Scream Star David Arquette Talks Ushering in a New Generation of Ghostface Killers

Over the course of more than two decades, only a trio of performers has appeared in each installment of the Scream franchise, making them all part of an exclusive club of Ghostface survivors. As evidenced by the first trailer for the upcoming sequel Scream, an all-new crop of potential victims has emerged with connections to previous killers in the series' franchise, forcing Sidney Prescott, Gail Weathers, and Dewey Riley to reunite in hopes of using their own history with the killers to bring an end to the murders. During a virtual set visit for the upcoming Scream, David Arquette talked about bridging the gap between the original performers and the new cast of characters, as well as the fresh filmmakers entering the series. The new Scream is set to hit theaters on January 14, 2022.

"Anytime you see Ghostface, it's always something ... just as a horror film lover myself, there's something just incredible about the whole being part of that. Seeing the mask on Halloween, I just love that," Arquette shared during the press event in which ComicBook.com attended. "That he's become such an iconic figure within the whole horror genre. It's been an emotional experience for me. I've thought about [original director] Wes [Craven] quite a bit, really talk to him in my head, said personal little prayers, just feeling his energy around, really. It's a new movie, it's a new movie that honors the past films, but a lot has happened since even the last one. I think they incorporate all of that. I think they incorporate aspects of our world now and what we've all experienced and the evolution of the internet and the evolution of horror films in general. I think it's gonna be really exciting. I think they just ramped up all ... They learned from what came before and expanded it in a really brilliant way."

Craven directed the first four films in the series, though tragically passed away back in 2015. This film marks the first in the franchise he hasn't directed, instead enlisting Ready or Not directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin to helm the endeavor.

"I love playing the character, I love being a part of the series, it has a personal connection for me. I see my daughter, who's 16 now, I see these actors, some of them are only a couple years older than her, it's interesting," Arquette explained. "I think fans, in general, and filmmakers, there's been an evolution there, too, and technology in which they make film, there's been an evolution. So I think they use all these new tools and Matt and Tyler were inspired by Wes and have a love for the genre and what he had done in the past so I think they are very aware of that. They have a great sensibility for humor and for horror and for scares and storytelling. I think it's in really good hands. It's pretty inspiring to watch this new generation of filmmakers and this new generation of actors. They're just really kind, super talented, I'm really just impressed. I knew Jack Quaid when he was just a little kid and to see him now, how he's grown into this incredible actor, who's just so witty and has got just such a big heart. It gives me hope, to be honest. It gives me hope that everything's gonna be alright."

Joining Arquette are Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox, who have also been integral components of the series' success. The actor opened up not only about the importance of their involvement, but the deep, personal connection he has to the franchise and the impact Craven had on his entire life.

"Neve is really ... she's this iconic, female badass, Ghostface killer. She's so important to it, but also for Dewey and Gail and their whole history," Arquette admitted. "For [Courtney and I], it's even crazier, because there are many films that you ... I have a daughter because of it. And Wes was instrumental in sitting me down after Scream 2 and saying, 'David, I think Courteney really likes you.' My mother was dying during Scream 2 so I was in a really sad place and he said, 'I want you to get through this hard time and make it work with her, I think you guys would make a great couple.' Just a really fatherly moment of advice. Stuff like that has a really deep meaning to me."

The actor went on to recall that he had a similar reaction to fans when he first heard there might be a new Scream, initially hearing internet rumors before realizing it was becoming a reality, while also making sure the important parties all supported the endeavor.

"There was a little buzz about it on the internet first and then we heard there was a script, then we read the script, then we made sure that certain people were behind it, as far as Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven's groups, that they were supportive of it," Arquette recollected. "Then talked to the different people and talked to Courteney, mainly, to see if she was interested. It's a really great script and it really honors the past films but also gives birth to a whole new generation of incredible actors and filmmakers and I'm just really excited for people to see how much talent ... They just really did a great job casting and they really have the right people at the helm of this. The whole Radio Silence group are just incredible. The fact that it's a Paramount film now, it's exciting for it to have a proper studio behind it. I think it's gonna be something that really takes the fans into consideration, takes the history into consideration, but also uses all these tools from history to create something that builds on it all and even expands it."

Despite having first brought Dewey to life more than a quarter-century ago, Arquette pointed out just how easily it is to bring the character back to life.

"He's got a big heart," the actor pointed out. "I was supposed to die in the first one. It's just a fun character to play. I slip into it really easily, it's a real sweet part of my heart that he lives in. I'm just able to slip back into it pretty instantaneously. After you've been part of something for 24 years, it's ingrained in you. There's all these things that I did in the original one and listening to music from the original time period and listening to music from moments throughout while we were filming with these that were connected to me. It's been a very emotional, deep ... it's very real for me, it really is. It's not just a film to me. I have a daughter because of it. It's just something that's personal and emotional and it doesn't play into it too much but it does ground it and makes it a lot easier to bring a reality to it, even though you're having humorous lines or whatever."

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The new Scream lands in theaters on January 14, 2022.

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