MTV caught up with House of 1000 corpses and The Devil's Rejects director, Rob Zombie, who has been tapped to direct the next Halloween film...

What can we expect from Rob Zombie's Halloween? For starters, he describes his film not as a prequel, as rumored, but rather as "a remake with more back story built into it," and plans to make the film less about babysitters in peril and more about the man behind the mask.

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"I want the lead character to be Michael Myers," Zombie said. "He's not just a faceless thing floating around in the background and then you focus on these girls. I feel that that's where you can make it different and that's where you can make it more intense."

As he talks about his vision, references range from "Murders in the Rue Morgue" to The Constant Gardener and 21 Grams, and he grows increasingly animated as he hits on his main goal: exploring these now iconic characters in greater depth. He talks about beefing up the roles of Sherriff Brackett and the somewhat demented Dr. Loomis, the gun-toting child psychiatrist who serves as Myers' chief foil while spewing his unique brand of dark poetry ("I watched him for 15 years, sitting in a room, staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, looking past the wall, looking at this night, inhumanly patient, waiting for some secret, silent alarm to trigger him off. Death has come to your little town.").

"I felt the character of Dr. Loomis just popped in and out when they needed somebody to say something dramatic," Zombie observed. "I wanted his story to feel more intertwined with Michael in a way that means something, which they did in the original, but sometimes it feels like he disappears for a long period and then just pops up to go, 'He's evil!,' and then he disappears again for a while."

Zombie's eyes light up as he talks about casting his Loomis, and names ranging from Jeff Bridges to Ben Kingsley turn up on his very, very loose "what if?" list. "There is no shortage of late-50s, early-60s male actors that are amazing and would like to work more, probably much like Donald Pleasence at the time [he was cast as the original Loomis]," Zombie said.

But the beefiest role by far will be that of Myers. No longer a figure looming ominously in the background of an artfully framed shot, Myers - his motives, methods and machinations - will be front and center this time around, a switch Zombie thinks is essential to sharpen the blade a bit.

"One of the things that's happened over the years to all those characters is that they become friendly," Zombie added. "Michael Myers and Jason and Freddy and Pinhead aren't scary anymore because they're so familiar. I thought we have to find a way to go back and start fresh and remove everyone's preconceived ideas about what they think this character is because no one thinks they can be scared by it again. It's almost like Santa Claus."

And it's hard to imagine places more grim than the inside of Michael Myers' head, but that dark, untapped space won't be the only new territory explored in Zombie's film. While Halloween purists will no doubt be pleased to note that key elements of the original - namely that mask and that score - will be intact, each will get at least a light touch from Zombie's brush. "There are even things about the original Michael Myers that bothered me," he admitted. "Like, he killed the only mechanic that wears a pristine mechanic's uniform. It's just things like that that bothered me."

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