‘Halloween Returns’ May Be Dead as Dimension Loses Franchise Rights
If you’re a fan of the Halloween franchise, then this news is not only kind of a big deal, but it might be a little surprising. After 20 years, Dimension Films has lost the distribution rights to the series, and Miramax is now shopping those rights around to potential buyers, which could mean big, big changes for the future of the classic horror franchise — as well as the death of the sequel that’s been in development for the past year.
According to The Wrap, at least one industry source has confirmed that Dimension no longer holds the rights to Halloween, the beloved horror franchise that began with John Carpenter’s classic film, originally released in 1978. The Weinstein Company’s Dimension Films label has been distributing the series for 20 years, beginning with Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, the sixth film in the franchise (which starred an actor by the name of Paul Rudd; maybe you’ve heard of him). Since then, Dimension has released four more Halloween films, including Rob Zombie’s reboot and its direct sequel.
With the Halloween rights up for grabs, it looks as though Marcus Dunstan’s planned sequel is no longer in development as Miramax wants to rid the series of anything Dimension-related and give prospective buyers a clean slate. Halloween Returns was supposed to begin production back in July with Dunstan directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with longtime collaborator Patrick Melton — the pair previously worked together on the Saw franchise and The Collector.
Although Dimension no longer holds the rights, the family of series producer Malek Akkad is still heavily involved with the series. There’s great creative potential for the future of Halloween, depending on which studio inevitably snatches up the rights. Let’s just hope they keep the series away from Platinum Dunes.