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Though it’s been almost a decade since John Carpenter has directed a feature film, with 2010's The Woods holding that distinction, the prospect of returning to the chair has always been on his mind. And while he’s certainly produced and guided some projects here and there, he hasn’t landed into a directing gig that’s given him the chance just yet.
However, when talking to the press during his attendance at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, one of the horror genre’s masters said some things that sound like that could change at any moment. Specifically, John Carpenter had the following remarks to make:
I don’t have one scheduled but I’m working on things. I made a lot of movies and I got burned out and I had to stop for a while. I have to have a life. Circumstance would have to be correct for me to do it again. I’d love to make a little horror film… that would be great. Or a big adventure film. It would be a project that I like that’s budgeted correctly. Nowadays they make these young directors do movies for $2 million when the movie is written for $10 million. So you have to squeeze it all in there and I don’t want to do that anymore.
So while John Carpenter isn’t signed up for any specific project just yet, it looks like he has some irons in the fire that could poke out a monster or two, if need be. Though should he return to the directing game, it sounds like it’s all or nothing for the man who brought us such visionary hits as Halloween, The Thing and They Live.
Without a question, John Carpenter isn’t interested in revisiting his old stuff, so a remake job is out of the question. And looking at his comments about budgeting above, he’s going to need a figure that properly reflects how he sees the movie on the page coming to life. Meaning, as he mentioned above in his discussion with Collider, if it’s a $10 million movie, he’s going to need that full $10 million to make it.
In his downtime from feature directing, Carpenter hasn’t been a slouch. With a strong video game habit and a thriving musical career, the famed horror legend has been putting his art into the universe through other methods. And the world of film has been one of them, albeit in the way of a music video he filmed for his theme to Christine, which he dropped back in 2017. You can watch, and listen, to that particularly awesome track unfold below:
Considering his input on last year’s Halloween sequel led that film to a $254 million take internationally, on a $10 million production budget for director David Gordon Green, it’s fair to say that the John Carpenter touch is far from gone. His sabbatical has done him well, and under the right conditions, you could have a Carpenter-directed film yourself in the near future. So get to it, Hollywood!
Halloween (2018) is currently available on most streaming platforms for rent, with most of the original canon, including Carpenter’s classic original film, being available on Shudder.