The planned TV adaptation of John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night anthology series from Syfy has been scrapped. Based on the book series of the same name, the stories consist of scary tales written by a selection of horror writers, including Carpenter himself.
First published in 2015, Tales for a Halloween Night is a horror anthology series that explores the deep, dark depths of the genre. Alongside the likes of Sandy King, who’s worked with Carpenter on everything from They Live to Ghosts of Mars as a producer, and Steven Hoveke, who worked with Carpenter on The Thing: Artbook, Tales for a Halloween Night includes three separate volumes of standalone short stories. Originally set to be adapted as a TV series for Syfy back in 2017, with Carpenter attached to direct the pilot, it turns out that the anthology won’t get the live-action treatment after all.
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Sandy King, president of Stormy Kings Productions, spoke to ComicBook and revealed that the series is no longer happening. She explained that her company and Syfy were not on the same page creatively, which ultimately resulted in the two parties parting ways. Intent on doing justice to the source material and living up to readers’ expectations, she said:
“We had one [project] where SYFY wanted Tales for a Halloween Night but it quickly became evident that they just wanted the title. And I really saw a disaster on the horizon. So I went, ‘No, no, no. This is not a good idea.’ It was a greenlit series but if it’s not gonna be something cool for the fans and for the eventual audience, then I don’t think it’s a good idea to do it.”
While Carpenter has obviously been a household names since the ’70s, starting with Halloween, then continuing with classic horror films like Escape from New York, The Thing, and Christine, the filmmaker had a creative comeback of sorts with last year’s direct Halloween sequel from director David Gordon Green. It was the first film in the Halloween series that Carpenter was involved with since Halloween H20 (he was originally set to direct the film before he dropped out of the project completely). A TV series based on another one of his projects might have seemed like a safe bet for success, but that’s no longer the case.
While it’s certainly disappointing that the series isn’t happening – not only for fans of the books, but for Carpenter fans in general – it’s comforting to see its creative team taking the source material seriously enough to not simply cash in without careful consideration. Following Halloween’s success alone, horror fans can likely expect to see plenty more work inspired by or directly relating to Carpenter, so consider this project falling through a slight stumble. Whether it’s attaching himself to a potential Halloween sequel or creating something wholly original (despite working primarily in music these days), horror fans shouldn’t give up hope.
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