The thought of a new entry in Wes Craven’s iconic Scream series is always going to tickle the fancy of certain horror fans in the house, even as it seems profoundly unnecessary to others. After four films in the 1990s to 2010s, which tackled the conventions of every possible horror sequel and remake, it seems perhaps most fitting to let the series rest in peace, but hey—there’s money to be made!
It should come as no surprise, then, that a new Scream is apparently on the way, and it will be shepherded by directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett of last year’s overachieving and surprisingly bloody thriller Ready or Not. The two are members of the filmmaking team Radio Silence, which was also behind the superlative horror anthology Southbound, so this should probably be cause for optimism among horror fans. James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) and Guy Busick (Ready or Not) are handling the screenplay, with the goal of beginning filming later this year in Wilmington, North Carolina, according to The Wrap.
Once we know that a new Scream is coming, however, the questions quickly shift to casting. As in: Are we going reboot here? Or are we still continuing the story of Sidney Prescott, and is that possible to do in any way without the participation of Neve Campbell in particular?
It would seem that an effort is being made to reunite the cast, however, as actor David Arquette has reportedly signed on to reprise the role of Dewey Riley, the Andy Griffith-style policeman who somehow managed to survive all four installments to date—despite the loss of a truly heroic amount of blood. The Wrap reports that “filmmakers are in conversation with other legacy cast members,” for what that’s worth.
“I am thrilled to be playing Dewey again and to reunite with my Scream family, old and new,” Arquette said in a statement. “Scream has been such a big part of my life, and for both the fans and myself, I look forward to honoring Wes Craven’s legacy.”
Notable as far as behind-the-scenes reunions go is the presence of Kevin Williamson, the original film’s screenwriter, as executive producer. Craven usually receives the lion’s share of the credit for the innovative nature of the first Scream, but it was Williamson who really propelled 1990s horror into its next chapter.
“I’m excited to reteam with David and work with Jamie, Guy and Radio Silence on the next Scream,” Williamson said. “Their take on the movie is both original, inventive and honors Wes’ legacy in a wonderful way. Ready or Not was my favorite horror film of last year and I can’t wait to see what their amazing talents bring to the Scream universe. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
For horror fans like ourselves, this all sounds fine—a good crew of people have been assembled, and we don’t doubt their passion for the source material. However, it’s hard to imagine what stories remain in the Scream universe that haven’t already been told. If the fourth entry—which was satirizing remakes and reboots—hadn’t yet been produced, then that topic would be the obvious next step for the franchise, especially given the ongoing horror reboot craze. But where do you take it when that’s already been done? This Scream may have a difficult time justifying its own existence, but we hope they’ll find a way to make it stick.