Zombie dressed up for ‘Halloween’ sequel

Rocker injects fresh blood into franchise

Dimension Films has tapped “House of 1000 Corpses” director Rob Zombie to scare new life into the seminal slasher film “Halloween.”

Zombie, who last directed “The Devil’s Rejects,” will write and direct. He’ll also produce the film with Malek Akkad (“Halloween H20: 20 Years Later”) and Andy Gould, who produced Zombie’s first two films. Zombie, also a vet musician, will be music supervisor as well.

Development of the film is being co-financed by Miramax Films and Dimension, but creatively overseen by Dimension’s Bob Weinstein and Richard Saperstein. It will be released in October 2007, some 29 years after John Carpenter unleashed Michael Myers, the masked assailant who massacred his family and chased his sister (a young Jamie Lee Curtis) through a number of films in the series.

Though the “Halloween” franchise has seen at least a half-dozen incarnations so far, the next “Halloween” will not bear a number on the end of it. Zombie aims to bring the film back to its core tale and make this more about the origin of the killer, who slashed his victims while wearing his signature pale mask.

“This is a bit of a prequel and a remake, combined,” Zombie said. “Over 25 years and a lot of movies, a very scary character became something of a Halloween cliche, with Michael Myers dolls that play the Halloween music when you press their stomachs. By the end of the sequel cycle, there was little connection to the original. I take that film very seriously, and I want to make it terrifying again.”

Before signing on, Zombie said he sought out Carpenter, who has had several of his films remade.

“The original ‘Halloween’ is hallowed ground to me, and I talked to him about it and he was very supportive of what I wanted to do,” Zombie said.

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