It’s been just over a year since Onur Tukel and David Gordon Green first conceived of The Legend of Halloween, a “children’s book” adaptation of John Carpenter’s classic 1978 Halloween starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Tukel had seen that original film when he was nine years old, and it has remained a constant favorite for him since that time, and when he discovered his friend David was working on a trilogy of sequels, he reached out to see if he could spend some time on set.
“David’s a generous guy and he knew how much it meant to me to be part of it,” Tukel told iHorror in a recent interview. “When I was 22 or so, the first thing I ever shot on super 8 was a grainy black and white fan-film called Michael Myers Meets His Match. It was 25 years ago in Wilmington, NC. When I went to visit the set of Halloween Kills in 2019, they were shooting a scene in the same park I’d shot in 25 years earlier. It was surreal and beautiful.”
While working on Halloween Kills Tukel discovered that Green, like himself, loved to write little rhymes and verses and with accompanying drawings and together they produced a small volume titled It’s Halloween in Haddonfield, which they gifted to the cast and crew. Still, they wanted to do more, and specifically, they wanted to do something for the fans. They came up with a concept called The Legend of Halloween which would retell the classic first film in an illustrated children’s book format.
Green pitched the idea to producers Malek Akkad and Ryan Friemann who loved the idea and the co-authors went to work on the project in Spring of this year.
They had no idea, at the time, but they truly had their work cut out for them. Not only did they have to find a meter and rhythm for the story, but they also had to determine what they could and could not bring in from the film.
“There are so many singular scenes in Halloween, but we just couldn’t include everything,” he explained. “So that was tough. There’s that great shot of Laurie looking out the classroom window and seeing the Shape watching her across the street. That’s not in the book. We knew there was certain things we could never capture from the original film, like the dread and portent of Loomis and Brackett exploring the Myers house. But we had fun figuring out how to adapt the movie in a way that diehard fans would enjoy. We wanted the book to have playful homages without blatantly copying the visuals of the movie. And of course, like the movie, we wanted the violence to be tasteful.”
What emerged was something that looked and felt to Tukel like an amalgamation of John Carpenter, Shel Silverstein, Charles Shulz, and Jules Feiffer and yet was somehow totally their own.
“We wanted it to be tasteful, with very little blood (like the original), but again, we wanted it to be just naughty enough that a youngster would get some subversive pleasure in reading it,” Tukel said.
While an official release date hasn’t been announced, The Legend of Halloween will no doubt be available sometime soon, and of course the author hopes the book is a success, but even if it isn’t, he says the experience was incredible.
“I hope the book has the success that the first movie had, of course,” he said. “I hope it sells 10 million copies and goes on to the be the most successful independent children’s book ever written! I hope the fans eat it up and demand another one and another one and we just keep making more. But if that doesn’t happen, I gotta say that I’m just happy this weird little book exists. Halloween is my favorite horror film, David’s one of my favorite directors, and to be part of something this unexpected is a dream come true.”
For more information on The Legend of Halloween, visit their OFFICIAL WEBSITE and look for this one-of-a-kind book coming to a bookstore near you!