In 1996 Wes Craven succeeded in revitalizing the teen slasher genre with his hit film Scream, a movie that both played into and commented on classic tropes employed by the genre. The chaste virgin, the horny teenagers who pay for their sexual indiscretions with their lives, the comic relief (or 'fool'), the dumb jock. All were represented and deconstructed by the film's winkingly self-aware script, care of screenwriter Kevin Williamson.
The film was so successful, in fact, that it paved the way for three more sequels and an upcoming television series. The series comes on the heels of the current horror-based television fad made popular by shows like American Horror Story and Hannibal. It will star Willa Fitzgerald (Royal Pains), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow), Connor Weil (Sharknado) John Karna, Tom Maden, Amadeus Serafini and Carlson Young, and will take place years after the original film when an act of cyber-bullying becomes the catalyst for a new (yet terrifyingly similar) killing spree in the same idyllic town of Lakewood.
Four new videos have now been released by MTV in order to acquaint us with the new batch of terrorized teens. The videos show each archetype and the stars of the series explaining them.
First up we've got Emma, The Innocent (Fitzgerald):
Then we meet Noah, The Fool (Karna):
We have Jake and Will (Maden and Weil, respectively) as The Jocks:
And finally we meet Kieran and Audrey (Serafini and Taylor-Klaus, respectively) as The Loners:
The series will be executive-produced by Jill E. Blotevogel and Jaime Paglia, who will also serve as showrunners. Paglia brings with him the experience of working as a writer and executive producer on The CW's The Flash while Blotevogel served as writer/producer on shows like CBS' Harper's Island and Ravenswood for ABC Family. Wes Craven will be attached as a producer, as will both Bob and Harvey Weinstein, first of Miramax and later of The Weinstein Company fame.
Many of the stars here are relative unknowns with very little experience with which to pad out their resumes. This is a new approach for the franchise which usually opted to populate its casts with hot up-and-comers on the verge of stardom. That said, the franchise's name itself carries enough appeal to bring this show to its intended audience. If it plans to succeed on the back of its predecessor it will need to incorporate the slick, tongue-in-cheek humor and satire that the Scream movies are known for. While the 'movie that sort of knows it's a movie' idea can work for a two-hour property, it seems like a premise that could wear a little thin over the course of a television series if the writers aren't careful.
As for using a cast of relative unknowns, it's a tricky move that can pay off in star-making performances, which can in turn pay off in longevity. Time will tell on this one.
Scream premieres June 30th, 2015 on MTV.