Now that the David Gordon Green-directed Halloween has come and gone, I thought it would be fun to look back at an early screenplay that carried significant differences from script to screen. Last month, I shared with you the alternate opening that would have reimagined the original Halloween‘s final moments in which Dr. Loomis would be killed by Michael Myers. Now, we’re digging into Green, Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley‘s early script that carried a vastly different finale.
For those who have seen the 2018 Halloween, which is a direct sequel to John Carpenter‘s 1978 slasher classic, the film ends with the Strode family locking Michael in the basement and burning the house down. We don’t know if he’s dead and everything is left ambiguous.
The early screenplay, however, had a completely different finale.
In the May 2017 draft, Laurie, Jamie (name later changed to Karen) and Allyson still end up at Laurie’s house, only this time the action takes place upstairs. Michael is getting hit with a handful of bullets, but continues to get back up. Echoing the originally planned opening, Laurie runs out of shotgun shells as she attempts to unload one final blow into the Shape. After a few clicks, she flees down the hall, abandoning Jamie and Allyson, who are both hiding under the bed.
After a tense moment, Michael turns and pursues Laurie into a room with a closet lit up. In a throwback to the original, Michael attacks only to find he’s been tricked, and Laurie isn’t in there. As he walks back down the hall, Laurie jumps out of nowhere and stabs Michael with a screwdriver. In the meantime, Jamie and Allyson climb out of the window. Laurie stabs Michael over and over until he drops the knife and grabs her by the throat (also a callback to the opening scene with Loomis). Jamie watches all of the action from outside of the window as Michael gets stabbed one final time in the neck as Laurie goes limp and drops to the ground. Jamie then comes back in the house and goes on the attack, pushing Michael out of the window. He vanishes into the night. Jamie and Allyson then go to Laurie and confirm that she’s dead.
The film was originally going to end Laurie’s story (as we were originally promised) and introduce her daughter and granddaughter into the mythology for more films (the script doesn’t promise a sequel but it does end through Michael’s perspective with heavy breathing getting louder and louder). Interestingly, this all goes against the filmmakers’ continual narrative that Michael is just killing at random. Green has said on record that he removed the family dynamic in order to make it scary again, only to introduce a similar mythology with the Strode family. While Laurie may not be Michael’s sister, the Shape is now the Strode family’s cross to bear. New film, same franchise problem.
IN FACT, the filmmakers toyed with the idea of nearly killing Strode in early incarnations of the edit. You can even see footage from this big confrontation in trailers in which Laurie and Michael come face to face (see below). In that scene, we’re told, Laurie goes to stab Michael and ends up having the knife turned into her stomach. She allegedly didn’t die in early edits and there were even rumors of some filming taking place at a hospital, which would have been yet another callback to Halloween II.
I certainly hope some of these goodies end up on the home video release in January.