Scream, Scream 5, original cast, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette

SCREAM 5, which has now been given the official title of SCREAM, just recently wrapped shooting, and unfortunately, we have to wait until January 14, 2022, to see if this new installment lives up to the legacy created by the late Wes Craven. The new film will feature a slew of fresh faces that will have to go up against Ghostface but the film will also see the return of the original trifecta: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox. All three have appeared in the first four films of the franchise and Marley Shelton, who appeared in SCREAM 4, is also back along for the ride. So why did they return? Co-director Matt Bettinelli-Olpin spoke with “Collider” about the matter and he believes that it all comes down to Wes Craven.

“This is totally just theory, but I think honestly, a lot of that was Wes Craven because as we talked to all of the cast that’s returning, the first conversation and many of the following conversations are about Wes Craven and about how important he was in their lives personally and as the director and just with Scream in general. And it feels like in a lot of ways, he was the father of a large family. And so for them, it was just returning to this family situation. They all talk about it like a family. And to us, that’s very moving to be kind of the new kids moving in and to be even a part of that peripherally and then creating our own version of that. It’s just such a model for us to follow; that’s what this should be first and foremost a family. And then we get to tell these cool stories, hopefully moving forward.”

Wes Craven passed away back in 2015 but he leaves behind a body of work, particularly in the horror genre, that is greatly admired. By all accounts, he was a very lovely man and, despite the films he made, Craven was just a normal guy who happened to dabble in a very out-there genre of filmmaking.  In terms of SCREAM, almost all involved have spoken about what he meant to that franchise and the care in which he created that formed the world of SCREAM. Bettinelli-Olpin’s co-director, Tyler Gillett, spoke about the collaborative effort of blending the old with the new while the film was halfway through its shoot:

“I can say with complete confidence that, we’re half of the way through the shoot and the experience that we’ve had with the cast, both legacy characters and new cast members, I don’t think it comes around maybe but once in a career that you get to get together with a group of people and have the experience we’re having. The process has truly been a dream come true and I think that Wes and Kevin and what they designed and how they designed it is a huge part of why this feels the way it feels and why people show up ready to have fun and ready to be scared. And that translates in a huge way onto the screen.”

I have the utmost confidence in both Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett because their film READY OR NOT was one of my favorite films released last year and I think they’ll find the right balance of scares and humor to make this new installment of SCREAM feel fresh and new. The original cast has said of several occasions that they wouldn’t feel right returning to the franchise without Craven but I think they truly saw what these new filmmakers were bringing to the table and it seems like it truly does honor Craven’s legacy.

SCREAM, also starring Jack Quaid, Dylan Minnette, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Melissa Barrera, and Jenna Ortega, hits screens on January 14, 2022

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