Halloween returned on Tuesday night for the premiere of the next installment in the classic Michael Myers saga: Halloween Kills.

Dressed for a full-fledged costume party, the cast and creators arrived at Hollywood’s landmark TCL Chinese Theater to celebrate the film’s debut — an occasion that was delayed a full year due to the pandemic.

Prior the start of the screening, star and executive producer Jamie Lee Curtis welcomed the audience: “Happy Fucking Halloween!” she cheered. Audience members were provided with Michael Myers masks of their own, as Curtis encouraged everyone to don the masks for a photo with the crowd.

Since Myers’ debut in 1978, the masked man has become an iconic horror figure, terrorizing Laurie Strode (Curtis) and the town of Haddonfield, Illinois for decades. After the initial reboot of the series in 2018 — 40 years after the original slasher film — the story continues on with Kills.

Curtis arrived on the carpet dressed as Marion Crane from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho — an homage to her mother Janet Leigh, who played the character in the 1960 film.

For Halloween Kills, Curtis took on the role of not only starring in the film, but also executive producing.

“My job is being head cheerleader,” Curtis said of the filming experience. “As the sort of face of the franchise, my job is to make sure people know that I appreciate them. Every person on the crew, the actors, I’m a cheerleader. I’m not an executive in the sense that I’m not the one making big decisions.”

As for the new heights that Halloween Kills achieves, Curtis confirms that “it’s next level, which fans of this franchise want and need.”

“It’s faster, it’s louder, it’s gorier, it’s scary,” Judy Greer, who plays Strode’s daughter Karen, added. “I’m actually gonna try not to cover my eyes tonight.”

Dressed in an Annie Hall costume, Greer expressed her support for the ongoing negotiations of IATSE union workers for better work conditions and higher pay, with a possible strike now set for Monday if an agreement is not reached. “I wanted to wear an IATSE pin on my costume,” Greer said, although she admits that she forgot to do so while rushing out the door. “I’m in a union, I support unions. I also work in this business very regularly and I know it’s really hard on us actors and we work half as much as they do and we get paid so much more. There’s a real imbalance, and so, I really support it, I want everyone to feel taken care of.”

“The crews deserve anything and everything they can pry from the studios,” added Nick Castle, who originated the role of Michael Myers, or “The Shape,” in John Carpenter’s original film. “They do such an amazing job. I’ve never been on a set — and I’ve been doing this for 40 years — where these guys don’t take their jobs so seriously. They work unnecessarily long hours and it can be dangerous, so I hope they win.”

“I’m behind these guys 100 percent,” James Jude Courtney, who embodies Myers in Halloween Kills, agreed. “We can’t do what we do if we don’t have 70, 80, 100, 120 of these people on the set, working longer hours than we work. Truly, they are the backbone of what we do.”

Producer Jason Blum also made an appearance on the carpet dressed as Curtis’ Laurie Strode from the first film, complete with a blonde wig and all.

“It’s great to have movies back in theaters, but I’m also very happy that it’s on Peacock so that any and all Halloween fans can see the movie,” Blum said of the decision to do a simultaneous release, both at-home and theatrical. “Fans can get to the movie right away, which makes me very happy.”

Kills executive producer Ryan Freimann agreed. “This movie is meant to be seen on the big screen,” he said. “I’m thrilled that we’re finally getting it out, even though we’re doing day-and-date with Peacock. There’s a portion of the audience that don’t feel comfortable going to the theaters. I think it was about finding the balance. It’s fan service… so allowing both sets of audiences to see it at the same time — it’s a huge plus.”

As for the future of the franchise, director David Gordon Green went into this reboot with a trilogy in mind. Dressed as an old-fashioned movie theater usher — a nod to his former job before getting started as a director — Green confirmed that the script for the final installment of the trilogy is ready to go.

“It’s called Halloween Ends and hopefully we just say ‘night, night,’” Green said ominously, in regard to the completion of Strode and Myers’ journey together.

“With the boogeyman, you never know where he’s gonna be,” Freimann added. “The Shape’s always around.”

Katie Song

Hey, the film series is called Halloween, is it not? David Gordon Green, Judy Greer, and Jamie Lee Curtis all showed up to the Halloween Kills premiere in Halloween costumes. Because as long as red carpets are back, we might as well go all out. Curtis came dressed as her mother’s iconic Psycho character Marion Crane. Curtis previously recreated her mom Janet Leigh’s iconic shower scene in 2015 for Scream Queens. Greer decided to show up as someone equally bone-chilling: Annie Hall from the Woody Allen movie of the same name. David Gordon Green came dressed as a theater usher, one step away from The Shining bartender or the Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights character The Usher. And Jason Blum got dressed in Laurie Strode drag. But Anthony Michael Hall had perhaps the spookiest costume of all: a guy that doesn’t “do” costumes. The horror, the horror!

Jamie Lee Curtis dressed as her mother Janet Leigh from the horror classic “Psycho” at the costume party premiere of “Halloween Kills” on Tuesday night at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Curtis commanded attention when she hit the black arrivals carpet in a blonde wig and blue dress while carrying a bloody shower curtain.

“It’s the ultimate good versus evil,” Curtis said of the “Halloween” franchise. “Laurie Strode represents the quotidian, quintessential, innocent American teenage girl, that is innocence personified. And when you collide it with the essence of evil which is Michael Meyers, you create a tension that you, the audience member, wants to protect her.”

The sequel to the most recent “Halloween” film, “Halloween Kills” premieres Oct. 15. The film follows Strode and her family as they band together with the other survivors of Haddonfield, Ill. to hunt down Michael Meyers and end his reign of terror once and for all.

“It’s old school. Every western has a good guy and a bad guy. Shakespeare, the Greeks, there’s always been this collision between good and evil, and it’s been very successful and emotional at the same time,” Curtis told Variety.

The film tackles themes of fear and the gravity of death, but director David Gordon Green explained that the beauty of the franchise also lies within the audience’s ability to take away their own lessons from the story. Green arrived in costume as an old-school movie theater ticket man, dressed in a red suit with yellow detailing.

“The beauty of Michael Meyers is it’s an expressionless, emotionless face, and so we can project our fear onto him, or if you like having fun at a scary movie, let’s go scream our heads off and eat some popcorn,” Green said.

The original premiere date for “Halloween Kills” was slated nearly a full year ago, but was delayed due to the pandemic. “It was so hard when the movie was finished, and we didn’t get to show it, so I’m very glad we’re getting to show it in the best theater in the world here,” said producer Jason Blum, dressed as Strode in a blonde wig, green jacket and white shirt.

Curtis, Green and Blum introduced the film before the screening (“Happy fucking Halloween!” yelled Curtis to a cheering audience), which was immediately followed by a rooftop afterparty at the nearby Dream Hotel.

After what seemed like forever, Halloween Kills is finally here. The second entry in David Gordon Green’s trilogy follows directly after the gruesome events of Halloween night, 2018. What should’ve been Michael Myers’ death sentence, Laurie Strode’s burning trap basement, is turned into something far more distressing as the Boogeyman lives up to his everlasting name and manages to escape. Once again, Michael is heading home. But the night’s death toll has drastically motivated the townspeople of Haddonfield to unite and take down the murderous, masked psychopath for good. While Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) recovers in a hospital bed, a new face steps up to speak for Haddonfield, a now-adult Tommy Doyle played by veteran actor Anthony Michael Hall.

We were lucky enough to sit down for a fascinating, extensive chat with Anthony Michael Hall, best known for his iconic roles in John Hughes classics such as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Hall’s role as Tommy Doyle, a recognized character returning from the original 1978 Halloween alongside Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace, plays a pivotal part in the film, both thematically and action-wise. “The new avenues that David Gordon Green takes with introducing a wider cast of characters is very welcomed, especially as it emphasizes the sheer inhumane and indestructible nature of Michael Myers.”

Our conversation with Anthony Michael Hall covers plenty of ground on Halloween Kills, from his on-set collaborations with David Gordon Green to his approach to Tommy Doyle’s legacy. He also puts it out there that he wouldn’t mind joining Green’s upcoming Exorcist sequel for Blumhouse as well!

So the first question is pretty simple, did you grow up liking the Halloween films? Did you know much about them?
Anthony Michael Hall: It’s very funny because, to be very honest, I wasn’t somebody following horror over all these years and in the industry as well. But when I was a kid, I did see the first one. So when the first [Halloween] came out, I saw it on cable, which was new, like streaming, all those years ago in the 80s. So I remember seeing it, when I was about 11 or 12 years old, for the first time when my parents had gone out. And what I remember are those visceral shots where it’s from Myers’ perspective and he was stalking [Laurie Strode], while she’s walking through the neighborhood with the soundtrack and the whole thing. So I do remember as a kid, and it did have an impact because I remember thinking, wow, this was new territory.

In Halloween Kills, Tommy Doyle has gone through the natural progression brought on by the terror that he lived through as a child. He’s become a hero of sorts, as I would describe it. Out of curiosity, did you get much say in Tommy’s actual characterization?
Anthony Michael Hall: You just hit it on the head because that was the feeling I got from David Gordon Green, immediately. He became a friend and an ally, and I felt like he was giving me this kind of hero’s role, which is wonderful. The truth is, in fairness to the rest of the cast because there are so many great actors in this, he makes the whole town take this heroic turn where they go from being victims and survivors, as you saw in the opening of the picture, to really summoning and going deep within themselves to take [Michael Myers] on now. Then there’s a scene later in the movie with Jamie Lee Curtis where I go “what do we do now?” and she goes, “we fight.” And that’s the model.

That whole idea of creating a hero in Tommy, and that he’s kind of the eye of the storm, was really meaningful to me because I felt very much trusted by David and I felt really excited to play that part – to lead the charge on behalf of the town. As an actor even though this is all make-believe, as we know, you have to make those circumstances and situations real for yourself, which sort of jazzed me up because I really felt like, “Wow, this is cool, David really believes in me and I have this really fantastic role.” That was actually what came to mind too, which is that it’s a hero’s role. So what happens after the opening of the film is that energy galvanizes everybody and then we’re off and running because [Michael] is on the loose again.

This leads well to my next question, did you feel any pressure when preparing to play Tommy because he’s such a recognized character from the original? What was it like for you considering that there were other versions before?
Anthony Michael Hall: The first thought I had when you said that, was like when I did The Dead Zone all those years ago, I was asked similar questions. I’ve always been a huge fan of certain actors like Christopher Walken, but in the context of that show, I never wanted to imitate him in any way. But I kind of knicked the pea coat and the cane and some of the elements from the original film.

With Halloween Kills, having seen that first film, I remembered some interesting things which create a sort of polarity with a full circle arc with Tommy. As a kid, he was bullied, in the first film, by Lonnie. It’s really funny because Robert Longstreet [who plays Lonnie] and I really hit it off and became good friends, he’s a great guy. So I worked with the awareness that as a kid, he was the one who says that to Jamie’s character Laurie, which is “you can’t kill the Boogeyman,” and he’s a kid that’s bullied, and that he’s kind of living in fear. So there’s a very special bond between Jamie’s character, Laurie, and also not just myself, but Lindsey, too. That’s a really interesting arc if you go back to that first film.

Now, what’s brilliant about what they did is they, Scott [Teems], Danny [McBride], and David, did a beautiful job threading those original characters, right from the first film through 2018. People are really going to get hit with this film, and we’ll see the impact of it. A lot has been said about the sort of mob rules mentality and all that, you know, the fact that the world started to mirror some of the themes that David was exploring in the film was just happenstance – it just kind of evolved that way with the world and all the societal issues in the pandemic. It was life imitating art, instead of the other way around, or it could be viewed that way. But, obviously, none of us planned that.

So with Tommy, I didn’t look at the other films, I’ll be very honest. I’ve seen a few of them in the two years since. What’s funny is that it’s given me an opportunity with the delay of the movie, I’m just like any Halloween fan. I’m online, I’m on YouTube, I’m looking at fan sites and looking at these reaction videos. There’s like a whole culture of Halloween fans. So that was actually really fun, that in the delay, once Jason Blum made the decision, I tried to find any reaction videos to either the test screenings or what people thought of the trailer that was released. That’s all been brilliant for me to get a closer sense of what the fans think. And as you know, they have very specific opinions about all 11 other movies. So for me, I looked at the original film and I did appreciate that the arc is interesting because as a kid, he’s afraid of the Boogeyman, he was bullied, and then he comes back as a total fighter here in his middle age.

Anthony Michael Hall: I do and I’m really excited about it. I mean, you can probably hear it in my voice. It’s such a thrilling thing because, with the exception of The Dark Knight, I’ve never been a part of a big franchise. Obviously, I had a nice role that [Christopher Nolan] gave me, but it was smaller. So with this, I’m over the moon. I was really excited about it during the making and the two other years that I’ve been waiting, like everybody else and all the fans. You know, it’s a very rare sort of alignment of things where we all feel great about the work that David did, it’s a phenomenal movie that David put together.

Also, I was a huge fan of Danny [McBride] and David from some of their other comedies, especially all those TV shows they did for HBO. So to me, it’s this beautiful combination of elements and events coming together. It’s truly a thrill ride, that was like my first takeaway when I saw the film. I was like, wow, talk about satisfying an audience or fanbase. They really did with this film and I’m very proud of that. Just by association, working with Danny and David has meant so much to me. To be given this role, to play this hero part with Tommy, it really means a lot. Then the other aspect for me is just to build up the fact that there is a domestic and global anticipation and appetite for this film. It makes it really exciting, especially because people are going to be wowed by it. I’m very fortunate, blessed, and excited. And I have to say, I think more than anything I’ve ever done in my career, I’d have to go on record.

Talking about David Gordon Green, how was it working with him, someone who is becoming more seasoned in the horror realm? Is he a natural at this?
Anthony Michael Hall: That’s a great point, your instincts were spot on. I think he really is. One of the things that happened when we first met, which was a good fortune – I have a great management company, Mitch Mason and Jason Weinberg at Untitled Entertainment – and when this came up two years ago, I requested a meeting with David. He was in town doing casting and taking meetings, we met in his favorite hotel. We sat down and I’ll tell you, he was so forthright, cool, easy-going, accessible, and very open. He said that they had just moved back to South Carolina, he and his wife and kids, and was very excited about how they set up their life.

Also, creatively, he just went from comedy to now this franchise. As we all know, the last one was a massive hit, right? So we had a really cool conversation at the end of the summer, we spoke for about an hour in the hotel lobby. Then what happened was they did a screen test and I just made it as real as I could for myself, just like in the film, I just go all in. So I was really over the moon that I got the job. It’s a combination that we know the movie is really solid, that it really packs a punch, and then also there’s such an expectation for which makes it sort of a perfect alignment.

Halloween Kills has been described as one of the most bloody entries in the franchise, how was it working on the set of such a gore-filled extravaganza?
Anthony Michael Hall: [Halloween Kills] had to live up to the title, right? It’s built on the title. What I will tell you is, this franchise and this group of people are incredibly creative. Especially the people at Rough House Pictures, which is David and Danny’s company. They are very loyal guys. The only other case that I’ve heard is Clint Eastwood’s sets, where they’ve kept the same crew that they worked with for 15 years. That says a lot. They’re family guys who really are down-to-earth and good people.

Christopher Nelson, for example, although I didn’t really have many conversations with him, that guy takes it very seriously, he’s a top-notch special effects artist. Then we also had this brilliant cinematographer, Michael Simmonds, who was such a great guy to work with. That’s such a key relationship because when I do a picture, like when I was on The Dark Knight and I saw Christopher Nolan and Wally Pfister, or when I did Edward Scissorhands with Stefan Czapsky and Tim Burton, I’m always studying the relationship between the director of photography and the director because that’s key. We really have to have a blood bond, to get through it together and attack the day. I’m just trying to paint the picture [for Halloween Kills] that there are all these great departments, where the crew all have a shorthand because they’re really friends and not just co-workers, a lot of them went to college together in South Carolina. So you have this really cool, well-rounded, very healthy, adjusted, nice group of people that really work hard and are great at what they do.

Also, there’s a lot of laughs because David is very collaborative, he’s very fluid and loose on the set. The one thing I noticed, to be honest, was that it very much reminded me of my early years as a kid working with John Hughes. Let’s delineate for a second to make the comparison. There are some common traits, they’re both great writers and natural filmmakers. Obviously, David’s a very talented filmmaker and really understands from the audience standpoint. So it’s a combination of all those things. Having all the same qualities that John Hughes had, took me by surprise. The other thing too is that he’s such an accessible, easygoing guy. Throughout the production, John Hughes did this too, he really carves out time to have discussions with each actor on the scene. Whether it’s to dismiss certain things if they feel clunky or to discuss if we need another line. Ultimately, when you have a filmmaker at the helm like that, who has that kind of humility within their process, you get so much more out of it because people want to go to bat for you that much more. Pun intended in this case.

Even the thing with the bat that came up about a week or two into production. David was like, “I think you should have a weapon” and I said, “Dude, let’s go for it.” So we placed the bat, which is called Huckleberry, behind the bar. Now, here’s a quick little interesting anecdote about David and his casting. He’s able to do this Fellini-esque type of thing. For example, the gentleman that plays the bar owner is a guy named Brian. Brian is actually a good friend of David’s from Austin, Texas, because David’s originally from Dallas. So the gentleman who plays the bar owner in the film really does own a restaurant in Austin and really is friends with David. So he cast him to play the bar owner in [Halloween Kills]. David can write comedic characters, work with dramatic actors or people with no acting experience, and still get something of value. I was impressed that just not only did he reintroduce the characters from the original, but he creates space for others. That’s quite a feat because I think he did it quite effortlessly.

Would you like to do more horror in the future or is it more dependent on the character you’re given, or even perhaps the director you’re working with?
Anthony Michael Hall: In fairness, it is a little bit of all of that. I really would be interested in doing more, but it would depend on the character and the filmmaker. For instance, I would work with these guys again in a second. Anything they would ever ask me to do, I would be there for them. You know what’s interesting, too? As I’m sure you’ve read about, David is now attached to The Exorcist reboot. I would never sort of throw myself at them like that, but I have already let them both know that I would love to work with them again.

So to answer your question, yeah, I would definitely like to explore more in horror. It’s a genre that I’ve learned a lot about in this process. From an audience perspective that just like comedies are great dramas, it’s something that people obviously love. The idea of a good scare, I think there’s something very fundamental about it. I know I’m kind of late to the party, but it’s really interesting and I would like to do more. I can tell you this without giving away any Blumhouse secrets, [Halloween Kills] was made for the same price as the last one. So considering you can pack that much of a punch and deliver such a good movie on a $10-11 million range is amazing. I have a lot of respect for Jason Blum and the company with what they’re doing, and I would work with any of them again in a second. But, in terms of genre, I am more intrigued now, absolutely.

A LIVE Q&A with Anthony Michael Hall (amh4real) to talk about his new film #HalloweenKills – in theaters & streaming on @PeacockTV tomorrow!

Halloween Kills star Anthony Michael Hall joined us for a live chat about the movie on Instagram. We talked horror with the veteran actor of TV’s The Dead Zone and most famously in films The Breakfast ClubWeird ScienceSixteen Candles, and National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Hall stars as Tommy Doyle in the latest entry into the Halloween canon. The story picks up minutes after the events of director David Gordon Green’s 2018 film, Halloween. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she has finally killed her life-long tormentor. But Michael Myers escaped the fiery cage she left him in and has resumed his bloodbath. With daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), Laurie joins a group of Michael’s survivors to hunt down the monster once and for all.

The film is written by Scott Teems, Danny McBride, and Green and is based on characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill.

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We are hours away from the release of Universal Pictures, Halloween Kills. This is the sequel to the 2018 feature film Halloween film that connects to the original iconic horror/slasher 1978 film by John Carpender. Decades later, Michael Myers is still a lethal threat that is a danger to all in Haddonfield.

Part of what makes Halloween Kills special is its attention to the past. We have some returning cast members from the original film. As well as characters from the past that have been re-cast. First, we have the obvious Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie who we had already seen in the previous film. Then we also have the return as Kyle Richards as Lindsey and Nancy Stephens as Marion. The character of Tommy Doyle is also in the film but has been recast by Anthony Michael Hall.

In Halloween Kills we will see how the trauma of the original attacks has affected these characters. To the point where they have formed a support group. But what happens when they find out that Michael Myers returns? Will they flee in horror or band together to try and bring down evil once in for all?

Ahead of its release, LRM Online participated in a round table discussion with Kyle Richards and Anthony Michael Hall. During the discussion, they talk about their experience on Halloween Kills. Richards even goes into detail about returning to the big screen. We also learn more about Tommy and what is motivating him in the film. It’s a cool conversation that you can check out down below!

Here is the synopsis for Halloween Kills
Minutes after Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor.

But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster.

The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all.

By Corey Chichizola

This time of year many moviegoers take the time to watch some horror movies. David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills will arrive in theaters in mere days, offering a ton of scares and the return of Michael Myers. Anthony Michael Hall is making his franchise debut in the slasher, and revealed a sweet cameo in the horror sequel.

In Halloween Kills Anthony Michael Hall plays an adult version of Tommy Doyle– the little boy who Laurie was babysitting in John Carpenter’s 1978 original movie. His version of the character is a strong defender of Haddonfield, created by director David Gordon Green and company. I had the privilege of speaking with Hall ahead of the movie’s release, where he revealed a cameo that Green added to the upcoming release. As he put it,

Brian who plays the bartender, the owner of the bar in the beginning, he’s actually a good friend of David’s who owns a bar in Austin. So David does this kind of Fellini thing where he hires him to be the bar owner in the movie because he loves the guy and they’re friends. David Gordon Green does all these great things. He can direct great actors who are comedic or so-called dramatic actors, and he can also work with people who have no experience. And that’s beautiful too.

I mean, how cool is that? While David Gordon Green is working with legacy actors and the iconic Jamie Lee Curtis on Halloween Kills, he’s also someone who highlights lesser known talents. And that includes casting his friend who owns a bar as Joe the Haddonfield bartender.

During our conversation, Anthony Michael Hall helped to peel back the curtain on what it was like working on Halloween Kills. From our chat I got the feeling that everyone involved in the project was genuinely happy to be there. And that joy starts from the top down with director-writer David Gordon Green.

David Gordon Green has had a unique career, as his collaboration with Danny McBride has resulted in both comedies and drama. That includes the current Halloween trilogy, as well as Pineapple Express and shows on HBO like The Righteous Gemstones. We’ll just have to wait and see if Joe the bartender ends up in a future project like the new Hellraiser movie.

Anthony Michael Hall is making his debut in Halloween Kills as Tommy Doyle, but it’s a character beloved by the generations of fans out there. He was played in John Carpenter’s 1978 original by Brian Andrews, and then more recently by Paul Rudd in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Rudd gave Hall his blessing, although that sequel technically isn’t part of the current canon.

Halloween Kills hits theaters and on Peacock on October 15th. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

  • B. ALAN ORANGE
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Tommy Doyle swings a big bat in Halloween Kills, determined to capture and kill infamous Haddonfield boogeyman Michael Myers. Anthony Michael Hall steps into the iconic role of Tommy, commanding the screen with a menacing presence that is sometimes scarier than the evil lurking underneath that iconic William Shatner mask. We recently caught up with Mike Hall to talk about his role in the latest Halloween sequel, which picks up directly where the last installment left off.

While Michael Myers is blazing through an army of firemen after escaping the fiery hell that has become the Strode home, Mike Hall’s Tommy Doyle is on stage at the local bar, recanting his tale of survival from over 40 years ago during a Halloween open mic night. It isn’t long before Tommy hears the news that Michael Myers is back on the streets of his home town, in the midst of a gruesome slaughter that has already claimed several victims. Picking up what is sure to become an iconic piece of Halloween lore, Doyle removes the bat from the back wall of the bar, becoming the de facto leader for a mob of angry locals who literally want to torch Michael Myers and erase him from existence.

Tommy Doyle swings a big bat in Halloween Kills, determined to capture and kill infamous Haddonfield boogeyman Michael Myers. Anthony Michael Hall steps into the iconic role of Tommy, commanding the screen with a menacing presence that is sometimes scarier than the evil lurking underneath that iconic William Shatner mask. We recently caught up with Mike Hall to talk about his role in the latest Halloween sequel, which picks up directly where the last installment left off.

While Michael Myers is blazing through an army of firemen after escaping the fiery hell that has become the Strode home, Mike Hall’s Tommy Doyle is on stage at the local bar, recanting his tale of survival from over 40 years ago during a Halloween open mic night. It isn’t long before Tommy hears the news that Michael Myers is back on the streets of his home town, in the midst of a gruesome slaughter that has already claimed several victims. Picking up what is sure to become an iconic piece of Halloween lore, Doyle removes the bat from the back wall of the bar, becoming the de facto leader for a mob of angry locals who literally want to torch Michael Myers and erase him from existence.

Anthony Michael Hall steps in for original Halloween actor Brian Andrews, who portrayed Tommy Doyle as a young school boy in the 1978 John Carpenter classic. When the casting was first announced, many wondered why Brian Andrews wasn’t returning to the franchise, unlike his counterpart Kyle Richards, who does reprise her iconic role as Lindsey Wallace in Halloween Kills. Murmurs that Andrews wouldn’t return rattled the fanbase. Until they learned that Hall was stepping into the role. Perhaps he was one of the few actor who would be embraced by the otherwise prickly, hardcore Halloween fans. Mike Hall’s presence in the movie came with a buzz of energy and excitement around it that is warranted.

Anthony Michael Hall is nothing short of a Hollywood legend. He starred in some of the ’80s biggest hit movies. And is fondly remembered for his collaborations with John Hughes that include National Lampoon’s VacationSixteen CandlesThe Breakfast Club and Weird Science. He has also worked with Tim Burton, portraying the fan favorite role of Jim in Edward Scissorhands, and he appeared in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, playing DC Comics character Mike Engle. Genre fans are especially fond of Mike Hall for his work in the hugely popular TV series The Dead Zone. He more recently appeared on The Goldbergs.

So despite Brian Andrews not returning to the role of Tommy Doyle, fans welcomed Mike Hall into the Halloween franchise with open arms. We talk with the iconic actor about that aspect of making this long anticipated sequel. We also touch on his work with John Hughes, and his feelings towards a possible Edward Scissorhands reboot.

It seems like everybody working on these new Halloween movies are such huge fans of the franchise. When you come in, and you have this iconic baseball bat…Do you get to keep that? Or do these Blumhouse guys scramble to steal that from you and take it for their own collection?

Mike Hall: (Laughs) Props reclaims everything. There’s my quote. Yeah, you gotta give stuff back. But I was honored. I was on it. It was an idea that [director David Gordon Green] came up with and…I don’t want to get into any spoilers, but it was it was great. It was great.

I know some of the dudes that worked on this movie. I bet money they went back into the props room and stole that bat.

Mike Hall: That’s why I made sure props had it. ‘All right. Good!’ Once the crew has it back in their hands, they’re good.

The Halloween fan base is so intense. And crazy. And here you are, taking over a role that many people wanted to see occupied by the original actor.

Mike Hall: So crazy.

The hardcore fans were a little upset that Brian Andrews was getting replaced. But they did a three-sixty when they heard you had been cast as Tommy. They got really excited. You are one of the few actors that could have pulled that off, getting embraced within this longstanding legacy.

Mike Hall: Thanks man, that’s great to hear. I appreciate it. No, listen, I’m excited, part of what’s been so cool for me, in this two year wait, and there’s an extra year of waiting, because we did the movie in 2019, right? It was like from last September to this October, it’s just learning that, tuning into the fan base. Watching reaction videos and fan-based sites on Youtube and reading and learning how big it is. It’s incredible. It is a massive fan base and it’s…It can be compared, if anything, to, like the Star Wars or the Star Trek franchise, right? Just beloved. Part of what’s been fun for me is learning that. And kind of getting hip and educated on the universe of all these films. Because as you know, Halloween fans are very specific, man. They’ll tell you straight up what worked, what didn’t. They know all the details of the props and the masks. You know what I mean? As it’s all evolved and that’s incredible. That kind of love for it is incredible. So that’s my biggest takeaway from this…Is that excitement, I feel I’ve never been more pumped to be a part of a movie. And also to know that there’s an audience waiting. That anticipation is awesome, you know, it’s just a great feeling.

I’m such a huge fan of your work myself. It was great to see you shake up this franchise, and have people get excited that Mike Hall is back as this bat-swinging badass.

Mike Hall: I appreciate it, I appreciate it. I’m just glad to be a part of it, you know? And I think another huge take away for me was just seeing the artistry, and how cool David Gordon Green was and Jamie Lee, Danny McBride, the whole team, Jason Blum. The whole crew that they have, that’s been with Danny and David for years. It was just a real pleasure, because you’re dealing with total pros. But there was also that added level of excitement and passion and everybody knew that this one mattered, because obviously the 2018 movie was a huge success. And we want to keep improving. So, it was incredible. That buzz was electric and you could feel that on the set. Even with people that had already worked on previous versions of it. That was awesome, very tangible too.

I don’t want to pinpoint which sequels fans don’t like so much. But coming in and building something new, and knowing that it sticks around forever. These movies do not go away. Some have cool kills, but the story surrounding it might not be that great. Here, you guys had an opportunity to really come in and craft something special that stands outside of the kills. Take the slasher element away, and we still want to spend time with Tommy Doyle.

Mike Hall: Those are very valid points. I hear that. And fans are very vocal about all these aspects that you are articulating. I also feel like it…Just hats off to David Gordon Green, because the guy is amazing. If you look back, and think of these shows that he and Danny did, how funny they were. And yet the production values were like a good movie or top looking tv show right? So they’ve always been excellent. They’re dealing with comedy. The fact that they could go so effortlessly into this, and then that movie made $255 million dollars. It was just a great reimagining of it. Yet they were loyal to the things that fans wanted to see with Laurie and her family. The story’s obviously of that family and the whole thing with the myth of Myers. What he represents to the people. So there was that healthy respect for the work. And I could feel that every day. That’s cool, because it’s like being on a great team when you’re a kid, right? You’re playing baseball, you’re on a basketball team. You want to feel that level of excitement from the teammates. So that was a big added bonus too, in this case, because that was all built in. People all really felt that on set.

You get to build a character that can stand outside of the Halloween franchise, if that makes sense. Like, if we’re watching Tommy Doyle in a movie where Michael Myers doesn’t show up, we’re still going to be invested and centered on what Tommy’s story is.

Mike Hall: Well, that’s the thing, too….I want to speak to that. That’s a great point, because it reminds me of the bigger thing that they pulled off. Which is brilliant. How they were able to thread it from 1978 to 2018. It’s incredible how they threaded that to the present. And now, you’ll see this universe expands with all these beloved characters from the ’78 version. But what’s awesome is, he makes room for those characters and others. There is a couple. A doctor and a nurse who are very intrinsic to the opening. There’s a bar owner played by Brian Mays, who’s actually a bar owner from Austin, Texas, that runs with David. So the very kind of Fellini way David cast him as the bar owner in the movie, right? He puts him in, and he’s awesome. When you see the film, you love that guy. That’s the thing I loved about David, Danny and Scott, what they’re writing. They effortless do that, right? They kind of expand on the core group, reintroduced the returning characters, and also introduce others. It’s really cool, because it’s all for the benefit of the timeline of the story, Right? So it doesn’t slow anything up. It makes it better.

You brought up something about the bartender. Have you ever seen {Snow Angels?

Mike Hall: No. Is that something he was in?

Well, no…David Gordon Green directed that….

Mike Hall: Ok, I haven’t seen that one.

He has a bartender in there, who’s walking around in the background, through several shots and just for fun…David Gordon Green has him dressed up as Freddy Krueger.

Mike Hall: Oh, that’s awesome.

Yeah, that’s the funny thing…It’s a heavy drama with a little bit of humor in it, maybe. But it’s not a horror movie by any stretch. So why does it have horror Easter eggs? He did it just for fun.

Mike Hall: He did it for whoever was watching that person in the background, right? Like, this is another point I want to make. You did remind me of what I didn’t expect. In other words, he is just a brilliant writer, a great collaborator. When you’re working with a guy like that, who has a natural joy, like he’s always laughing and smiling…David has that great ability to keep moving, keep it flowing. He takes other people’s ideas. He collaborates. He builds upon that. He doesn’t personalize it or get offended. You know what I mean? But he also sticks to the vision of what he’s doing. So this one was just incredible, because it was just like a thrill ride, start to finish, the making of the movie. I don’t want to give anything away, but it just goes all-out for an hour and 45 minutes.

I was shocked when I saw the trailer they released. Because it is non-stop. And it seemingly gives so much away.

Mike Hall: Yeah, I’ve seen them all. That was the one about two months ago, right?

Yes. The trailer reveals so many big kills in its three-minute runtime.

Mike Hall: But that’s the thing, that’s what you just said…You just hit the nail on the head. Exactly, there’s still so much more to come.

I want to bring up Danny McBride, the way he writes dialogue. He’s like Quentin Tarantino or Woody Allen. It is so much his voice. Like when you hear an actor doing Woody Allen dialogue, it sounds like Woody Allen. Danny McBride has that same kind of voice in his writing. You just know that’s him speaking no matter whose mouth it is coming out of.

Mike Hall: That is very interesting. A very cool compliment. Yeah, I guess so, because you know what? I found it very effortless. I think the way they write as a team, David and Danny…But you know, first of all…I’m a huge Danny fan. I’ve always loved this guy. And the work those two have done together. Eastbound and DownVice Principals. I really love those shows. I was so stoked to work with Danny. You’re right. I think that there absolutely is a really naturalistic kind of rhythm and fun, to sit there and…Obviously you always see the humor. They’re always able to put that in there as well. One of the things I wanted to convey to you…It’s just that I’m so pumped in being a part of this franchise. But at the same time, like, the anticipation for this movie? It’s such a huge thing that there is this energy for it. You know what I mean? That people are looking forward to it. I’m really pumped because it’s just not stopping. And I’m really proud of what David did. I think it really is, like Jamie’s called it Number Two. I think it’s a masterpiece. Because, you see that there is a balance of all the elements that we’ve discussed. The myth of Myers, what people expect from him pacing the action. It’s all there with this movie. At the same time, they allow it to be an ensemble actress film, too. That’s where they’re incredible. They carve out all of those plans, even within the context of this movie and its theme, you know? Well, it’s incredible.

I’ve done a little bit of my own research. This is true. I’m not just saying it because I am on the phone with you. But a lot of people who, perhaps, aren’t too into horror movies, are excited to go see Halloween Kills solely because you are one of the main players in it.

Mike Hall: Oh, that’s nice. That’s nice. I welcome that. That’s a nice compliment. I hope so. But people should just experience the thrill ride.}

I’ve heard numerous people go, ‘Anthony Michael Hall is in that? I’m definitely going to see that.’ People love you, Mike Hall.

Mike Hall: That makes me feel great. Thanks, buddy. Thank you. Well, that’s like, it just reminds me of like…Even though I just saw the movie with my wife privately…I don’t want to give anything away…But it’s just such a fun ride. And I left the theater thinking…And we’re both looking at each other, like, “Wasn’t that like coming off a roller coaster?” You know? That’s like…What the hell just happened? I didn’t know I needed that.

Halloween Ends is gearing up to shoot in the new year. I suppose you can’t even give us a hint at what to expect from that? Are you coming back? Will we see Tommy Doyle again?

Mike Hall: Sir. Unfortunately. I can’t. I have a sacred contract with Mr. Blum, David and Danny and everybody, so I wouldn’t do that. Yeah, I’m not allowed to.

You, along with Kyle Richards, and a few of the other characters. We don’t want to see you guys knocked out. We want the OGs to return for the third and final chapter.

Mike Hall: I plead the fifth. Unfortunately I can’t comment on any of that. But it’s just…It was awesome. Like I said, it was awesome to work with them. And there really was that vibe on set, like we talked about. You know, and then the other thing too…It’s just the excitement of being a part of something that people are looking forward to. It’s great, because they will not be put out, it’s going to be cool.

Speaking on the subject of legacy sequels, and working with john Hughes…The fact that there was already a TV show of Weird science…Has there ever been any talks about doing a Weird Science legacy sequel where Lisa comes back into Gary and Wyatt’s lives?

Mike Hall: Not, not that. But I’ll tell you something that’s interesting. When I was a kid still, I was 19…And 1987 was the last time, unfortunately, that I got to speak with John Hughes. He called me with john Candy on the phone. And what happened was about an hour and a half conversation. Which was just awesome. As you can imagine. I’m just listening to both of them. Oh yeah, they called me. I was just blown away that these guys called me. So, we’re kind of like hanging out on the phone basically. And they made me laugh. They were so funny. Full stories. It was just really great. But one of the things that did come up, was john mentioned doing a sequel to The Breakfast Club at that time that. I can be transparent about that, because that did happen. And I think he…The only thing I remember him saying is, he thought it would be interesting to see them in their early middle age. You know? And where they kind of wound up. So here I sit at 53, I’m looking up at John, like, ‘Wow.’ That was amazing, you know? And the fact is, even though I was such a kid, I was only a pup, I was 15, 16 working with John. But the fact that he was only in his early mid-thirties? He was so accomplished and such a cool guy. That’s the thing I like people to know about. He was just such a great guy. That work was so much fun. You know? I mean, it just kept it fun as the director, which was great.

When I see how much he accomplished by his 30s, I am blown away. It is so inspiring and always takes my breath away.

Mike Hall: I agree. Me too, because I reflect on it now that I’m…You know, this age, 53, it’s amazing.

There’s not a lot of footage of him working on set with you, is there? Not that we’ve ever seen.

Mike Hall: No, but I can just define it for you. I mean, he was…Here’s how he was…He always wore high-tops every day. He’s always casual, you know? He always was kind of smoking cigarettes between takes, but he had great conversations with us all. He really took the time to develop the characters. And you know, that’s something like a cliche, when actors talk about directors, who are great directors…But he really did care that much. Like, he carved out time for us to rehearse, which also meant time for us just to talk about each other’s work, and the characters, and what we were doing as a team, you know? So, he did a lot of really cool sort of interpersonal things that I consider talent right there. God given abilities to collaborate, to be that open and at the same time, get so much out of people. Because he was already giving us all so much. But he would get that much more from us because he was just very inclusive in his thinking and allowing good things to happen, or allowing you seem to be funnier adding something, you know? So you always had that kind of spirit. Which was really impressive. And then it just had a great effect on all his work?

Do you think its a little too precious to go back now and do The Breakfast Club 2 as a true legacy sequel? Was there any evidence that he wrote any of that, in script form or notes, or just an outline?

Mike Hall: I don’t know that answer, but I know that he left hundreds of notebooks behind. John was very accomplished. Even when we were doing The Breakfast Club, all I can tell you…A quick story….He came to me. We’re about two weeks into it, and we’re on a break in the hallway. ‘I started working on something last night.’ I’m thinking, ‘What?’ Because we’re working 12 hour days. So the night before on The Breakfast Club, he started and wrote the first act of Weird Science. He wrote like 30 pages after we wrapped, and he went home, that was amazing. You know, so very prolific? The other thing I would tell you about his writing, which is really, I think indicative of something cool, but as artists and creative people that we should aspire to, is the idea of maintaining inspiration. So his writing room in their house, it was like just a bedroom. But it was really wall to ceiling, ceiling to floor , in12in records. It was like a record storage, and then there’s the corner by the window, with his old desk top where he would write. So the idea is that he surrounded himself with music, and wrote all those cues and kind of really, he cultivated such a good awareness of music and how to apply it to film. The universal gave him a label at that time. So he had a huge music collection, and the record label because he was really great and very talented with hiring great music coordinators, music producers, putting together great soundtracks for the film and that was always kind of written into it. And then he would add upon it, which was cool.

Further speaking about legacy sequels, along the lines of Halloween Ends and Halloween Kills…I know Timothy Chalamet did the Edward Scissorhands commercial. There was so much buzz afterwards, about him coming in and being Edward Scissorhands…Has there ever been any talk about you guys all coming back to do Edward Scissorhands 2?

Mike Hall: No. But there’s another guy. Tim Burton is up there. And also Christopher Nolan. Tim Burton, another total genius. Like, I love to work with that guy. I’ve never heard anything about that….But as you know, he and Depp went on to make another seven movies together or whatever. I love Tim Burton. I mean, I think he’s a true genius, because he has a real signature, right? Like his films only looked like his films. Very, so, absolutely, yeah. So, I love that idea. Timothy Chalamet is a very talented young man. He’s a very terrific actor. I’m sure he could do.

Did you see this commercial he did?

Mike Hall: I did. I thought that was fun. Yeah, it was cool. They don’t need my old ass in there.

Fans want the real deal. If they do Edward Scissorhands 2, fans definitely want Mike Hall and Winona Ryder back.

Mike Hall: You’re very kind. I’m ready, man. I’ll tell you this quick story, which is great. I worked with Danny Trejo on this western about 10 years ago in Romania. It was called Dead in Tombstone? Right? With this really interesting, talented European director named Roel Reiné. He was great. Anyway, one thing Danny said one day…He was great. We’re just shooting the shit before shooting, sitting outside the trailer, you know? Danny says, ‘I’m like a mechanic. I go where the work is?’ That’s awesome. Because that resonates with me. Because I’ve always had the same outlook, you know? You’re very blessed for whatever you get to work on as an actor. I feel very fortunate that I’ve had a long run. It’s hard work. And it’s always an uphill battle, because you’re kind of hand to mouth year round. But you never really rely on anything. So to that extent, it makes you work hard, because it’s really the work in-between the jobs. That’s the work, just maintaining and staying present. Accessing things, and working for projects, you know, that kind of stuff. So it’s all good. It’s all been a good development for me personally, in my career. So I look at it, this is like another level, because I’ve never been more pumped about a movie. This is pretty cool.

With director David Gordon Green’s and producer Jason Blum’s Halloween Kills opening in theaters this weekend and also streaming for free on Peacock, the other day I got to speak with Kyle RichardsJudy Greer, and Anthony Michael Hall about making the sequel. During the interview, they talked about what fans would be surprised to learn about the making of Halloween Kills, why Michael Myers and the Halloween franchise has been popular with so many people for so long, if any of the brutal kills were too much for them, and more. In addition, Richards talks about what it was like filming a scene with alligator handlers in the water and how she was warned to be on the lookout for snakes.

In the sequel, which starts right as the last film ends, we are back in the town of Haddonfield and dealing with the aftermath of the events of 2018’s Halloween, which saw Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Greer), and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) narrowly escaping the clutches of Michael Myers. As they are rushing to the hospital to get Laurie Strode medical treatment, the fire department is rushing to her home to put out the blaze, which leads them to unintentionally set Myers free to continue his rampage. As you can imagine, chaos ensues, and Myers shows no mercy to the people he encounters. Moreover, Halloween Kills brings back several more characters from the iconic franchise — Anthony Michael Hall plays a grown-up Tommy Doyle, and Kyle Richards will reprise her role as Lindsey Wallace from the 1978 film. Nancy Stephens also returns to the franchise as Marion Chambers, former assistant to Dr. Loomis.

Watch what Kyle Richards, Judy Greer, and Anthony Michael Hall had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis. Finally, this was my first in person interview since COVID began and it was great to actually talk to people face to face and not over Zoom.

Kyle Richards, Judy Greer, and Anthony Michael Hall

  • What would fans of Halloween be surprised to learn about the making of Halloween Kills?
  • Kyle Richards talks about filming the scene with alligator handlers in the water and how she was warned to be on the lookout for snakes in the water.
  • Why do they think Michael Myers and the Halloween franchise has been so popular with so many people for so long?
  • Were any of the kills in the film too much for them?