Legendary Pictures Announces Development of 'Trick 'r Treat' Sequel
by Ethan Anderton
October 29, 2013
The horror film Trick 'r Treat was unceremoniously thrown on Blu-Ray and DVD after sitting on the shelf at Warner Bros. for two years. But the horror anthology showing four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween has earned some rave reviews and tons of acclaim from hardcore horror fans, making it a cult classic. However, an announcement made on Monday is very surprising. During a special screening event for the film hosted by Legendary Pictures, director Michael Dougherty announced development of Trick 'r Treat 2. However, they don't have a script yet, so the project is just now getting off the ground. Read on!
Dougherty talks to EW about his desire to make multiple films with different Halloween stories:
"It’s funny because when I first dreamt up the idea of making the first film, I thought, “How neat would it be if we made them a series?” I’m a firm believer that October should be filled with Halloween movies, or horror movies. That’s something I remember from childhood. Horror movies and Halloween, they go hand-in-hand. And so the idea was, 'Well we could probably do a Trick ‘r Treat movie every year or every other year, and that it would sort of just be a new batch of stories and characters. And the common link between all of them would be Sam.' Initially that was the plan, and then things changed as the first film had a very delayed, strange journey. I put those dreams on hold for a little while, so it feels good to go back to that initial plan."
And while they don't have a script, Dougherty has an idea of what he wants to do with the sequel:
"For me, I think every film should explore a different aspect of Halloween. I felt like the first film was the very traditional, suburban Halloween that we all have some memory of. But as I’ve grown up over the years, I’ve lived everywhere from Columbus, Ohio to New York to L.A., and I find that the holiday is very different depending on where you live. Or even time periods. I don’t see why we should be limited to just present day stories. Halloween is an amazing holiday because it evolves depending on where you live and the time period.
There are different archetypes I’d like to explore, different types of monsters. We covered werewolves, vampires, and zombies, but there’s a whole slew of different creatures out there that we haven’t tackled, and I think Sam would probably be pretty good buddies with. So I think it’s time to let them have their time in the sun."
The filmmaker would even like to get one more sequel in the books saying, "I think it’d be great to make it a trilogy, at least. So fingers crossed." But for the second film, the director says, "There’s nothing I can reveal yet. It’s still really early in the process, but I can definitely say that we’ll be exploring Sam more and maybe getting into some back story of who and what he actually is." As for horror in general, Dougherty has quite an interesting perspective on the genre, and thinks it's time for anthology style films to make a comeback. The director says:
"I love the anthology format. It’s something that I think is strangely under-appreciated in the industry. It really puzzles me, because it was a format that reigned supreme for decades. From the 60s into the 70s and the 80s, the 80s being sort of the golden era for the anthology, they were everywhere. There was a point where you had seven different anthology TV shows on the air at the same time, and then multiple anthology films in the theater. And then for whatever reason in the 90s, they just went away. It’s almost like some guy smoking a cigar in the 90s flipped a switch and no more anthologies. And ever since then, the status quo in Hollywood has had the mistaken belief that you can’t make anthologies. If you try to pitch an anthology TV show or film, it doesn’t matter if it’s a studio executive or an agent, they’ll just tell you, “Nobody wants anthologies,” or “Anthologies don’t work.” And I find that really frustrating, and I think that’s a really limited vision, because anyone who knows and understand horror knows that it’s a cyclical genre. What’s old becomes hot again in a matter of years."
And it sounds like Dougherty is really ahead of the game when it comes to recognizing trends in horror, and even knowing what's going to be popular in the future. He laments his desire for vampires before The Twilight Saga made them sickeningly popular again:
"A really interesting anecdote with the first film is that the script was written in 2000, 2001, and the first time we took it out, the collective feedback we got from the studios was: 'This is so old-fashioned. It’s anthology, and it has vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Those are old-fashioned. Nobody wants to see those anymore.' Literally, that’s what we were told. Fast forward to just over 10 years later, that’s all we have: werewolves, zombies and vampires. We tried to tell people back then, 'You guys are all over Japanese horror and 'Scream' knockoffs right now, but you have to think about what comes next, and what’s next to get resurrected are the classic monsters.'"
Now that Legendary Pictures is at Universal, we're hoping they treat the horror property with a little more respect and give the sequel a theatrical release. Dougherty hopes so anyway, "I mean, fingers crossed it will have a theatrical release considering the adventure that the first one took, but I guess if it didn’t have a theatrical release, the first film also proved that you don’t need a theatrical release in order to be successful. Not anymore. This film became the hit that it became because of video on demand and because of Amazon and Netflix and all those new technologies that people have embraced. It was because of that that this film found its audience." Maybe Netflix could make it one of their originals. Stay tuned.