As fans of the slasher series no doubt know, beloved horror filmmaker Wes Craven passed away in 2015. Having previously changed the entire genre with his films like Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, it was his 90s masterwork that remains among his most popular in Scream. In a unlikely turn of events, Craven would go on to direct every sequel as well, putting all four of the movies in the series under his belt, a rare move in slasher franchises. Having now left us, the upcoming fifth film in the series will be the first without Craven involved at all, but series creator/writer Kevin Williamson says that he thinks the new film would have made Wes proud.
"What I love about the new Scream is that it does take a fresh approach," Williamson said during a reunion panel for the 1996 original film this weekend. "It’s this beautiful sort of fresh new movie, but it also has this nostalgic factor that runs through it. That to me was a perfect blend of how to do the next Scream. So that was what I was most excited about. I’m blown away by the directors, and I was really nervous because nobody is Wes Craven. I was really hesitant to even jump on board and be a part of it, and boy am I glad I did because I think it’s going to make Wes proud."
Behind the camera this time around is Ready or Not directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, helming the picture from a script by Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt. As series star Neve Campbell pointed out during the same panel, the lack of Wes being involved was something that kept her from being eager to sign on for the project when she was first approached.
"I had been really apprehensive about doing one of these films without Wes,” Campbell added. “The directors actually sent me a letter when the offer was sent and said the reason they are directors is because of Wes. So they’re even so honoured to even be asked to make this film, and that they’re such huge fans of him and the films themselves, and of the cast, and that they really wanted to honour his voice, which I really, really believe they did."
With production ongoing, and Campbell once again returning as Sydney Prescott, the new Scream is set to hit theaters on January 14, 2022.