TAKING SHAPE is filled with rare and never-before-shared anecdotes and trivia about the series. Below are just a few of the treats you'll find within the book's 440 pages.
Author Richard Curtis wrote Halloween's novelization after its release without access to the filmmakers or screenplay. He would expand upon the film's story with a handful of new scenes, many focusing on the ancient festival of Samhain. Although Richard Curtis never met John Carpenter or Debra Hill, they would later recycle some of his work in their screenplay for Halloween II ("You don't know what death is."). The Curtis novelization would also inspire the Mrs. Blankenship role in Halloween 6.
Jamie Lee Curtis was disappointed at her character's unfortunate lack of action and dialogue in the sequel. Not counting the flashback to Halloween, Laurie Strode actually has more dialogue in Halloween: Resurrection's first fifteen minutes than she does in all of Halloween II. The decision to have her shoot out the Shape's eyes during the finale was a late change to the story. As first written, it was Loomis who fired his revolver directly into the Shape's mask.
HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH
Nigel Kneale's initial Halloween III screenplay was quite different than the final film and lacked elements such as the robot assassins and Stonehenge. Kneale's take on the material originally ended with Conal Cochran growing into a Kaiju-like monster, towering above Dr. Challis and his robot henchmen. (The book contains a full breakdown of the Kneale draft.)
HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS
Many fans were disappointed at Rachel Carruthers' early death in Halloween 5, but did you know that she wasn't originally supposed to survive Halloween 4? Early script drafts saw young Jamie attacking and murdering Rachel in the film's final moments, not her foster mother. Sheriff Meeker was also originally written to die by the Shape's hand, killed in his home just before Brady and Kelly Meeker.
HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS
Screenwriters Michael Jacobs and Dominique Othenin-Girard initially planned for Rachel Carruthers to survive until Halloween 5's third act. Tina's death was therefore meant for Rachel, who would sacrifice herself so that Jamie could escape her uncle's rage. Othenin-Girard changed this late in pre-production without consulting Jacobs, who disagreed with the decision to kill off such a fan-favorite character so early on.
HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS
Filmmaker Fred Walton, director of When a Stranger Calls, was originally attached to direct the sequel. He ultimately left the project over creative differences. His vision for the film involved a mentally disturbed Jamie Lloyd now living in a halfway house. The opening scene of Walton's take would've seen Jamie committing suicide in front of her housemates. Screenwriter Daniel Farrands later wrote an homage to Walton's When a Stranger Calls into his Halloween 6 screenplay during Beth's murder.
HALLOWEEN H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER
The final version of Halloween H20 ignores the fourth, fifth, and sixth films in the series for a simplified continuity. Early scripts, however, did not. In one draft, the Shape steals the headstone from Laurie Strode's fake gravesite to use in a kill display (echoing his actions in the first Halloween). This screenplay notes that Jamie Lloyd, having died in Halloween 6, is now buried next to her mother's faux grave in Haddonfield Cemetery.
Producers begged Jamie Lee Curtis to return for one additional scene near film's end, though she resolutely refused. As first written and filmed, it's Deckard that saves Sara from the Myers House fire. This was later changed during reshoots so that Freddie saves Sara instead. Producers had alternately hoped that Laurie Strode would show up to save Sara from the fire, revealing that she had somehow survived her injuries in the film's opening moments.
ROB ZOMBIE'S HALLOWEEN
Halloween 2007 suffered the most leaks of any film in the series. An early treatment was leaked online during pre-production, which was a far cry from the final shooting script. An entire screenplay was also leaked during filming, which had since been revised considerably. An early workprint of Halloween 2007 would leak just before the film's theatrical release. This unfinished version, which was cut together before test screenings and reshoots, was ultimately traced to a sticky-fingered assistant in Bob Weinstein's office. Said assistant no longer works in the film industry.
ROB ZOMBIE'S HALLOWEEN II
In Halloween II, Michael and Laurie both hallucinate a younger version of Michael Myers played by Chase Wright Vanek. As first written and filmed, the finale was going to include an entire posse of young Michael's running about the rundown shack. The production cast and even costumed numerous lookalikes for this bizarre scene, which has never been released. The late Philip Nutman noted in his Fangoria set report seeing an assistant director teach these lookalikes how to stab with rubber knives.
The Shape murders a pink-robed woman in this film in tribute to the Mrs. Elrod character from Halloween II. He then notices her baby in an adjacent room, though this detail was never written into the script. As first written, her husband was going to be asleep in the next room in further tribute to Halloween II. The husband actor never reported to set that day, which led filmmaker David Gordon Green to improvise. (Fun fact: The infant's cries are voiced by none other than Jamie Lee Curtis.)