Scream 5 writer and producer Kevin Williamson recently revealed that the new Scream film would not follow the franchise’s usual meta-horror movie style. Starting in 1996, iconic horror director Wes Craven released Scream and brought about a revival of the slasher genre. The Scream franchise is known for its meta-style, where horror tropes are humorously employed alongside the genre’s usual blood and gore. At the time, the satirical horror of Scream was considered non-traditional. However, since Scream’s release, the horror genre has seen many meta style movies, like Cabin in the Woods and Zombieland.
Except for the newest Scream installment, all four previous movies in the franchise were directed by Wes Craven. Known as the “Master of Horror,” Craven’s legacy includes horror classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Hills Have Eyes. Scream 4 was Craven’s last film before his tragic passing in 2015. Since then, any hopes for a sequel vanished until 2019 when Spyglass Media Group acquired the rights and ran with the project. Scream 5 is currently in production in Willmington, North Carolina, even after having recent COVID cases on-set.
During an event hosted by Looped, Scream's cast and crew reunited for a fundraiser benefiting the National Breast Cancer Coalition, I Have a Dream Foundation and the East Los Angeles Women's Center. During this, Scream 5 writer and producer Kevin Williamson revealed that the new installment wouldn’t have the Scream franchise’s meta-horror movie style. Williamson said these elements are absent from the next movie because the meta style has been done repeatedly. Instead, Williamson reassured everyone that they would be taking the franchise in a new and refreshing direction to honor Craven’s legacy. His comment is below:
"What I love about the new Scream is that it does take a fresh approach. It’s this beautiful sort of fresh new movie, but it also has this nostalgic factor that runs through it. That to me was a perfect blend of how to do the next Scream. So that was what I was most excited about. I’m blown away by the directors, and I was really nervous because nobody is Wes Craven. I was really hesitant to even jump on board and be a part of it, and boy am I glad I did because I think it’s going to make Wes proud."
This statement may come as a surprise to many as audiences expected Scream 5 to continue finding new ways to mock and deconstruct the horror genre. Although Williamson says he’s committed to Craven’s legacy, it’s interesting to hear they are moving away from the meta-style Craven is famous for. The self-awareness at the heart of the Scream franchise is unique and a key reason the films remain culturally-relevant today. Even with these changes, at least the classic Ghostface mask is here to stay.
Although Williamson’s comment may be concerning to some, the talented cast and crew that are signed onto the project demonstrate that they are committed to upholding the franchise’s legacy. Talented directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, responsible for Ready or Not, are skilled at working creatively in the horror genre and should breathe new life into the Scream universe. A new Scream film will never be the same without Craven’s leadership. However, as the franchise enters its fifth installment, moving in a new direction could be a way of keeping the franchise alive. Everyone is curious about what the film will look like without the usual meta elements, but little details have been leaked so far. And while production has wrapped for the film, fans will have to wait and see as Scream 5 is slated for release next year.
What do you think about this new approach to the Scream franchise? Let us know @Regal.