Michael Myers is a fictional character from the Halloween series of slasher films. He first appears in John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) as a young boy who murders his older sister, then fifteen years later returns home to murder more teenagers. In the original Halloween, the adult Michael Myers, referred to as The Shape in the closing credits, was portrayed by Nick Castle for most of the film, with Tony Moran and Tommy Lee Wallace substituting in during the final scenes. He was created by Debra Hill and John Carpenter. Michael Myers has appeared in eight films, as well as novels, a video game and several comic books.
The character is the primary antagonist in the Halloween film series, except Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which was not connected in continuity to the rest of the films. Since Castle, Moran, and Wallace put on the mask in the original film, six people have stepped into the role. Tyler Mane is the only actor to have portrayed Michael Myers in consecutive films, and one of only two actors to portray the character more than once. Michael Myers is characterized as pure evil, whether directly in the films, by the filmmakers who created and developed the character over eight films, or random participants in a survey.
Michael Myers is the primary antagonist in all of the Halloween films, with the exception of Halloween III: Season of the Witch, as that film did not feature any of the characters from the original two films and had nothing to do with Michael Myers. Michael would return immediately following Halloween III, in the appropriately titled Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. The silver screen is not the only place Michael Myers has appeared; there have been literary sources that have expanded the universe of Michael.
Michael Myers made his first appearance in the original 1978 film, Halloween, although the masked character is credited as "The Shape." In the beginning of the film, a six-year old Michael (Will Sandin) murders his older sister, Judith (Sandy Johnson), and is taken to a Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Fifteen years later, Michael (Nick Castle) escapes the sanitarium and returns to Haddonfield, Illinois. Michael proceeds to stalk and murder several teens. When he attempts to kill Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) she manages to fend him off long enough for Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael's psychiatrist, to find him. Loomis shoots Michael six times in the chest, before Michael falls over the house's second-story balcony ledge. When Loomis goes to check Michael's body, he finds it missing. Michael's second appearance was in the sequel, Halloween II (1981). The film picks up directly where the original ends, with Loomis still looking for Michael's body. Myers (Dick Warlock) follows Laurie Strode to the local hospital, where he wanders the halls in search of her, while killing security guards, doctors and nurses that get in his way. Loomis discovers that Laurie Strode is Michael's younger sister, and goes to the hospital to find them. Loomis causes an explosion in the operating theater, and Laurie escapes as the flames engulf Loomis and Myers.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) picks the story up ten years after the events of Halloween II. Michael (George P. Wilbur) and Dr. Loomis are revealed to have survived the explosion, although Michael has been held at the Ridgemont Federal Sanitarium for a decade. Michael wakes from his coma when he learns Laurie Strode was killed in a car accident, but that her daughter is still alive. Michael escapes and immediately heads to Haddonfield to kill Laurie's daughter, Jamie (Danielle Harris). The state police find Michael and shoot him several times before he falls down a mine shaft. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) begins immediately after the fourth film ends, with Michael Myers (Don Shanks) escaping the mine shaft and being nursed back to health by a local hermit. The next year, Michael kills the hermit and returns to Haddonfield to find Jamie again. Michael is eventually captured and taken to the local police station, but an unseen figure kills the officers and frees him. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) takes place approximately six years after the events of The Revenge of Michael Myers; both Jamie (J. C. Brandy) and Michael (George P. Wilbur) have disappeared from Haddonfield. The Cult of Thorn impregnates Jamie, in an effort to control Michael. Michael kills Jamie, but not before she hides her newborn. Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd) discovers Jamie's baby. While trying to protect the baby from Myers, Tommy learns that the Curse of Thorn is the cause of Michael's obsession with killing his entire family.
Ignoring the events of the previous three films, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) follows Michael (Chris Durand) as he searches for Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), and her teenage son John (Josh Hartnett). Michael tracks Laurie and her son to the private boarding school where she is headmistress, living under an assumed name after faking her death to escape her brother. It is not long before Michael murders John's friends. After ensuring the safety of her son, Laurie battles it out with Michael, and succeeds in decapitating him. Halloween: Resurrection (2002), which picks up three years after H20, retcons Michael's death, establishing that the man Laurie decapitated was a paramedic whom Michael had attacked and swapped clothes with. Michael (Brad Loree) tracks Laurie to a mental institution, where she was placed after she learned the truth of her actions. Michael kills Laurie and returns to his home in Haddonfield. There, he finds a group of college students filming an internet reality show inside his house. He begins killing each of them before being caught in an electrical fire.
Michael's latest onscreen appearance is in Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007), a reimagining of the original film. Zombie's film focuses more on Michael's psychology. The film follows the basic premise of the original film, with Michael (Daeg Faerch) killing his sister Judith (Hanna R. Hall), escaping Smith's Grove, and stalking Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton). In this film, Laurie is shown to be Michael's sister from the beginning, something not revealed until the original's sequel in 1981. Michael is shown to have an interest in Halloween masks and killing animals. During his time at Smith's Grove, he takes up the hobby of creating papier-mâché masks, which he wears constantly. Michael's (Tyler Mane) motives for coming after Laurie were altered to show that he was attempting to reunite with his sister, the one person in his family he cared for, instead of simply being out to kill her.
Michael Myers made his literary debut in October 1979 when Curtis Richards released a novelization of the film. The book follows the events of the film, but expands on the festival of Samhain and Michael's time at Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Michael returned to the world of literature with the 1981 adaptation of Halloween II written by Jack Martin; it was published alongside the first film sequel, with the novel following the film events, with an additional victim, a reporter, added to the novel. The final novelization to feature Michael was Halloween IV, released October 1988. The novel was written by Nicholas Grabowsky, and like the previous adaptations, follows the events of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.
Over a four month period, Berkley Books published three young adult novels written by Kelly O'Rourke; the novels are original stories created by O'Rourke, with no direct continuity with the films. The first, released on October 1, 1997, titled The Scream Factory, follows a group of friends who set up a haunted house attraction in the basement of Haddonfield City Hall, only to be stalked and killed by Michael Myers while they are there. The Old Myers Place is the second novel, released December 1, 1997, and focuses on a Mary White, who moves into the Myers house with her family. Michael returns home and begins stalking and attacking Mary and her friends. O'Rourke's final novel, The Mad House, was released on February 1, 1998. The Mad House features a young girl, Christine Ray, who joins a documentary film crew that travels to haunted locations; they are currently headed to Smith Grove Mental Hospital. The crew is quickly confronted by Michael Myers.
The character's first break into comics came with a series of comics published by Brian Pulido's Chaos Comics. The first, simply titled Halloween, was intended to be a one-issue special, but eventually two sequels spawned: Halloween II: The Blackest Eyes and Halloween III: The Devil's Eyes. All of the stories were written by Phil Nutman, with Daniel Farrands—writer for Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers—assisting on the first issue; David Brewer and Justiniano worked on the illustrations. Tommy Doyle is the main protagonist in each of the issues, focusing on his attempts to kill Michael Myers. The first issue includes backstory on Michael's childhood, while the third picks up after the events of the film Halloween H20.
In 2003, Michael appeared in the self-published comic One Good Scare, written by Stefan Hutchinson and illustrated by Peter Fielding. The main character in the comic is Lindsey Wallace, the young girl who first saw Michael Myers alongside Tommy Doyle in the original 1978 film. Hutchinson wanted to bring the character back to his roots, and away from the "lumbering Jason-clone" the film sequels had made him. On July 25, 2006, as an insert inside the DVD release of Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, the comic book Halloween: Autopsis was released. Written by Stefan Hutchinson, and artwork by Marcus Smith and Nick Dismas, the story is about a photographer assigned to take pictures of Michael Myers. As the photographer, Carter, follows Dr. Loomis he begins to take on Loomis's obsession himself, until finally meeting Michael Myers in person, which results in his death.
Stefan Hutchinson has released a series of Halloween comics, starting in 2008, through Devil's Due publishing. The first comics are a four issue mini series, titled Halloween: Nightdance, with the first issue focusing primarily on Michael Myers, with no appearances from characters from the films. The storyline takes place on October 31, 2000, so that it falls between Halloween H20 and Halloween Resurrection. Issue one follows Michael as he stalks Lisa, a fifteen year-old girl with insecurities and "a chronic fear of darkness". Hutchinson explains that Nightdance was an attempt to escape the dense continuity of the film series and recreate the tone of the 1978 film. Michael becomes inexplicably fixated on Lisa, just as he did with Laurie in the original Halloween, before the sequels established that a sibling bond was actually his motivation for stalking her. To celebrate the anniversary of the Halloween series, Devil's Due released a one-shot comic entitled Halloween: 30 Years of Terror in August 2008, written by Hutchinson. An anthology collection inspired by John Carpenter's original film, the character of Michael appears in the stories "Trick or Treat," "P.O.V.," "Visiting Hours," and "Repetition Compulsion."
In popular culture
In Robot Chicken's nineteenth episode, "That Hurts Me", Michael Myers (voiced by Seth Green) appears as a housemate of Horror Movie Big Brother, alongside other famous slasher movie killers such as Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, and Leatherface. Myers is evicted from the house, and takes off his mask to reveal himself to be the comedian Mike Myers, and utters his Austin Powers catchphrase, "I feel randy, baby!" He proceeds to kill the host.
Michael appeared on the April 25, 2008 episode of Ghost Whisperer, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, titled "Horror Show". Here, a spirit communicates with Hewitt's character by placing her in scenes from the deceased's favorite horror movies, and one of the scenes involves Michael Myers.
In the collection of short stories The Nightmares on Elm Street: Freddy Krueger's Seven Sweetest Dreams, a character, while looking through a book entitled Beasts Who Walk As Men: A Case History of America's Vilest Serial Killers, finds a page in it mentioning Michael, as well as Jason Voorhees and the Sawyer family.
In one of the various merchandises to feature the character, Michael Myers made his video game debut with the 1983 Atari video game Halloween. The game is rare to find, often being played on emulators. No characters from the films are specifically named, with the goal of the game focusing on the player, who is a babysitter, protecting children from a "homicidal maniac [who] has escaped from a mental institution".