casUPDATED! Rob Zombie has written a MySpace message to the fans explaining just what’s up with his take on Halloween. Skip to the end for that.

The Halloween franchise is born again, and in a most unexpected way – Dimension Films has turned to feel-bad auteur Rob Zombie to write, direct, music supervise and produce the next Halloween film. I had expected them to go the Platinum Dunes route and tap some up and coming music video guy to direct the thing under a Weinstein thumb, but it looks like they actually went for someone who is going to bring his own vision to the project.

I’m an unabashed fan of The Devil’s Rejects. I don’t have much use for House of 1000 Corpses, but I think that Zombie showed an astonishing amount of growth between his first and second pictures, and that he captured a nihilist sensibility rarely seen in major horror movies. His take on the Halloween franchise should be interesting, to say the least, but the real question is – what direction is this being taken? Is it a remake of the original? Is it a reboot? Is it just pretending Halloweens 2 through whatever they managed to get up to didn’t happen?

The official press release is a little vague: Zombie’s vision of this film is an entirely new take on the legend and will satisfy fans of the classic "Halloween" legacy while beginning a new chapter in the Michael Myers saga. This new movie will not only appeal to horror fans, but to a wider movie-going audience as well. It will not be a copycat of any prior films in the "Halloween" franchise. The film is set for an October 2007 theatrical release. I am taking the odds on it being to the first Carpenter film what Superman Returns is to the Donner films.

With a Halloween 07 date, look for work on this movie to get started as soon as Zombie’s current tour ends, and expect more information to start hitting as soon as that happens. Maybe we’ll get lucky and this will be the long awaited return to Silver Shamrock!

UPDATE – Looks like I was wrong. Here’s what Rob himself had to say on his MySpace blog:

Okay here’s the real deal for those of you who are confused. As I said yesterday – I am not making Halloween 9. That series is done, complete, over.

But what I am doing is starting totally from from scratch. This the new HALLOWEEN. Call it a remake, an update, a reimaging or whatever, but one thing that for sure is this is a whole new start… a new begining with no connection to the other series. That is exactly why the project appeals to me. I can take it and run with it.

I talked to John Carpenter about this the other day and he said, "Go for it, Rob. Make it your own". And that’s exactly what I intend to do.

Any questions? Go ahead and ask’em.

You can ask him those questions by clicking here. Thanks to message board reader alobek for the heads up.

Interesting that it’s a reboot, and not that surprising that Carpenter gave his blessing. The guy’s not exactly discerning about where here his paychecks come from – after all, I met him on the set of the remake of The Fog, where he was giving that turd his blessing as well. I think his blessing involves depositing money.