When Scream opens in theaters on Friday, it will be a bittersweet franchise first. The fifth film in the overall Scream franchise will be directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett instead of the legendary Wes Craven, who passed away in 2015. Now, just days before the film's eagerly anticipated release, stars Neve Campbell and David Arquette are opening up about returning to the franchise without Craven, revealing that they were initially apprehensive, but Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett made it clear that they respected Craven deeply and that the new Scream honors the late director's legacy.
"We'd been apprehensive about doing it without Wes just because he was the master and the reason these movies are as fantastic as they are, but Matt and Tyler wrote us a letter expressing that they became directors because of Wes Craven and that they made Ready or Not because of the Scream movies and that they could not believe they were having the opportunity to even write us the letters and make these movies," Campbell told ComicBook.com. "So, that really set the tone for their enthusiasm and their love and their real wish to honor his legacy. So, I felt confident in them and Ready or Not is an amazing movie, so they definitely seem like the right people."
Campbell went on to say that she also had a good experience with the filmmakers, and that they kept Craven with them, in spirit, on set in how they approached each scene.
"And we had a great experience with them," she continued. "We certainly have felt Wes, his absence, but we certainly felt his presence as well. We talked about him every day, all day. Every time we shot a scene, either Matt or Tyler would want to know what Wes might have thought, what his opinion would be. And I think that process and that conversation really kept him with us."
Original writer Kevin Williamson previously shared similar sentiments with ComicBook.com as well.
"I was very nervous about [the new film]," Williamson shared with ComicBook.com. "I was like, 'How should I feel about this? They're making a new one.' And they called me up and asked me to be a part of it. And I was like, 'Hmm, I don't want one foot in. That could just hurt.' And so, I said no. Then I got a call from Jamie Vanderbilt, and he was so in love with Scream 1, he was so in love with the franchise, he spoke from such a personal place. And then I met [the directors] who made Ready or Not, which is like my favorite part of a bad year, and I just fell in love with them. They just had such heart, they put so much care into it. They were making it for personal reasons."
He continued, "It felt good. It felt like it was in great hands and they're so talented. I was just there whenever they needed me, and they kept me a part of it along the way. It just became a very special experience, so I was very happy. But it was a passing of the torch. I'm excited to see what other people think about it because I know the experience was blessed and awesome. I think [original director] Wes [Craven] would be very happy and I think he would love these guys a lot because they speak his language. I just had a really great time. It was a lot of fun. Scream 1 had that heart and soul and we had such a blast making it and I felt they captured that."
Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town's deadly past. Neve Campbell ("Sidney Prescott"), Courteney Cox ("Gale Weathers") and David Arquette ("Dewey Riley") return to their iconic roles in Scream alongside Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar.
The new Scream hits theaters on January 14th.