The original Scream stars Neve Campbell and David Arquette have opened up about their return to the hit slasher franchise without the original director Wes Craven in 2022’s Scream sequel. The upcoming fifth installment in the long-running horror series, which shares the same title as the original 1996 film, is also set to reunite Campbell and Arquette with fellow Scream co-star Courteney Cox. Original series creator Kevin Williamson is also set to serve as executive producer on the new outing being directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, based on a script penned by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick.
Craven, who is widely considered a master of the horror genre, is perhaps best known as the creator of the hit A Nightmare on Elm Street series and its iconic villain Freddy Krueger. Craven was originally approached by controversial producer Harvey Weinstein to helm the original Scream multiple times, but turned it down due to prior commitments on a remake of 1963’s The Haunting, an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. When plans for Craven’s Haunting remake eventually fell through, he accepted the job and was offered a contract for additional two sequels even before the first film hit theaters. In 2011, Craven revealed he was also contracted for a fifth and sixth Scream movie, but sadly passed away in 2015 before those plans could eventuate.
Now, with just days before the latest Scream is set to hit the big screen, Campbell and Arquette have spoken with Comicbook about what it was like returning to the franchise without Craven behind the camera. Praising Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett for remaining true to Craven’s style and honoring his legacy, the pair suggested that despite his absence they still “felt his presence” on set. Campbell also explained how the new directors helped convince the original stars to return. Check out her full comments below:
“We’d been apprehensive about doing it without Wes just because he was the master and the reason these movies are as fantastic as they are, but Matt and Tyler wrote us a letter expressing that they became directors because of Wes Craven and that they made Ready or Not because of the Scream movies and that they could not believe they were having the opportunity to even write us the letters and make these movies. So, that really set the tone for their enthusiasm and their love and their real wish to honor his legacy. So, I felt confident in them and Ready or Not is an amazing movie, so they definitely seem like the right people … We certainly have felt Wes, his absence, but we certainly felt his presence as well. We talked about him every day, all day. Every time we shot a scene, either Matt or Tyler would want to know what Wes might have thought, what his opinion would be. And I think that process and that conversation really kept him with us.”
Few film series have had the sort of cultural impact that Craven’s original Scream films have enjoyed over the years, and the original 1996 outing is often cited as the instigator behind a fresh revitalization of the slasher genre throughout the ‘90s. Perfectly blending well-established horror tropes with a healthy dose of self-referential satire and comedy, it would certainly be hard for the original cast members to envision anyone other than Craven behind the camera. Proving themselves not only fans of the genre, but of Craven in particular, the fact that Campbell praises the new directors for honoring their predecessor’s legacy certainly bodes well for expectant fans.
Of course, the challenge for this latest outing will be to see if the film can successfully introduce a whole new generation of fans into the series, and establish a new stepping-off point for future Scream sequels. With any number of legacy sequels, such as David Gordon Green’s new Halloween films already relying heavily on fan nostalgia, the real trick will be whether or not the Scream franchise can continue forward without Campbell and Arquette after this film has been released. Fans will get the chance to judge whether or not Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett succeed in following on in Craven’s enormous footprints when Scream hits theaters this week.
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- Scream 5 (2022)Release date: Jan 14, 2022
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