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10/12/2021 • 4 min read
What’s your favorite scary movie? That ominous question kick-started a franchise during the notorious phone call scene that opened 1996’s SCREAM. Now, more than 25 years and three sequels later, the franchise is back with a new installment, simply called SCREAM (following in the mode of 2018’s HALLOWEEN). That's right — the first thing you need to know about SCREAM 5 is that it is called SCREAM.
Find out what else to expect from the latest entry in the hugely popular series below, including when you can see the real Ghostface killer on the big screen again. And since the first SCREAM trailer is now online, you can even see Ghostface in all his glory!
Paramount was originally hoping for a 2021 release date, to tie into the 25th Anniversary celebration for the original movie, but a delayed production start date due to the pandemic led to a shift in release strategy as well.
SCREAM will now hit theaters on January 14, 2022. On that date, the question of "what’s your favorite scary movie?" could be answered with, "The new SCREAM."
The first SCREAM trailer had some very familiar elements, like the characters Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers, and Dewey Riley… not to mention the iconic Ghostface. There was even a riff on the original opening to the first movie in the series, with a "smart home" twist.
This trailer expands on the ways the franchise has approached the "rules" of horror. It reminds us of the original SCREAM premise while avoiding too many explicit details about the plot, and the new killer's motives and identity.
The last movie in the series was released more than ten years ago (!), way back in April of 2011. Directed by franchise stalwart Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, who wrote the first and second installments, SCREAM 4 nimbly skewered the phenomenon of horror remakes and updated the series for the era of cellphones, social media, and live streams. It was smart and scary but also a bit more unsteady on its feet than the first two movies.
But the third sequel had enough of that SCREAM special sauce to keep fans happy, including much of the original cast. After SCREAM 4, there were three seasons of a popular TV series, which began in 2015 and had a soft reboot that ran last summer. It speaks to SCREAM’s popularity and enduring appeal that a new version of the franchise has been a part of popular culture pretty much nonstop for the last 25 years.
In 2015, Wes Craven passed away from a brain tumor. Shortly before his death, he remarked that he was contracted for two more SCREAM sequels. Obviously, those plans never came to fruition, and following his death, the rights were up in the air — especially following the dissolution of the Weinstein Company, which held the rights to the franchise. Rumors said that Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions were looking at the property, but those were ultimately proved false as Spyglass Entertainment and Paramount Pictures won the rights to create a new entry in the series.
The new SCREAM is being made by a supremely talented team of filmmakers whose most recent movie is very much in the spirit of Craven's films. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the directors of READY OR NOT (seen above) are directing SCREAM, working alongside their producing partner Chad Villella. (Together they are known as the filmmaking collective Radio Silence.)
Meanwhile, ZODIAC screenwriter James Vanderbilt penned the script along with READY OR NOT vet Guy Busick, stepping in for series creator Kevin Williamson, who returns to executive produce. This is an exciting bunch to be handling the next SCREAM. If you’ve seen READY OR NOT, you know how very talented they are.
On Instagram, Kevin Williamson said, "I believe Wes would’ve been so proud of the film that Matt and Tyler are making. I’m thrilled to be reunited with Neve, Courteney, David and Marley, and to be working alongside a new filmmaking team and an incredible cast of newcomers that have come together to continue Wes’s legacy with the upcoming relaunch of the franchise that I hold so dear to my heart."
Original SCREAM stars Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette are returning for the new movie along with Marley Shelton, who was introduced in SCREAM 4. So you know that this new SCREAM is a legacy sequel, at least in part. Keep in mind that, when Paramount and Spyglass announced that filming had concluded in mid-November, the returning characters were formally announced using the “with” qualifier, which is usually reserved for big stars with small roles.
We hope that all of our SCREAM favorites are in the entire movie and aren’t – gasp! – murdered in some cruel fashion early in the movie. (Also Roger L. Jackson, the voice of the killer, is coming back.) The first trailer suggests that these characters are much more than quick cameos, however.
Joining the old guard are newcomers Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Dylan Minnette, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mikey Madison, Sonia Ben Ammar, and Kyle Gallner. There is a big question, too – if the old cast doesn’t get axed in the opening sequence, have they secured a big star to take the knife instead? Who will follow in the bloody footsteps of Drew Barrymore, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Kristen Bell, and Anna Paquin?
All images courtesy of Paramount Pictures and The Weinstein Company.
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