That Time I Wrote A Pilot For A Miniseries Reimagining Of John Carpenter’s Halloween

The year is 2014, late Summer. After reminiscing on high school theatre days, appearing in a hand full of short films in Northern California, my “cling to fame” as an on-screen extra in The Pursuit Of Happyness starring Will Smith, and having a brain filled with a multitude of ideas, I decided it was time to put something out there. As a newly-crowned father, I knew auditioning for roles would be just a tad bit difficult, but I still wanted to express my creativity—and have my name recognized. So, I decided to try to write.

Since elementary school, I was notorious for writing random stories that I thought I could turn into movies with my friends. Using our family’s Macintosh and Avid Cinema, I wrote and filmed my own sequel to Jurassic Park (inspired by the video game Jurassic Park II: The Chaos Continues). No, it was nowhere near being epic. It was a lot of me running around with a cap-gun rifle whole holding the camera in one hand and splicing in scenes from the original film. However, being surrounded by 20 acres of corn did help with capturing the setting. Then, there was a Batman story, followed by a space marines idea that combined elements of Alien and, once again, Jurassic Park. Throughout high school, college, and employment, I’d jot down random ideas and file them away. Finally, as I began a new chapter in my life as a parent, I felt it was time to attempt something bigger. Therefore, with the help of my friend Ryan Coe, it was time to write a script.

At that time, television was booming with projects that reimagined horror/thriller classics. A&E had Bates Motel. NBC had Hannibal. Fox had The Exorcist. Along with American Horror Story‘s critical acclaim and the hype behind Scream Queens, Ryan and I felt horror would be the way to go. So, we decided to tackle our favorite horror movie of all time: John Carpenter’s Halloween. Unlike Rob Zombie’s reboots, we didn’t feel upping the blood and guts was important. We wanted to focus on suspense, character development, and updating the surroundings; to keep the homage element while adding our own spin on the story arc. We also decided to add an element of another one of our favorites: the television series 24. No, there would not be the addition of a ticking clock. The series would simply be 8-10 episodes revolving around that one fateful day that Michael Myers escaped from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and unleashed murderous havoc upon the small town of Haddonfield. Ryan and I plotted out the series outline, the outline of the pilot itself, and—since he was only days away of becoming a father himself—I penned the entire script for the pilot.

Related – John Carpenter Tweets The Titles To TWO Halloween Sequels

The pilot featured the same elements of the Carpenter classic. Michael breaks out, makes his way back to Haddonfield, Laurie Strode and her friends attend school, and they babysit kids on the same night that Myers unleashes hell. Our new additions to the story featured a younger Dr. Loomis (late 30s/early 40s) and his infatuation with Myers, an intense investigation into the possibility that Myers was still on the sanitarium grounds, more focus on the potential love between Strode and Ben Tramer, a planned Halloween banquet in the town to raise funds for the Governor’s re-election campaign, and the secret the town has hid for 15 years.

I finished the script within a couple months, registered it with Writers Guild of America West, and entered it into the Scriptapalooza Television Screenwriting competition. On social media, I would tweet Executive Producer Malek Akkad, Halloween-related accounts, and Carpenter himself about the script. I’d fantasy pick the cast for the series (I had Michael Fassbender as Loomis, Shailene Woodley as Laurie Strode, and a guest appearance by Jamie Lee Curtis as the Governor). I even went as far as sending a physical copy to Carpenter’s agent. I know, that’s a no-no in the business, but I said to myself “what do I have to lose?”

Alas, nothing came of it. It didn’t place in the competition, no one in Hollywood ever picked it up, and eventually any hope of this project being developed was shot down when Danny McBride and David Gordon Green developed their eventual 2018 blockbuster hit. It was bittersweet for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the McBride/Green film, but know that due to its success, my idea wouldn’t see the light of day anytime soon. However, it didn’t stop me from writing. I’ve written two other scripts, a short story on the app Wattpad, and currently write for this very website, Latino Review Media. It turned out pretty well in the end.

Moral of the story: be patient and never stop chasing what you are passionate about. You never know what your decisions may lead to. Plus, give it a decade or so and it may be the perfect time for a reboot series… and trust me, I will be ready for it.


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