The slasher archetype has existed within horror films for decades, but Wes Craven’s 1996 Scream arguably reinvented the sub-genre by delivering a movie that followed many of the slasher rules while providing meta commentary on those same tenets. Scream was so popular it inspired a series of sequels – Scream 2, Scream 3, and the much later released Scream 4 – though none were as popular as Craven’s original film. The 1996 slasher movie was still so beloved that when it was announced in 2012 MTV would adapt Scream to TV, fans were decidedly mixed.
Scream: The TV Series didn’t debut on MTV until 2015 and followed teenagers in the town of Lakewood, which was still haunted by the legacy of a spree killer named Brandon James. Despite the first season’s opening scene paying homage to Scream, then Scream 2 in the season 2 premiere, the television series was a decidedly different horror experience than Craven’s movie, working in aspects of true crime docuseries with the mystery surrounding the identities of the murderers. Last fans saw the Lakewood teens, they reunited for the Scream Halloween special, a two-hour event that effectively wrapped up loose ends from the season 2 finale in a largely standalone slasher storyline.
Now, though MTV renewed Scream for season 3 – albeit a shorter run of only six episodes, compared to the previous seasons’ 10 and 12 – Deadline is reporting the network is eyeing to reboot the series with an all-new cast of characters and storyline. MTV is reportedly searching for a new showrunner for Scream, who would give the series a fresh start, though they would also have the option of referencing events from the first two seasons. Scream season 1 showrunners Jill Blotevogel (Harper’s Island) and Jaime Paglia (Eureka) were replaced by the Make It Or Break It team of Michael Gans and Richard Register for season 2.
As for the previous stars, Deadline reports they’ve been given the go ahead to search for other work, with series lead Willa Fitzgerald (Emma Duval) having just joined Fox’s Behind Enemy Lines pilot in a potential series regular role. Scream additionally starred Bex Taylor-Klaus as Emma’s best friend Audrey Jensen, John Karna as the town’s resident horror buff Noah Foster, Carlson Young as Emma’s friend Brooke Maddox, and Santiago Segura as Brooke’s love interest Stavo Acosta.
Of course, Scream previously killed off a host of characters. Most interestingly, the Scream Halloween special saw the murder of Kieran Wilcox (Amadeus Serafini) who was Emma’s love interest for a great deal of the series but was revealed to be the murderer of season 2 – and had a relationship to season 1 killer Piper Shaw (Amelia Rose Blaire). In fact, the Halloween special set up a returned Brandon James as the potential main antagonist for season 3, though it remains to be seen if he’s involved at all.
Fans that have enjoyed the story of Emma and her friends will undoubtedly be disappointed that MTV may scrap them for a fresh revamp in season 3. That said, a slasher storyline is difficult to sustain over a whole season, let alone 3, without becoming stale. With a fresh start and a limited run of six episodes, Scream season 3 has the potential to be a self-contained slasher storyline that maintains the spirit of the series. However, since MTV is still looking for a new showrunner, it remains to be seen how exactly season 3 of Scream shakes out.
Scream will return for season 3 on MTV.