Deadline Hollywood‘s Nikke Finke broke the story yesterday that production on Halloween 3D has been shut down by the Weinstein company – a report that has been confirmed by several other horror film sites around the blogosphere.

The “official” explanation for the shutdown is that the powers that be (Harvey and his brother Bob Weinstein) felt that production on the second sequel to Rob Zombie’s two-part Halloween reboot was moving much too fast, with the first draft of the script having landed in their laps less than a week ago, and production on the film set to start in November, to wrap by January.

The tight shooting schedule was given the initial go ahead in order to both get Halloween 3D in theaters by next summer, and fit the schedule of the film’s director, Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine 3D), who is scheduled to direct the Nicolas Cage gear-head revenge flick, Drive Angry (3D), early next year. Finke reports that rumors are circling that recent Weinstein Company money woes were another factor in the shutdown decision, and that (amusingly enough) the flailing studio had key crew members all but ready to fly down to the Shreveport, Louisiana set to get the ball rolling. I understand the Weinstein’s trepidation: this is not a time to be gambling and Halloween II had such low returns ($32 million) that the studio is attempting to release the film on Halloween this year to try to make some extra dough.

Whatever the truth of the matter, Halloween 3D has officially stalled in the waters. The alleged plan is to make a second go at the film once the script has had a chance to be refined, and Lussier is finished with Drive Angry. Our friends over at JoBlo managed to get in touch with Lussier, who had the following quote to give:

All of us, Bob, Malek, Todd and myself were all on the same creative page. There was a very narrow window for us to move forward. That window closed for now. After Drive Angry, there’s a chance it’ll open again.

Note the way he says “there’s a CHANCE it’ll open again.” Yikes. In my experience, whenever a movie starts to stutter-step like this, it’s good not to get your hopes up. That way you won’t be TOO disappointed if (when???) the film ends up DOA for good.

I saw Halloween II twice in theaters, and I’m actually watching the unrated cut of Zombie’s Halloween reboot on DVD right now… and I have to say with 20/15 hindsight (better than 20/20!) that Zombie maybe got more hate than the flaws of those films warranted. He at least succeeded in exploring Michael Myers from a new and original direction, and I like the way he wrapped the entire story up in just two chapters – which actually work together pretty well when viewed in succession.

However, those have been unlucky enough to see it, know that the third chapter of the original Halloween series, entitled Season of the Witch, was a DISASTER (it didn’t even have Michael Myers in it!!!). [SPOILER!!!] And since Michael Myers was left pretty dead at the end of Zombie’s Halloween II, I have this nagging feeling that Halloween 3D could repeat history – if it ever makes it into production, that is.

We’ll keep you posted.

SIDE NOTE: Congrats to Nikki Finke for her name being dropped on Entourage this past week!

Sources: Deadline Hollywood & JoBlo,