'Halloween' Is Coming To Universal Orlando, And We've Got The Behind The Scenes Story
Every Fall, when the lights go down on Universal Studios in Orlando, the monsters come out. And this year, Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights is welcoming one of the biggest film monsters of all time: Michael Myers, the masked slasher from the "Halloween" movies.
In 1978, John Carpenter unleashed Myers on the world, a killer terrorizing a young Jamie Lee Curtis in the town of Haddonfield, Il. The movie didn't just launch a franchise, it virtually created the unstoppable slasher genre. And now, the story of the original film will feature in one of the Halloween Horror Nights "mazes," haunted houses that allow guests to relive and interact with iconic maniacs like Myers.
Though this news won't be officially revealed to the world until tomorrow morning (August 28), MTV News hopped on the phone with Michael Aiello, Director of Entertainment – Creative Development for Universal Orlando Resort, who couldn't be more excited about bringing Myers into the fold.
"It's a crown jewel!" Aiello said about snagging the license. "Michael Meyers, his visage is so vivid. And the score of the film, is not only an emotional thread in the movie, but also provides a great stinger for all of the scares. It's a no-brainer to translate this kind of experience for people to walk and live through."
Part of translating the experience effectively? Working with Malek Akkad, the Producer who has been associated with the "Halloween" series since 1995, and is the son of the original Producer of the 1978 movie. And Akkad had ideas for the house, but ultimately told the team at Universal that the original film was, "the bible."
Aiello explained that part of using the movie as the template means taking guests on a "chronological journey through that film," starting at the Myers home glimpsed at the beginning of the movie, going through each individual kill, and ultimately ending in the final showdown with Loomis and Myers.
That said, guests who travel through the maze won't just be passive watchers of events. There are points where they'll get to just observe, but don't worry, they'll also be chased by Myers. And a large part of making sure those parts work, Aiello credits to casting.
"You want to make sure you have a Myers that moves and acts identically to the movie," Aiello said. "In the kitchen, when he does that famous head tilt, making sure those beats are in there, and scares that are different throughout as Myers engages you throughout the maze."
Myers and "Halloween" is the final haunted house maze to be announced for the 24th Halloween Horror Nights, an event that also includes, "The Walking Dead," "AVP: Alien vs. Predator," "From Dusk Till Dawn," "The Purge: Anarchy," the upcoming "Dracula: Untold," and others.
Aiello noted that part of the reason for bringing "Halloween" into the mix with more current properties was to educate younger fans.
"We may even be a gateway for people, once they come to the event, they'll realize 'Halloween' is a film, and they'd like to see it," Aiello said. "Conversely, people may know the film and want to see how we're translating that into an attraction."
As for the big debut on September 19, while Aiello deferred on whether "Halloween" stars like Jamie Lee Curtis would be on site, he did note one actor who probably won't be attending: William Shatner, who's face was famously used as the prototype for Michael Myers' mask.
"Unfortunately, William Shatner was unavailable," Aiello said laughing when we asked if Universal had the actor working down at the park. "But Michael Myers looks like Michael Myers."
Halloween Horror Nights will take place select nights at Universal Orlando, from September 19 through November 1. You can check out more info at HalloweenHorrorNights.com/Orlando.