Jamie Lee Curtis appeared at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Friday along with Halloween director David Gordon Green and producers Jason Blum and Malek Akkad. The crew came with a strong message: Laurie Strode will no longer define herself as a victim.
Halloween, coming this October, is a direct sequel (the other Halloween films are no longer taken into account in this timeline) to John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic Halloween, and features Curtis’ return to playing the character of Laurie Strode, the babysitter who was terrorized by escaped madman Michael Myers.
Curtis said Strode would not be defined by the horrific events from her past.
“She is saying, ‘I am not my trauma,’" Curtis said. "She’s been waiting 40 years to have this person who she knows is coming. She’s been waiting to say ‘I am going to take back my legacy. I am going to take back my narrative.’”
Green recalled the impact that the original Halloween film had on him, giving him a childhood trauma when he was at a sleepover as a child and someone played the film on TV. He was so scared that he called his mom to come and take him home.
Years later, the film was very influential for him, though, and he recalled how stressed he was pitching his new take on the franchise to Carpenter.
“I was able to keep my composure until his phone rang, and the ring tone was the original film’s iconic score," he said. "I lost it.”
Carpenter liked Green’s take on Strode and Myers and gave him his blessing.
“I said ‘But wait, John. I’d like you to do the score for the new film. And he asked what I wanted it to be. I told him a little bit of the old Halloween score, a little Christine and a little Big Trouble in Little China,” Green laughed.
Comic-Con attendees were then shown a new extended trailer, with a full scene of Myers walking down the street amongst young trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, walking into houses and slashing the throats of adult victims. It then transitioned into scenes of a paranoid Strode, preparing for a final confrontation with the man who terrorized her 40 years ago.
An emotional moment occurred at the beginning of the audience question segment of the panel, as a man choked up as he recounted a moment in his life where a knife-wielding assailant broke into his house and cut the phone cords before coming after him.
“All I could think was ‘What would Laurie Strode do?’ and I ran out of the house and ran down the street screaming for help,” he said. “To make a long story short, I’m here today because of the way you portrayed Laurie Strode. I’m a victor and not a victim. I never thought I’d get a chance to tell you that. You’re the only reason I came to Comic-Con this year.”
Curtis then left the stage and walked into the audience to embrace the fan with an extended hug and a kiss on the cheek. When she returned to the stage, she was visibly moved. “These kinds of emotions are real.”
Curtis concluded by calling the original Halloween, which she made when she was 19, “the greatest job of my career and Laurie Strode was the greatest character I ever played. To think that forty years later, we’re at Comic-Con -- it is mindblowing and a privilege.”
Halloween opens in theaters on October 19 from Universal Studios and Blumhouse.