The fifth Scream movie — which features the return of franchise stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox (plus Scream 4’s Marley Shelton) — just wrapped production with a celebratory social media post from Scream writer/creator Kevin Williamson.
And with the post came the reveal of the film’s official title…Scream.
Which makes sense given that the movie’s meant to serve as both a sequel and a reboot, designed to deliver thrills to both old and new fans alike.
“That’s a wrap on Scream, which I’m excited to announce is the official title of the next film!” executive producer Williamson wrote. “Nearly 25 years ago, when I wrote Scream and Wes Craven brought it to life, I could not have imagined the lasting impact it would have on you, the fans.”
That’s a wrap on Scream, which I’m excited to announce is the official title of the next film! Nearly 25 years ago, when I wrote Scream and Wes Craven brought it to life, I could not have imagined the lasting impact it would have on you, the fans. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/RCuhVUclG4
— Kevin Williamson (@kevwilliamson) November 18, 2020
“I’m excited for you to return to Woodsboro and get really scared again,” he added. “I believe Wes would’ve been so proud of the film that Matt [Bettinelli-Olpin] and Tyler [Gillett] are making. I’m thrilled to be reunited with Neve, Courteney, David and Marley, and to be working alongside a new filmmaking team and incredible cast of newcomers that have come together to continue Wes’ legacy with the upcoming relaunch of the franchise that I hold so dear to my heart. See you in theaters January 2022.”
Scream, from Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group, is due out January 14, 2022.
At a virtual press event, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett [Ready or Not] mentioned the pressure in taking over the franchise from the late, great Wes Craven and what they want this new Scream to be for fans.
“That pressure could just be crippling,” Bettinelli-Olpin said, “but we have a great script that’s just undeniable, that does everything you want in a Scream movie, looking back and looking forward.”
“Once that foundation was in place,” he continued, “we were able to use it as an energy to create this idea and get this ball rolling of ‘How do we create a movie that pays respect to the past, and pays respect to what Wes [Craven] and Kevin [Williamson] created, and also manages to do something new?’ Which at the end of the day, we think is the way to ultimately pay respect the most because that’s what they did for us. Because they created something new. And to be able to do that moving forward is so exciting.”
“And to have all of the legacy cast involved, and have all their input, and getting all the stories from everybody who worked with Wes – it’s really been a once in a lifetime experience.”
Of course, being fans of the franchise is one thing. But being the ones to usher Scream into the future is a whole different deal, and Gillett was hyper-aware of that. It involved “going back and watching the franchise, knowing that we’d be involved in such a profound way, and watching those films as filmmakers and really digging into the commentary on those films. We had to do the work to fill in the gap between fan and filmmaker. And to feel even remotely prepared to step into the role and grab that baton.”
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The two directors made it clear that if this project was just a straight reboot, they wouldn’t have been interested. Because the heart of Scream is its core, surviving characters. “It felt like the only way to do this right was to create connectivity,” Gillett shared. “And a lot of it is also naturally what the Scream movies are about. They’re about lineage. They’re about the evolution of pop-culture and the evolution of the genre. You can’t have something new without giving a nod to what came before it. For us, that was only right to do it, was to have a connection to the past and to find a way to create new and interesting characters that would bring a new audience and an old audience together and hopefully move the whole thing forward in a contemporary and terrifying and fun way.”
Back when Scream 4 was released, there was news of it being the start of a new trilogy, and that Craven and Williamson already had ideas for Scream 5 and 6. This new Scream, however, doesn’t contain any threads of those pitches. “We started with a fresh slate,” producer William Sherak said, “and spent a lot of time with Kevin getting his blessing. We brought him back into the process super early to make sure we were paying homage to what he and Wes created originally and that we were taking it in the right direction.”