The next feature in the Scream franchise is now moving forward — and here’s your one-stop info source for everything we know about the sequel so far!
Up to now, Scream 4 served as semi-closure to the storyline begun by Scream in 1996, and sadly became the swan song for legendary horror director Wes Craven, who passed away in 2015. We’re still hurting from this loss to the genre and cinema in general, but Craven left an enduring legacy of films we still love — and while A Nightmare on Elm Street was the gateway drug for many of us into Craven’s impressive filmography, Scream took things to a whole new level of popularity.
Two potential sequels were in line to follow Scream 4… but those plans were halted due to diminishing box-office returns. Scream 4 earned $97,231,420 in worldwide earnings — the first time the franchise dipped below the $100 million mark. Up to that point, only Scream 3 was perceived to have under-performed at $161,834,276.
For the full backstory, let’s set the Wayback Machine to the year 2011, in which Craven told MovieWeb about possible next steps after Scream 4:
Going into (Scream 4), the first meeting I had with Kevin Williamson, he did sketch out a Scream 5 and 6. The idea was that we were doing the first in a new trilogy. We had to wait to see if we made enough money on each film to make the next one viable. If that happens, those two will come up with the concepts and an idea that is worth fulfilling.”
Okay, so let’s move ahead a bit to August 2015, shortly after Craven’s passing; MTV’s spin-off Scream series — on which Craven served as Executive Producer — was still airing, and the current episode was updated with a memorial to him.
Now let’s skip ahead a year, when Scream co-writer Kevin Williamson and franchise star Neve Campbell told Entertainment Weekly about the loss of Craven and the possibility of sequels going forward. While Williamson revealed that he and Craven had mapped out the elements of Scream 5 and 6, Campbell was dubious about continuing without Craven.
“It would be tough to do it without Wes,” Campbell said. “Nobody is talking about [Scream 5] at the moment.”
With the Scream TV series, we saw changes to the look of the masked/robed killer “Ghostface,” as well as a network jump from MTV to VH1. The copyright for the Scream franchise itself passed from Dimenson Films to SpyGlass Media in 2018.
The fifth feature installment doesn’t have a cast as of this writing, but we can now confirm Ready or Not directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have signed on — which bodes well, considering that film’s surprise success. Williamson, according to IndieWire, will take an Executive Producer role, but there’s no word yet whether he’s also tackling the Scream 5 screenplay.
Chad Villella is also aboard as an Executive Producer, with William Sherak, James Vanderbilt and Paul Neinstein all set to produce. If those names don’t ring a bell, you should know Villela, Bettinelli-Olpin, and Gillett, a.k.a. Radio Silence, previously worked on V/H/S, Devil’s Due and Southbound.
IndieWire also claimed that Scream 5 [I should point out that Scream 5 is the working title; the official moniker is still pending] was expected to begin filming this May — but the shoot will likely be delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic shutting down the majority of productions until further notice.
As for the cast, we have a quote from franchise co-star David Arquette (Deputy Dewey) in a 2018 article for Bloody-Disgusting:
Yeah, absolutely. I would love to do that… I think [Craven would] still be a part of it in an incredible way. It would be like a tribute almost. Yeah, I think it would be really fun. I love everyone involved in it. Neve is such an anchor, and so incredible as an actress. I think there’s something there… Who knows.. I think it’d be fun. I think we lost some of the fans along the way, but I think there could be a resurgence at some point… where there’s more nostalgia for it.”
Now for me, I’ve been thinking about this for years! Here’s my take:
Setup: A Scream cast reunion. In the mode of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox and TV series star Hayden Panettiere play themselves, rather than their characters.
Main Plot: The cast hears about Scream 5 (maybe stylized as 5CREAM?), and discuss the prospect of a new sequel, with ads for the film littered all over the internet. Amid the hype of the film’s release, a new killer emerges. Who is behind the mask this time?
Now that you know what we know… what storyline would you want Scream 5 to follow, and which direction would you not want it to take? Drop us some thoughts in the comments, and follow your horror away from horror @HMZHorror.