If there's a filmmaker whose stock/legacy has been considerably bumped up the past decade, it's John Carpenter's. And yet, he's only directed a single film in the last 17 years (2010's The Ward" starring Amber Heard). At 70 years of age, Carpenter is mostly concentrating on producing nowadays, but you cannot deny just how influential he's been to the resurgence of the horror genre.
We have seen shades of Carpenter classics such as “Halloween,” “The Thing,” “Assault on Precinct 13,” “Escape from New York,” “They Live,” and “Big Trouble in Little China” all over the neo-horror resurgence. There's Ti West's "House of the Devil," David Robert Mitchell's "It Follows," Adam Wingard's "The Guest," Jeremy Saulnier's "Green Room," Jeff Nichols' "Midnight Special," The Duffer Brothers' "Stranger Things," and even Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight," the latter which had Tarantino only showing "The Thing" to his cast before production begun.
Judging by an interview Carpenter just gave to Entertainment Weekly, his return to cinema might come sooner rather than later: “I would love to direct something, if it’s the right thing to do at my age. I’m not going to make another ‘Thing,’ I’ll tell you that. I’m not going to the Arctic again. I’m not going to do that. I want to take it easy. I want to enjoy myself!"
He went on to add that a project set in Europe has been something he's been eyeing: “I’ve wanted to do something in Europe and I’ve wanted to do something in Venice. I haven’t gotten a story for it though. What a place! What a strange place! And Venice is sinking! Wow. But I don’t know. I’d love to do something in Europe. That would be fun to do."
Few directors have proven to be as inspiring to modern-day genre filmmakers as Carpenter. And yet, Carpenter was inspired himself, quite heavily, by Hitchcock and Howard Hawks. Just like them, he was always about mood, setting and thrills.
In the meantime, he's credited as producer of David Gordon Green's upcoming “Halloween” reboot/sequel, which hits theaters on October 19.