Did Friday The 13th Steal John Carpenter’s Wildest Halloween Idea?

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Summary

  • John Carpenter envisioned taking the Halloween franchise in a new direction by setting a Michael Myers movie in space, believing it would be a refreshing departure from the formulaic sequels that had become stale.
  • Although Carpenter’s space idea for Michael Myers never came to fruition, New Line Cinema seemingly borrowed the concept for their universally-panned Friday the 13th sequel, Jason X, where Jason is cryogenically frozen and brought aboard a spaceship in the future.
  • It is unclear whether Jason X directly copied Carpenter’s original idea or if it was just coincidental, considering that other horror franchises like Hellraiser and Leprechaun had also ventured into space. The lack of details about Carpenter’s plan makes it difficult to determine.


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John Carpenter changed the horror game with the original Halloween, but his wildest sequel idea wound up being used for another iconic horror franchise. While Carpenter largely stepped away from the Halloween franchise after 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch failed to jump-start his plan for an anthology series, he did, in fact, try to reacquire the rights to Michael Myers and the attached IP in the 90s. Partnering with New Line Cinema, Carpenter aimed to revitalize the Halloween franchise, believing that the bevy of sequels had made the series stale given their penchant for copying the formula of his 1978 classic.

Carpenter’s proposed new direction for Halloween involved unleashing Michael Myers on a space station. A fan of the sci-fi movies of the 1950s, Carpenter believed that departing from the original formula for a Michael Myers slasher movie could be the right direction if a new Michael Myers movie was to be made. However, Carpenter’s plan was not to reboot or restart the franchise; his space idea was so wild that he believed the franchise could never go back to the stale formula that stained the many sequels. While his planned Michael Myers in space movie never came to be, New Line Cinema may have “borrowed” the concept for another iconic slasher’s sequel.

Related: Every Halloween Movie, Ranked


Jason X Ended Up Using John Carpenter’s Space Idea For Halloween

Jason X

In 2001, New Line Cinema released Jason X, a universally-panned sci-fi sequel in the Friday the 13th franchise that saw Jason jettisoned into the future and space. In one of the more convoluted plots of any slasher movie, the immortal Jason was cryogenically frozen for more than 400 years and was rediscovered by a group of students in the year 2455, who brought him aboard their spaceship. Predictably, Jason was reanimated and proceeded to kill them one-by-one in gruesome, silly ways, essentially turning the movie into a comedy as opposed to a genuinely scary slasher film.

Related: Jason X Proved That Space-Set Slashers Never Work

Carpenter and New Line Cinema lost their bid for the rights to the Halloween franchise to Miramax, which had been collecting horror franchises throughout the 90s, including Children of the Corn and Hellraiser. Funnily enough, in 1996, Miramax sent Pinhead of the Hellraiser franchise into space in Hellraiser: Bloodline, a straight-to-video sequel that never even made it in front of critics. This cast some doubt over whether Jason X copied Carpenter’s original slasher-in-space concept or if it was just capitalizing on a concept that Miramax believed might have some potential.

Was Jason X’s Similarities To Michael Myers In Space Just A Coincidence?

Jason X

While there are certainly plenty of similarities between Jason X and Carpenter’s proposed plan to put Michael Myers in space for a Halloween movie, it’s difficult to say definitively that the idea was just a rip-off of his concept. After all, Hellraiser was a big horror franchise that went to space, Leprechaun also went to space in 1997’s slasher comedy Leprechaun 4: In Space, and one of the greatest horror movies of all time, Alien, took place entirely in space. Therefore, it’s difficult to determine if New Line Cinema directly adapted Carpenter’s original idea for Jason X, especially given how few details exist about Carpenter’s plan.