Prior to the fifth "Scream" film coming out in 2022, I had not seen any film in the franchise before. I know that may be shocking to many, but horror is not really my genre. It was somewhat easy for the "Scream" movies to pass me by. But I decided to catch up before seeing the new one in the theater, and I could not be more thrilled I did. Those first four movies are a delightful blend of true tension-building horror, a clever whodunit, and genuinely funny meta comedy about the slasher subgenre. Few franchises, be they horror or not, have the hit rate that "Scream" does.
After enjoying all of those films, I was nervous about seeing 2022's (annoyingly titled) "Scream." It was not written by Kevin Williamson, and it was not directed by Wes Craven. Rarely do the people who made the first film in a franchise continue to stay on for that many installments (though Williamson did bow out of writing "Scream 3"), and I believe the consistency is directly attributed to their involvement. Even though I enjoyed Radio Silence's previous film "Ready or Not" quite a lot, I was worried about the absence of the two primary creative forces of the series being gone.
Another person not too keen on the furthering of the series without them was Kevin Williamson himself. If he were to come back for more, Wes Craven would have to be there too. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2015, making "Scream 4" his final film. Of course, a new "Scream" movie was going to happen with or without Williamson because he didn't own the rights, but it took some serious convincing for him to not just be okay with it without Craven but to actually come on as an executive producer.
Happening With Or Without Him
In Hollywood's never-ending quest to reboot every single property they own, a new "Scream" film was inevitable, and Kevin Williamson knew that. He figured, though, that he would at least be asked to be involved, despite the fact he isn't tied into the rights. "Scream" is his baby, after all. Well, they didn't, and at first, he was actually fine with that because his director was no longer with us, as he explained to The Hollywood Reporter:
"[Spyglass Media Group] acquired the 'Scream' rights, which excluded me. So they didn't have to use me, and I thought, 'Well, I don't want to be involved anyway because Wes isn't here. How could I possibly do anything?'"
As it happened, though, he was reached out to not by the studio but by co-writer James Vanderbilt, who wasn't just looking for Williamson's blessing but to actively have him participate in the new film as an executive producer and the steward of the "Scream" franchise. Though he wasn't writing the film, he still found he could have quite a bit of creative input on the new "Scream" and found the experience to be a positive one, going on to say:
"And now I'm so happy I said yes. […] I thought, 'Without Wes, what is "Scream?"' But I was so wrong. Radio Silence [Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Chad Villella] is awesome, and they've become really great friends. The entire team. What I love about the first movie is that it became such a family, and it's still such a family when I run into the cast around town."
Kevin Williamson is continuing on in the same role for the upcoming "Scream VI." I may miss the hands of Wes Craven, but I'm glad Williamson is still in the trenches.
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