Scream Cancels Red Carpet Premiere Due to COVID-19 Surges

Scream is killing its red carpet premiere due to Covid safety concerns amid a surge in cases of the Omicron variant. The in-person premiere was scheduled for Tuesday, January 11, ahead of the new movie's theatrical-exclusive release on January 14. Paramount will keep Scream on that date with in-theater fan events, featuring an early showing of the new movie with bonus content and a Q&A livestream, taking place on January 13. According to Deadline, confirmed premiere attendees included directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and returning franchise stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette.

The cancellation comes as high-profile events, including the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, switched from in-person to virtual. Others, like the 2022 Grammy Awards, have been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 surge. 

The fifth film in the Scream franchise from late filmmaker Wes Craven, the new movie from Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett (V/H/S, Ready or Not) reunites Ghostface killer survivors Sidney Prescott (Campbell), Gale Weathers (Cox), and Dewey Riley (Arquette) as the serial slasher targets a new generation of would-be victims, including Sam (Melissa Barrera). 

"It was always Scream 5 because it's the fifth one. So I think we just threw that name out, but I don't think they ever seriously were going to call it a Scream 5," Kevin Williamson, writer of 1996's Scream and executive producer of the new movie, told US Weekly of the legacy sequel. "I don't think anybody wanted to see the number five after something. You'd have to ask them — Paramount or whoever, but I think taking the 5 off and calling it Scream [works] because it's brand new."

Williamson explained, "There's the legacy cast, and how they infuse this new world and there's this whole new generation and a new cast of characters that are extremely fun. I think it was a great cast. It's an amazing group of kids and young talent and they're very, very good. They pop off the screen, and now our Sidneys and our mature characters who enter into it, they're the adults. It works really really well."

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James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man) and Guy Busick (Castle Rock) scripted the sequel that also stars Marley Shelton (Scream 4), Jenna Ortega (Jane the Virgin), Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why), Jack Quaid (The Boys), Mason Gooding (Love, Victor), Jasmin Savoy Brown (The Leftovers), Kyle Gallner (Smallville), and Roger L. Jackson returning as the voice of Ghostface. See the official synopsis below. 

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.

Scream is playing only in theaters starting January 14.