TORONTO - Michael Myers' killing rampage has continued long beyond the original 1978 slasher film "Halloween," but writer-director John Carpenter says he feels detached from the masked murderer in many of its subsequent instalments.
Carpenter co-wrote, directed, produced and scored the first "Halloween," which launched scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis' career. He also co-wrote 1981's "Halloween II" and produced "Halloween III: Season of the Witch."
But Carpenter hasn't directed any of the sequels or the 2007 remake of the same name, which was done by Rob Zombie. And he's made peace with the idea that the franchise has moved beyond him.
"Years ago when they did sequels to 'Halloween,' I realized very early on, 'Well, I can't stop them, because they own the movie. I have to agree to it.' So I figured, 'Well, I'll just collect a paycheque every time they do, which will soothe the pain.' And it does," Carpenter said as he discussed his appearance at this weekend's Fan Expo Canada in Toronto.
"Whoever directs the 'Halloween' sequels it's their movie, it's not mine. It's based on my character but it's not my movie."
The horror and sci-fi filmmaker said he was asked to remake the original but turned down the offer.
"I don't want to do it. I've made that movie and I can't do any better. I can't, I promise you, I can't.
"Unless they offered me $100 million in my pocket, I might think about it then," he added with a chuckle, during a telephone interview from his Hollywood home.
"I might think about a musical or something."
Fan Expo Canada runs at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Thursday to Sunday.
Carpenter has appeared at similar pop-culture conventions in the U.S. and said he loved meeting the fans and seeing their passion for horror and sci-fi films.
He also enjoyed the eye candy.
"The conventions that I've gone to in the United States, there's a lot of tattoos, a lot of low-cut blouses, which is fun because I sit at a desk and people have to lean over to get my autograph. That part's fine," Carpenter said with a laugh.
Other stars slated to attend Fan Expo include comic book writer Stan Lee as well as actors Gillian Anderson, Patrick Stewart and Jennifer Carpenter. Over 80,000 fans are expected along with more than 700 exhibitors and retail vendors.
Carpenter said he's working on a "gothic Western" film but doesn't have a new project to promote at Fan Expo.
These days, he doesn't feel he has to work at the same breakneck pace he used to.
"I'm developing a couple of projects, working on things," he said. "I'm playing video games and working on comic books and all sorts of great stuff that I can do without that kind of feverish pace that I used to do it at."
Carpenter even took a long hiatus from the film industry, bowing out of the spotlight after 2001's "Ghosts of Mars" and returning to it with the 2010 thriller "The Ward."
"I've made a lot of movies, lots of movies — some would say too many movies," Carpenter said with a chuckle. "But I found that at the beginning of 2001 I'd just had enough; I'd fallen out of love with the goddess of cinema and you have to be in love with her to make movies, you have to be passionate, so I needed to get away for a while to live my life.
"There were a lot of things that happened: my mom passed away and my son grew up and my godson grew up and got married, and all sorts of life stuff that I had put on hold, that happened. And then slowly but surely the goddess returned."
That breakthrough came in 2006, when Carpenter was shooting the Showtime series "Masters of Horror" in Vancouver.
"We worked for a week and made these hour-long stories and I just had a blast doing it and I remembered what it was about it that I loved, and I remembered what it was about filmmaking that I loved," said Carpenter.
"And there was no pressure. We had complete control. It was all the good stuff. So I was slowly but surely beginning to come back."