over to the audience. During the Q&A portion of the event, a fan approached the microphone and explained that he had been a stalking victim in the past, and that because he was a fan of the film, in moments of fear he thought: "What would Jamie Lee Curtis do?"
Curtis was so moved that she left the stage to give the fan a hug. She was also, as ever, moved by the continued love shown to her by Halloween and horror fans in general, something she's still feeling four decades later.
"We made this little movie when I was 19 in Los Angeles and Pasadena and it's mind-blowing as I'm kissing 60 years old to be doing this again," she said.
Halloween returns Oct. 19, just in time for Halloween.
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