“I’m almost done with the first draft of Scream 4. I’m trying to get that together for Wes Craven. We’ve got to get going on that, during the hiatus. We have Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and Dave Arquette. I was always holding out hope because the pitch was about those three characters. I didn’t want to have to re-route the whole story. We don’t have to do that. I can do it exactly the way I want wanted. The story is going to be told the way I originally conceived it.”
The immediate good news for fans of Scream are that all the principals are back, hopefully this will mean Wes Craven will return to direct. Films like this do best when you can bring back that core creative element. Of course, few of the other characters survived the first three films to return anyway.
Some may wonder if jumping back into the world of Scream is a good or bad idea. The horror genre has changed considerably since the first Scream movie came out in 1996. Scream 3 alone is ten years old. The big money makers these days are franchise films like Saw and unexpected indie hits like Paranormal Activity. The closest films to what Scream was would be the recent Halloween reboots, and even that’s a stretch.
At a peripheral glance the emphasis in current horror are the kills themselves or killer, as in Saw. You don’t see a lot of horror films that focus on a lead protagonist anymore. In that, Scream would be bucking the current trend in horror and Williamson explained the differences:
“What I have always liked about this movie versus the other horror films is that I feel like there are characters. In other horror movies, you remember Michael Meyers and you remember Jason. In our film, I think you remember Sydney Prescott because Sydney Prescott’s the victim and she has lasted for all three of these movies. The fun of the film is that it’s Sydney Prescott. That’s the difference and you care about her. I want to write a story where you actually care about our characters and it’s a plot that you watch them walk through. It’s not all about the next kill. It’s not all about slice and dice. I was watching Saw VI on pay per view the other night and I was like, “This is really just going from one kill to the next, to the next.” It’s fun, but I want to tell a story.”
Regarding Saw, Williamson continued, “Oh, they’re doing a great job keeping the dead character, but I want to know where our lead character is, where our protagonist is and what her journey is.”
It’s hard to argue his point, and that’s not to say the Saw films are bad. Okay, I admit, I’m not a fan. I do acknowledge their mass appeal though, and the overall success of the franchise. That said, if I had to choose I’d go with a Scream film over a Saw film because I’d rather root for the victim instead of the killer.
Another current trend Williamson doesn’t see the next Scream film embracing is 3D:
“I don’t think Scream lends itself to a 3-D film. 3-D films are all about things being thrown at you. One of the things that Scream does is that it talks about those movies and sends them up, so actually putting in that device probably wouldn’t work. I don’t think it’s an option. We’re the movie that makes fun of it. I can imagine Stab being done in 3-D, but not Scream.”
Williamson’s definitive tone about 3D comes with some surprise. While I agree that there will continue to be films that just don’t need 3D, never before has the technology been so popular. Ultimately, the studio will probably decide if 3D will work and with films like Final Destination going 3D I’m guessing they would want to use it at some level.
The compelling case to be made against 3D is exactly what Williamson mentioned. The world of Scream has always been populated with characters grossly aware of horror films (and how their real life circumstances mirrored those movies). Williamson’s punchy dialogue brilliantly included references to other horror films, new and old.
As such, Scream becomes the perfect vehicle for commentary on the state of horror films in general. When asked about references to other movies Williamson commented, “It’s all in there.” Adding 3D would fundamentally break one of the things that made Scream so great.
Regardless of whether you think more Scream films will work, it’s great to see the talent coming back together. Williamson is a fantastic writer (a personal favorite) and with hits like Dawson’s Creek and The Vampire Diaries I’m confident he, and everyone else involved, will make Scream a contender in the horror genre again.