Just from its title, one can easily know what to expect from the American slasher franchise – Halloween movie series. The sheer darkness that summarizes the knife-wielding personality of Michael Myers is not the only thing that makes him so scary. Audiences can attest to the fact that it is the chilling blankness of his face (mask), the subtle movement of his person who never speaks, not to mention his daunting height, eagle-focus on his victims, seemingly infinite life, and almost superhuman speed. Read on to know every actor who has ever played Michael Myers in the Halloween movie series.
Who is the Michael Myers Character?
This Halloween film character Micheal Myers was originally referred to in the script as “The Shape” and he is regarded as one of the best – or worst fictional serial killers (depending on how you see it) on television so far. Following the release of the original widely acclaimed Halloween movie over four decades ago, there have been eight sequels made, not to mention comics, novels and, a video game.
Between the original and the 11th movie in the Halloween film franchise, a number of actors have taken up the role of Michael Myers who has remained the antagonist in all except one – Halloween III: Season of the Witch. However, the Michael Myers character is generally regarded as a deadly killer and his sinister nature is second to none.
All The Actors Who Have Played Michael Myers in Halloween Movie Series
1. Will Sandin (Halloween, 1978)
The very first appearance of Michael Myers in the original classic horror movie, Halloween, came as a six-year-old boy who killed his teenage elder sister, Judith. The role was portrayed by an American child actor, Will Sandin and it marked the beginning of a movie series that has got a lot of people hooked on it for decades.
2. Nick Castle (Halloween, 1978)
Known as the original star actor of the 1978 Halloween, Nick Castle, the very first adult Michael Myers actor, is considered one of the best to have played the role. This American actor, like most of the others who would play the role of Myers after him, had no previous acting experience but was able to deliver exactly what the director wanted and nailed the role which was mostly to lurk creepily in the background. Castle is also a movie director and a scriptwriter and he used to play in a band with Halloween creator, John Carpenter.
3. Tony Moran (Halloween, 1978)
Although Nick Castle played most of the Michael Myers role in the 1978 Halloween movie, also put on the mask towards the final moments of the film and was revealed for a few minutes when Laurie Strode lifted Myers’ mask.
4. Adam Gunn (Halloween II, 1981)
Adam Gunn acted the role of young Michael Myers in the 1981 Halloween film. He is also known for his role as Ricky Schweitzer in Trapper John, M.D, and as David in Fallen Angel, all in the same year 1981. However, not much has been heard of him ever since but he is still remembered for his impressive portrayal of Myers.
5. Dick Warlock (Halloween II, 1981)
Dick Warlock is an American stuntman and actor whose first acting gig was as Michael Myers in Halloween II. Warlock’s Michael Myers was skinny and tall which got mixed reviews from fans. Some described him as robotic while others thought he was just perfect as his figure made a great shadow which was in line with the character. However, the co-creator of the character and producer, Debra Hill, who was also present at the filming location said in an interview years later that Dick Warlock did not quite nail the walk. Although Dick said in his defense that neither the producer nor the director, Rick Rosenthal, told him how to play the role nor complained about his performance.
Warlock was eventually featured in the third movie which was Halloween III: Season of the Witch, not as Michael Myers but as a robot. Moreso, Myers was not the focus in Halloween III: Season of the Witch as it had an entirely different storyline from the rest of the franchise and it was no surprise it became a box office failure.
6. George P. Wilbur (Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers, 1988 & Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers, 1995)
After a seven-year-long break, the producers brought the character, Michael Myers, back with the professional stuntman, George Wilbur behind the mask this time. This fourth movie which was directed by Dwight H. Little continued the story ten years after the events of the second one, Halloween II. This time around, the film was better received and more of a success than the preceding Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
It was also gathered that Michael Myers’ appearance in Halloween IV was Wilbur’s debut as an actor and his physical feature which was larger than that of his predecessor boosted his character. He would eventually become the first actor to have played the role of Michael Myers more than once in the film series as he returned in the film series’ 1995 sixth installment, Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers. The Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Famer also played as a stuntman in Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers.
7. Donald Shanks (Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers, 1989)
Shanks mentioned in an interview that the only direction he got from the film director Dominique Othenin-Girard, was to “move through the water like a wood”, which he was able to interpret and carry out perfectly. Even though the film would most likely not make the top three in the series, Shank gave his best performance. Some of his other works include Guardian of the Wilderness, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, and The Incredible Hulk among numerous others.
8. Chris Durand (Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, 1998)
In the 1998 Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Michael Myers was played by Chris Durand, an American actor, and stuntman. It is on record that this is most likely the most underrated Michael Myers actor in the franchise. The storyline of the movie disregards all that came before it except the first two films, however, it was well-received by critics but not so much by fans. It is possible it may have had something to do with the usage of different masks on Michael in the film but it certainly was not because of Durand’s inferior performance – this is because the actor did a very good job and brought back some memories from the earlier films.
9. Brad Loree (Halloween: Resurrection 2002)
Brad Loree is a Canadian actor and stuntman who starred as Michael Myers in the eighth part of the series. This stuntman who is a horror movie enthusiast himself was said to have enjoyed playing the role and most likely would have loved to reprise Myer’s role if he had gotten the chance. Moreso, the actor who had a similar physical appearance to the previous actor, Chris Durand, was able to maintain some of the classic physical traits of the character.
10. Daeg Faerch (Halloween 2007)
Rob Zombie’s original Halloween remake focused more on Michael’s childhood and starred American child actor, Daeg Faerch as 10-year-old Michael Myers. He was being verbally abused by Judith, as well as his mother’s boyfriend, Ronnie, and was shown mutilating and killing animals. Faerch who has been acting actively since 2004 has worked on several projects and his portrayal of Michael Myers was ranked the second greatest “evil kids” performance in horror by fear fragments.com. He is also acclaimed as all-time in HorrorNews.net’s “Top Ten Kids in Horror” ranking.
11. Chase Wright Vanek (Halloween II, 2009)
American child actor, Chase Wright Vanek, acted as the young Michael in Rob Zombie’s 2009 sequel, Halloween II. He also appeared in the 2009 movie Dear Lemon Lima before then, appearing as Jon, and in the 2011 film Decision as an unnamed young boy.
12. Tyler Mane (Halloween, 2007 & Halloween II, 2009)
When 10-year-old Michael grew up to become adult Michael Myers, he was portrayed by almost 7ft tall Canadian wrestler and actor, Daryl Karolat who is popularly known as Tyler Mane. Having gathered experience from some movies he had acted in such as X-men and The Devil’s Reject, Mane was the perfect casting choice for the role.
Tyler eventually became the second actor in the series to play the role of Michael Myers more than once, after George P. Wilbur, and the first one to do so back-to-back. His portrayal of Michael in both Halloween, 2007, and its sequel, Halloween II in 2009 was described as aggressive and intense.
13. James Jude Courtney (Halloween, 2018)
Finally, this direct sequel to the original 1978 Halloween disregards the fact that all the other films in the franchise have held on to and established some new ones. The 2018 Halloween installment features James Jude Courtney as Michael Myers/The Shape. The American actor, stuntman, and performer said he was able to carry out his role so efficiently because he had absorbed the know-how from a real-life hit-man he once lived with.
The movie which grossed over $255 million worldwide, was a huge success and is said to be the best so far, after the original 1978 movie. It was also gathered that the Halloween movie franchise with a combined gross of over $620 million in the global box office is ranked first in the United States Box Office among other American horror series.