After a nearly two-year gestation period, MTV is finally taking a concrete step toward getting their TV series adaptation of the Scream slasher franchise on the air. The network once famous for music videos has today granted a 10-episode first season pick-up to Scream’s small screen reboot, with plans to debut the series in fall 2015.
The road to a Scream TV adaptation has been a fairly arduous one, with enough casting delays, script re-writes, and such to make fans concerned about the future of the franchise as a whole. A Scream 5 theatrical sequel seemed like a possibility for a while, but those talks seemed to end almost as quickly as they began, mostly due to 2011 sequel Scream 4’s underwhelming box-office haul. In 2012, MTV first commissioned a pilot for the potential Scream TV series, but it took another year for development to really kick into gear. Another six months or so passed before any actors were officially cast in the pilot.
That all said, Scream: The TV Series seems to at last be a reality, although not without a few more small bumps in the road. Audrey Jensen, one of the show’s leading female roles, was recently re-cast, after actress Amy Forsyth (Reign) failed to wow the producers at the table read for the pilot. Replacing Forsyth is Arrow’s Bex Taylor-Klaus. The rest of the principal cast remains intact, for now anyway.
What’s really been worrying Scream fans are the recent reports that the franchise’s infamous Ghostface mask would not appear on the series. While producers have yet to confirm or deny these assertions, one has to question the logic behind possibly removing the single most recognizable aspect of a movie when translating that property to TV.
Of course, Scream’s plot is already undergoing a modern revamp for the small screen, with the show’s driving murder mystery now being triggered by a damaging video that goes viral on Youtube, and the killer possibly being of supernatural nature. With Scream being moved to a new setting, and starring new characters, it’s very possible that MTV and the series’ producers thought it would be better to completely jettison any aspect that might carry baggage in from the original films. Still, if that does indeed end up being the case, one wonders why they need to call the show Scream at all, outside of sheer brand recognition factor.
In the end, Scream fans may just need to realize that this show simply isn’t being made for them. Much of MTV’s target audience was in diapers (or possibly not even born yet) when Scream terrified the moviegoers of 1996. Many of the people that tune into the Scream TV series may have no more than a passing familiarity with the films, and just think of them as “those slasher movies that were big in the 90’s.”
When looked at from that standpoint, the decision to drastically alter the story and characters makes more sense. After all, it’s not like MTV’s highly-rated Teen Wolf adaptation has much in common with the Michael J. Fox film it’s based on.
The Scream TV series premieres in fall 2015.