Why It Took Almost 10 Years to Bring the 'Halloween' Franchise Back from the Dead
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Hollywood Scream Queens -- Then & Now

After Rob Zombie's second stab at the series in 2009, the movies simply stopped. What happened?

This year, a "Halloween" sequel 40 years in the making slashes its way into theaters, heralding the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode.

Though fans of the franchise had already seen her be killed off, twice, she's returned with a vengeance. And so too, has the series itself.

The new movie -- which sees a PSTD-affected Laurie facing off against masked maniac Michael Myers four decades after that fateful Halloween night -- has been met with acclaim from early reviews, sitting with an 86% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

So with anticipation at an all time high and strong word of mouth, what took so long for this movie to actually happen? TooFab caught up with producer Malek Akkad -- who has worked on every installment since "The Curse of Michael Myers" and whose father, Moustapha Akkad, produced the original films -- to break down his history with the franchise and why it took nearly 10 years to get Michael back on the big screen.

"My earliest memory [of the 'Halloween' franchise'] was I had a copy of it back when they weren't even called VCRs and I was playing it to my friends and scaring the pants off them," Akkad told TooFab. "But my first real experience was when I got to visit the set of 'Halloween 2' and I hung out a couple days and I was there for the big explosion and the hospital shootout."

"What I'll never forget was young, gorgeous Jamie Lee Curtis and, like any red blooded male would, fell madly in love with her, followed her around everywhere on set, and went into her trailer," he added. "So she in a way was my first real experience with it, so it's kind of come full circle."

Of course, this isn't his first time working with Curtis. The scream queen starred in the 1998 sequel, "Halloween: H20," as well as its followup, "Halloween: Resurrection," both of which he worked on in a producer capacity. The latter film, released in 2002, began with Michael killing Laurie once and for all.

Or so they thought.

"When we did do 'Resurrection,' I remembered very specifically on set with [Curtis], discussing her death and saying, 'Let's leave this a little open ended Jamie, we never want to say never,'" he explained. "And she very emphatically said to me, 'Malek, no, that's it, I'm done, I am not doing another one.'"

That decision to off her inspired "Halloween" 2018 writers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride to throw out all the other sequels, and making this movie a direct followup to only the first film. With Curis reprising the role once again, the excitement was high.

"We couldn't be happier and I think there's something in her that she just really loves this character and I think maybe, maybe it's something to do with as time goes on, but I think it has always been something that really resonates with her," explained Akkad. "It is a very strong character in all the different iterations that we've put her through. Still there's something at that core that is Jamie Lee and it can never be played by anyone else."

Not that they didn't try.

In 2007, Rob Zombie remade the original movie with Scout Taylor-Compton stepping into Strode's shoes. The director's two installments of the franchise are ones that have divided fans since their release. Some love them for their brutal take on the characters and the backstory introduced for Myers, while others simply found them brutal to watch.

The first Zombie movie holds a special place in Akkad's heart though, as it was also the first one he did after the death of his father and longtime "Halloween" producer Moustapha. His father and sister were among the victims of the 2005 hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan.

"We were working on a part nine and we had some scripts and it was the impossible script to kind of write because we had so many story lines left to answer but as we were working on that, that's when the tragedy took my father," Akkad explained. "It took me quite some time to get back to my senses, but once I did, I just said, okay, that's it, that's where that will end with him, and let's start a whole new chapter if you will, a whole new era of Michael Myers and that's how the Rob Zombie films came about."

"So, the first Rob Zombie, I feel is kind of my baby and it was a joy to make production wise, it did very well," he continued. "So, H1 is the one I will always be very, very fond of, and then this one, of course, bringing everyone back together after 40 years."

And while there was almost a decade between the second Zombie film and "Halloween" 2018, it wasn't for a lack of trying. According to Akkad, they were in production on "Halloween 3-D" with Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer right after "H2" hit theaters.

"We were all crewed up, we had a script, we were going down to Louisiana and last minute, the studio said we were moving too quickly, we're gonna postpone this," said Akkad. "Maybe in retrospect, it wouldn't have held up, but that's when 3-D was making its comeback and I think it would've been a good film."

After that fell apart, "Halloween Returns" from Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton was next to rise and fall. "That one came down to the studio wanting me to shoot in Serbia, believe it or not, and I refused to shoot in Serbia," he said, adding it just wouldn't work as Haddonfield.

Now that the series is alive and well again thanks to Blumhouse, Miramax and Universal Pictures, Akkad says "the sky's the limit" on where it could go from here.

"My father used to say that he got this quote from Donald Pleasence, and the press was asking Donald The Weinstein Company, 'How many of these Halloweens are you gonna make?' and Donald would say, 'No, no, no, we're gonna stop, we're gonna stop at 22,'" said Akkad.

"So, my father used to always repeat that and in a way now I find myself saying it, so we're at 11, we're halfway there," he added. "It's good to hear that people still like it and enjoy it and we do try to keep making it fresh and we do try and really respect the fans' love of these characters. I think there's going to be some new and exciting ideas and avenues that we're going to explore even more, to keep it fresh and keep it going with new generations.”

"Halloween" hits theaters October 18.

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