John Carpenter Explains Why He Got Off His ‘Lazy Butt’ For 2019’s Halloween

Nine years have passed since John Carpenter last directed a feature film (The Ward) and nine years separated that film from its predecessor (Ghosts of Mars). When asked about these long breaks, the director typically says that he’d rather play video games and watch basketball than get back behind the camera. It doesn’t hurt that remakes and/or reboots have been paying his bills in recent years, though Carpenter is quick to point out that not all of them have the same financial rewards.

“There are two kinds of remakes of my movies,” he told Variety. “One kind is like in The Thing. Universal owned the rights to The Thing, so they didn’t ask me anything. A movie like The Fog, I wrote the screenplay, so they actually have to pay me. That’s my favourite kind of remake… extend my hand and receive a cheque for doing nothing. That is a profession I can handle.”

In other words, after decades of gruelling hard work, Carpenter is now content to do as little as possible. However, producer Jason Blum managed to get the filmmaker involved in 2019’s Halloween by simply challenging him to be a little less lazy. “Jason Blum came to me and said ‘This movie is going to be made, so we’d like you, John, to come aboard as an executive producer, and just sort of shepherd it through—and maybe do the music.’ He challenged me. He said, ‘Why don’t you get off your lazy butt and make it good, instead of sitting around complaining?’ So I said, ‘Okay.’”

One or two sequels to last year’s Halloween are now in the works. Watch the trailer for that 2019 film below.