The Halloween franchise has gone through two retconnings and a remake at the hands of Rob Zombie, but the inclusion of actors from the first film in sequels has somehow helped keep things connected across the franchise, even when the stories failed to do so. John Carpenter’s 1978 film Halloween helped develop the slasher genre in the 1980s, making way for other horror films that also became classics, such as Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Since then, Halloween has spawned seven sequels, two remakes, and a reboot that is preparing for two more films. Set in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois, Halloween followed serial killer Michael Myers who was committed to a sanitarium for murdering his teenage sister on Halloween night when he was six years old. Fifteen years later, Michael went back to his hometown and began stalking babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends. Although the sequels featured a number of different actors, several cast members from the first film came back – some briefly, and others in prominent roles.
Of course, Halloween’s star Jamie Lee Curtis returned as Laurie Strode for the sequel in 1981, but didn’t take part in the subsequent films in the original timeline, only appearing in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers in a photograph. However, she came back in the first retconning of the franchise, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and the sequel, Halloween: Resurrection, and is currently part of the reboot. Michael Myers has been played by various of actors through the series, but out of the original ones (Nick Castle and Tony Moran, who played an unmasked Michael), only Moran came back in Halloween II. Nick Castle came back in the 2018 reboot, sharing the character with James Jude Courtney. The only actor to appear in all films from the first continuity (that is, from Halloween to Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers) is Donald Pleasence, who played the unforgettable Dr. Samuel Loomis.
Nancy Kyes, who played Laurie’s friend Annie Brackett, came back in Halloween II in a cameo appearance, and even though Halloween III: Season of the Witch is not part of the Michael Myers saga, it’s worth noting that she had a role in it. Charles Cypher, who played Annie’s father, Sheriff Leigh Brackett, reprised his role in Halloween II, while Brian Andrews (who played Tommy Doyle) and Kyle Richards (Lindsey Wallace) appeared in archival footage. Richards is set to reprise her role as Lindsey Wallace in Halloween Kills, reuniting with Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle after 42 years (Doyle was played by Paul Rudd in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, and will be portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall in the reboot).
Rob Zombie’s remakes didn’t include any actors from the original film, but they did include Danielle Harris (Jamie Lloyd in the franchise’s first continuity) as Annie Brackett. Depending on which continuity you look at, there are actors that have taken part in all Halloween films, such as Donald Pleasence in the first one, and Jamie Lee Curtis in the second and the reboot continuity, along with Nick Castle. The Halloween franchise can get messy sometimes, but it also gives viewers different options on how to watch it, and each one has at least one familiar face.
- Halloween Kills (2020) release date: Oct 16, 2020
- Halloween Ends (2021) release date: Oct 15, 2021