The Weinstein Brothers may have decided to resuscitate the Scream franchise after a twelve-year hiatus, but they weren’t always dead set on developing another sequel. In fact, they initially considered remaking the original film instead.
Fortunately, screenwriter Kevin Williamson crafted a storyline for Scream 4 that was intended to work as both a follow-up to the previous films and as the first chapter in a new trilogy – at least that was the plan.
Whether it was a clever bit of marketing misdirection or the result of those controversial on-set rewrites, the fact remains that Scream 4 didn’t exactly pass the torch to a new generation the way that we’d been led to believe it would. While fans began to debate how the franchise could carry-on from a creative standpoint, a bigger issue quickly emerged – the latest installment’s disappointing box office numbers.
Earlier this month, there were rumors that the lukewarm commercial response to Scream 4 had caused Dimension to scrap plans for Scream 5. To add insult to injury, it was implied that if they ever decided to revisit the property at some point in the future, it would most likely be in the form of a reboot or a chain of straight-to-DVD sequels.
Watching the Scream series complete its transformation into the same type of franchise it had originally set out to poke fun at would have been ironic and disheartening – but Harvey Weinstein insists that we’ve been misinformed.
MTV caught up with him at the Cannes Film Festival where he revealed that not only is Scream 5 still in the cards, but that he expects Wes Craven to return to the director’s chair:
“I’m sure [director Wes Craven is] going to do a sequel … Foreign [sales] are so strong that we’ll do over $100 million worldwide … It’s at $90 now, with about five or six major countries to go and a lot of small ones. We’ll probably do $110 million … I wish it would have been better domestically, but it’s not the worst thing in the world that’s ever happened.”
There’s no shortage of theories regarding why Scream 4 underperformed domestically, but one of the most common is that its opening on Easter weekend, against the family film Rio, severely diminished its chances for success (an argument that conveniently ignores the fact that Scream and Scream 2 opened just before Christmas against similarly stiff competition). There’s also the more plausible explanation that the older fans who grew up with the first three films had simply moved on – and that Scream 4 wasn’t particularly successful at selling itself to a new and younger audience.
Though, as Weinstein points out – it’s not quite the catastrophic failure that some outlets have made it out to be. Regardless, do we really need another entry in the seemingly unending saga of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell)? Despite the numerous shortcomings of Scream 3, the final shot in that film seemed to communicate all that there was left to say about her character. Scream 4 managed to squeeze a little bit more mileage out of her story, but would a fifth film be pushing it?
Dimension seems determined to carry on the Scream series one way or another – so no matter how you feel about another sequel, at least no one’s tossing around the words ‘reboot’ or ‘remake’ at the moment.