The eleven films that make up the Halloween franchise, which now spans over an impressive four decades, have served as consistent stepping stones for budding actors, many of which are now household names. Most commonly associated with the franchise is Jamie Lee Curtis, gaining scream queen status through her role of heroine Laurie Strode, but the series also played an early part in the careers of stars such as Paul Rudd and Michelle Williams.
John Carpenter’s Halloween, which premiered in 1978, tells the story of notable final girl Laurie Strode evading death at the hands of Michael Myers, a canonical slasher villain whose story, much like those of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, takes a supernatural turn throughout the narratives of numerous sequels and remakes. Halloween famously served as Jamie Lee Curtis’s first film.
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Now a certified scream queen, the actress is far from the only star made famous by Carpenter and the Halloween franchise. Many budding actors landed roles in the films which, in turn, kick-started their careers and put their names on the Hollywood map.
Future Stars In Halloween 1 Through Halloween 3
The first Halloween film came to theaters in 1978, introducing slasher fans to Michael Myers and Laurie Strode, played by Nick Castle and Jamie Lee Curtis respectively. While Castle had worked in the film industry as a writer/director, he stepped in front of the camera to portray the masked murderer and went on to appear in Carpenter’s Escape From New York, which he also c0-wrote. It seems Carpenter and his cast continued to collaborate together as two other Halloween stars, Donald Pleasence and Tom Atkins, who were also featured in Escape From New York and continued to appear in the director’s filmography.
Pleasence, who plays psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis in both the original film and four of its sequels, went on to have roles in Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness (1987) and Vampire in Venice (1988). Atkins, who played Dr. Daniel Challis in the third installment of the franchise, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, was later cast in Carpenter’s The Fog. Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Psycho star Janet Leigh, followed in her mother’s footsteps and solidified her scream queen title by subsequently starring in The Fog (1980), Prom Night (1980), and Terror Train (1980) after her film debut in Halloween (1978).
Future Stars In Halloween 4 Through Halloween 7
As it moved through the 80’s, the ever-growing franchise continued casting promising young actors. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers features a young Danielle Harris as Jamie Lloyd, daughter of Laurie Strode and niece of Michael Myers. Harris reprised her role in the fifth film of the franchise, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and later went on to appear in Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead (1991), Urban Legend (1998), and the Hatchet series.
Both Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, the sixth and seventh films in the franchise, marked the beginning of big careers for a number of stars. In one of his first film roles, Paul Rudd stars as troubled adult, Tommy Doyle in Halloween 6. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later features a full cast of future film stars including Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film also features a cameo from Jamie Lee Curtis’s mother, Janet Leigh, in the role of Norma Watson.
Future Stars In Halloween 8 Through Halloween 11
Continuing into the 2000’s, the most recent films of the franchise have offered even more now-known names. Halloween: Resurrection is focused on a reality TV contest won by a group of college students, one of whom is played by Luke Kirby, who recently won an Emmy for his portrayal of Lenny Bruce on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The group must stay the night in Michael Myers’ childhood home while the evening is recorded by show’s two directors, played by Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks.
The ninth and tenth films rebooted the original narrative, casting Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Sam Loomis and Tyler Mane as Michael Myers. Halloween (2007) also features Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn, Grindhouse, Machete) and Spy Kids star Daryl Sabara. McDowell and Mane reprised their roles in the reboot’s sequel, Halloween II, in which Angela Trimbur and Octavia Spencer also appeared.
In Hall0ween (2018), the most recent film to date, Jamie Lee Curtis returned as Laurie Strode, taking on Michael, who was played – in part – by Nick Castle. The film stars Judy Greer as Karen Nelson, Laurie’s daughter as well as newcomer Andi Matichak in the role of her granddaughter, Allyson. The three women go up against Michael in a brutal frenzy that once again leaves room for another installment. Much like Michael Myers himself, this franchise does not die: the twelfth film, entitled Halloween Kills, is set to premiere in October 2020.
- Halloween Kills (2020)Release date: Oct 16, 2020
- Halloween Ends (2021)Release date: Oct 15, 2021