When Scream 4 hit theaters this past April, it wasn’t the box office smash that director Wes Craven and producer Bob Weinstein had hoped for – especially compared to its predecessors. While it made a little over twice its $40 million budget worldwide, it made $2 million less than that domestically. (Eek.)
Which is why it’s surprising, some five months later, to hear Wes Craven say that Scream 5 is almost definitely a go -- though he might not be directing.
When asked if a Scream 5 was on the way, courtesy of Movieweb, Craven said:
"Yes. The odds are that there will be [a Scream 5]. It is something that Bob Weinstein wants to do. He tends to do what he wants to do. So I am inclined to think that there will be [another sequel]. Whether I will be a part of it or not? I don't know. My contract gives me the first look. If they show me something that is really wonderful? Of course I will be a part of it."
Wes Craven’s box office track record in the past few years doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in his money-making abilities. Scream 4 notwithstanding, My Soul to Take and Cursed were both terrible fiscal failures. Only Red Eye, starring Cillian Murphy and Rachel McAdams, made its money back. So it's easy to imagine a scenario where additional Screams were made with a new director at the helm.
When asked what his plans for Scream 5 would entail, Craven said:
"I'd have to kill you if I told you. Its better to have an ending where you can't tell where it's going to go next. Than to have an ending where you go, ‘Oh, that is the hook for the sequel. That is the hook for the next one.’ We felt it was better to let the audience speculate than to have all of these clues placed in their lap. It's not a matter of not being smart enough [to figure out how 4 ties into 5]. We're clever at this. Let's just put it that way."
On how the films are concocted:
"Most people think that I sit around and think up [the] ideas, then I send them to the studio. With Scream, that is not the case. Kevin Williamson has been the writer since day one. He has been the writer on all of these projects, at least at the beginning of them. That relationship with him and Bob Weinstein is very old, and close. Typically what will happen is that Bob Weinstein or Kevin Williamson will come up with a new idea, and they will pitch it to one or the other. If they both like it, they will toss it around and see if they can develop it into an overarching concept. Then I get the telephone call. They say, ‘We have something to show you.’ It will either be a scene, or if it is Kevin Williamson, he will run through the idea with me from beginning to end. That is what happened on this one. There were a few pages. Not many. At some point there was a first draft. But it mainly started with me and Kevin Williamson sitting down in a restaurant in Los Angeles. He showed me how it would go, and I really thought he had something there. So I signed on. Before that point, I am at a position where I don't want to be involved with something until the script is there. That makes me not a part of the original process, of banging out the idea. I think that Kevin Williamson is the best at that. And Bob Weinstein is all over that too. I don't want to play another guy in that. 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."
It’s interesting to hear about the relationship between Kevin Williamson – who has had two TV hits recently with The Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle – and Bob Weinstein, especially considering the admitted friction they had on the Scream 4 set (which may or may not have led to their parting of the ways, which may or may not have been the reason Kevin Williamson has yet to watch the fourquel). Would Williamson really be up for rounding out the second Scream trilogy after all that?
Despite its less-than-impressive box office take, Scream 4 was a fun, tongue-in-cheek – to the point of self-parody – horror flick. There were a lot of clever, funny, and creative ideas throughout with regard to recent industry movements like “torture porn” and “horror-movie-remake-itus”. And even though it was nothing to write home about (and definitely a lesser picture than the original), it was easily as good or better than 2 and 3.
The point being: this particular writer would welcome a Scream 5, if said sequel ended up being as entertaining as number four.
But what about you guys? Are you interested in seeing a fifth Scream, or was the fourth the straw the broke the camel's back? Let us know in the comments.
And stay tuned for more Scream 5 news.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.