The latest entry into the Scream franchise is set to hit cinemas in January 2022, and, discounting the TV show, will mark the fifth entry in the Scream series and the first without the involvement of creator Wes Craven, who died six years ago this August. However, new star Melissa Barrera has said that with its mix of new and old cast members, the new installment will serve to honor the late director and also bring the franchise to a whole new generation of moviegoers.
The first four films in the franchise were all directed by Wes Craven, so the pressure is on new directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett to not only hold the tone and quality of Craven's work but also bring something new and fresh to the franchise. With just one of those things being a huge task on its own, there will be few out there who will envy the task ahead of the pair. While Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Marley Shelton are all set to reprise their roles alongside a wealth of new faces, one of whom will be wearing a more than familiar mask, they seem to be well prepared for the challenge ahead of them to please an existing fan-base and bring in new blood.
"Matt and Tyler bring their freshness to it, but we're honoring Wes," Barrera told Variety. "I think it'll make the fans happy, but also bring in a new audience to the movies, which I'm excited about. I couldn't believe it; I was being a fan the entire time. Every time they yelled, 'cut,' I would say to the directors, 'Take a picture of us!'" the actor exclaimed. "Now Courteney is a really close friend of mine. They're all so incredible and I loved it. I'm so excited for January."
One thing the Scream franchise did differently to the serial killer movies it almost parodied, such as Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, was to have the same masked killer but always someone different behind the mask, allowing the same kind of recurring villain without needing some increasingly ludicrous way of bringing them back from the dead. Craven also wasn't afraid to mock the genre that he made his name in, and it was that tongue-in-cheek approach that led to Scream's initial success.
Speaking in a recent virtual reunion, Kevin Williamson, who also wrote Scream, and entries two and four in the series, said that one big difference in the new sequel is that there is not much of a meta approach to the horror genre. "I had been really apprehensive about doing one of these films without Wes," he said. "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 honored 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 honor his voice, which I really, really believe they did."
He continued, "What I love about the new Scream is that it does take a fresh approach. 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." With the cast and crew all wanting to do Craven proud and potentially set up the franchise for more future sequels, Scream 5 has a lot to live up to when it arrives in cinemas on January 14 next year.