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In the original Halloween (1976), Nick Castle as Michael (in the mask) is credited as The Shape:

Halloween (1976) credits

The other credits; Michael age 6 is the shot at the start of the movie when his parents take off his clown mask. Michael age 23 is for the brief shot in which Laurie pulls off his mask to reveal he's a normal looking human.

Then in Halloween II (1981), Michael is again credited as The Shape:

Halloween II (1981) credits

And again there is a credit for Tony Moran as Michael age 23, as they show the scene in which the mask is pulled off again at the start of the movie.

But my question is why they went with The Shape specifically, rather than any of the names he was given in the movies, like Michael Myers, or The Boogeyman?

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I'd offer that in some movies, a certain person plays the character behind the mask, "the shape" while another (better?) plays the face and speaks the lines, essentially composing the character from two actors, one who has the physical attributes and the other who can act. Just a theory though. – DustinDavis Jul 23 '14 at 18:28
Or some play the man in the mask, others the voice, yet others as the first ghost, and still others as the second New and Improved Ghost. :) – CGCampbell Jul 23 '14 at 18:41
Darth Vader comes to mind as characters "pieced together" from different actors. – BrettFromLA Jul 23 '14 at 22:18

1 Answer 1

up vote 15 down vote accepted

My best answer comes from an answer that was given to this same question in 2006:

Adult Myers is introduced in the screenplay as a shape jumping on the back of Marion's car. Therefore, for script consistency, the term was used for the rest of the draft and eventually the series.

Also, there is further explanation and links to the script here.

The Shape is what John Carpenter referred to Michael Myers as in the script. Throughout the movie you only see the outline of Michael lurking in the shadows, non descript and very much a "shape".

In the actual script, the first usage of "the shape" is used to describe the mask Myers wears...

"Darkness, with a small shape in the center of the screen. As MAIN TITLES CONTINUE OVER, CAMERA SLOWLY MOVES IN on the shape.

We get closer and closer until we see that the shape is a Halloween mask. It is a large, full-head platex rubber mask, not a monster or ghoul, but the pale, neutral features of a man weirdly distorted by the rubber. ."

Subsequently, the mask (originally designed by Don Post (later becomming Don Post Studios)) was referred to as "The Shape"

EDIT: It should be noted, much to my dismay, that while watching the movie with the director's commentary it was revealed that the mask is actually a halloween mask of my boyhood idol, Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, painted white. Ugh. My image of him is forever ruined...

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quoth the man: Why...would that....ruin.... your image of .... ME! :) – CGCampbell Jul 23 '14 at 18:43
LOL! Well done, sir! :o) – Johnny Bones Jul 23 '14 at 18:47
@CGCampbell ... I'd +1 that for 10 if I could! Great line! Great answer, Johnny :D – Paulster2 Jul 24 '14 at 1:07

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