Jamie Lee Curtis is taking on the role of Laurie Strode for a fifth time on the big screen in David Gordon Green’s upcoming “Halloween” sequel, but she might not have taken the gig had it not been for Jake Gyllenhaal. In an interview with Variety, Curtis revealed Green personally sent Gyllenhaal on a mission to track her down while she was vacationing in the mountains with her husband, Christopher Guest. Gyllenhaal’s mission was to convince Curtis to hear the director’s pitch for a new “Halloween” film. Gyllenhaal is Curtis’ “unofficial godson.”
The reason Gyllenhaal could vouch for Green is because the actor had just worked with the director on the Boston Marathon bombing drama “Stronger.” Gyllenhaal starred opposite Tatiana Maslany in the movie, which earned Green some of the best reviews of his career and put Gyllenhaal in the Oscar race for best actor. Gyllenhaal missed out on landing a nomination, but he helped convince Curtis to talk to Green by telling her his time working with Green on “Stronger” was the “greatest experience of his professional career.”
Gyllenhaal’s enthusiastic endorsement of Green resulted in Curtis giving the filmmaker a call. The two ended up hitting it off immediately, and Curtis told Variety she agreed to return to the role of Strode after she realized how similar Green was to original “Halloween” director John Carpenter.
“They’re both laid back and don’t take themselves too seriously,” Curtis said.
The new “Halloween” serves as a direct sequel to Carpenter’s 1978 original, meaning it ignores the nine sequels made afterward. Strode is now a grandmother who has been training her whole life for another showdown with Michael Myers. After the psychopath escapes from a mental asylum and goes on a killing spree, Strode does everything she can to protect her family and kill Myers once and for all.
“We shed all of that other stuff and just went back to what made the original so great,” Curtis said of the new film. “John [Carpenter] didn’t write most of those films, so it was just all these new people making up stories. But with this one, we just literally cut the line. Whether or not people loved or hated those stories has no relevance to this movie.”
“Halloween” also returns Carpenter to the franchise. The franchise’s original director serves as an executive producer on the new film, and both his and Curtis’ involvement was integral for producer Jason Blum.
“You can’t make ‘Halloween’ without John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis,” Blum said. “If you did, you’d be starting out with two and a half strikes against you.”
Curtis promises Green’s “Halloween” is “terrifying,” “old-school,” and “terrifying.” The actress said working on the movie felt like working on the original, with Green focused on character and the cast and crew hungry to do the work. The experience differed greatly from Curtis’ time working on the sequel “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.”
“‘H20’ started out with best intentions, but it ended up being a money gig,” Curtis said. “The film had some good things in it. It talked about alcoholism and trauma, but I ended up really doing it for the paycheck.”
Fans will get to discover if Green’s “Halloween” is a worthy sequel when the movie opens nationwide October 19 via Universal Pictures. For now, let’s thank Jake Gyllenhaal for getting Curtis back on board.