Is Rob Zombie’s Halloween a production in trouble? Has the film been delayed as Zombie goes back to the word processor to hammer out a new draft of the script? Will it not make the original August 31st release date? Is this all a way of having the movie come out on the obvious day of the year?

The internet is awash in rumors about the project ever since Quint at Aint It Cool News ran a review of what he claimed was the script to the movie. I had heard that this was not the shooting script that Zombie was going with, and that big changes had been made, but couldn’t get that confirmed.

Zombie hasn’t come out and said that the AICN review is bullshit, but he did write this, slightly butthurt-sounding blog post on MySpace:

"I notice that so many people get crazy when someone you don’t even know posts an opinion about what they think HALLOWEEN will or won’t be. This is crazy. Do you really go through life influenced by the thoughts of others that easily? Anyway, things change so much in a movie, from moment to moment, from second to second that all I can say is : see it for yourself and figure out if you like it or not. Really who gives a fuck what someone else thinks? Everybody likes different shit for different reasons. But deciding that you hate or love something that doesn’t even exist yet? Well, that a little ridiculous."

You can’t blame the guy for being a little mad about this, and the whole situation only makes me more unsure about the legitimacy of script reviews as an indicator of a movie. Might Zombie’s Halloween suck? Quite possibly. But can we actually know that from a script – especially if that script represents a different version of the film? Further, anyone who has read a script before seeing a movie will understand just how much things can change from one stage to the next. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst, but things almost always change (especially if the review is not of the shooting script; ie what the actors have on set as they film).

More and more I think that the people doing script reviews just don’t know enough about the whole process to make an informed judgment about how that paper will become a movie. It’s like reviewing blueprints instead of a building. Obviously there’s interest in knowing how a film is being approached, what the story beats are, etc, but I’m concerned that the business of reviewing scripts – which briefly went mainstream when the LA Times tried their hand at it recently – is bad for the movie industry. Maybe filmmakers should be allowed to make the movie they want to make – is meddling from fans on the internet who know nothing about making movies any better than meddling from suits in studios who don’t understand the genre/original material/director’s vision?

Anyway, if the rumors are true and the AICN review has sent Zombie back to the script stage, that’s too bad. Even if it results in a better movie than what Zombie was going to originally make, it’s too bad. After Devil’s Rejects it became obvious that Rob Zombie isn’t just some hack flailing about in the genre – he has a vision and the talent to pull it off. And sometimes filmmakers with vision and talent fall on their asses and fuck up, but still make interesting movies. Maybe the case here is that I’m not so close to the material – if I thought Spider-Man 3 was shaping up to be a disaster I would desperately hope for someone to make Sam Raimi change it – but the idea of a Halloween remake that doesn’t meet the fan expectations (and let’s face it, fan expectations will never be satisfied with a property as iconic as this, so why even bother trying to meet them? Do your own thing) isn’t the end of the world to me. There will always be 14 or 15 different DVD editions of the original film for you to choose from – Carpenter’s movie will never go away.

And now, a treat to remind you that the Halloween series is more changeable (and more resilient) than most fans like to believe: