Wes Craven, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette Talk Scream 4
It’s been almost 11 years since Ghostface was slicing and dicing on the big screen, but now he’s back with some old friends, a fresh set of victims to play with and a brand new set of rules to play by in Wes Craven’s latest genre effort, Scream 4, which hits theaters on April 15th.
Recently Dread Central caught up with director Craven as well as Scream veterans Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette during their press day in Los Angeles to find out what brought them all back for more Ghostface mayhem and how technology changed the rules of the Scream world while Craven (somewhat) addresses the script controversy surrounding Kevin Williamson’s departure over script politics.
Craven, who unleashed the first Scream on unsuspecting audiences back in 1996, spoke about what brought everyone back for a brand new installment in what may end up proving to be the director’s most profitable franchise in his prolific career.
“Bob Weinstein is kind of the Godfather of the Scream franchise, and I think the new film came about when he and Kevin were talking and he felt it was time to bring the franchise back,” explained Craven. “He originally said after Scream 3 that there weren’t going to be any more for a long time because he didn’t want it to feel like we were knocking them out as a cash cow just to make money. And of course, there was Scary Movie and its sequels so we wanted to get some distance from that as well.”
“At the end of the decade I definitely think it was the perfect time to take a look around because it was very definitive in nature. So it was time to take a look at how all of that was changing as well as how people went about watching movies has even changed since then. Since Kevin (Williamson) and I both spend a lot of time on the internet, I think even old fogeys like myself or people Kevin’s age can understand the power of these tools and how they can be misused. There’s a power to the internet that didn’t exist fifteen years ago,” Craven added.
For actor Arquette, who reprises his role as the lovable good-natured Dewey Riley, he saw the changes in both the internet and technology as new ways to have some fun with the iconic franchise’s rules established back in the 90s. “What’s kind of cool is this new movie is bringing to life sort of a brand new original Scream in some ways because the rules have changed in horror films in general. Even technology has changed so much that it has affected what kind of killer Ghostface is this time around. It’s a whole new playground for the killer this time.”
Craven chimed in to talk about how technology also changed the ‘horror movie rules’ in Scream 4. “I think the very essence of the Scream films is that we always break the rules of horror. We establish what the rules are in all of our films, and then we immediately break them, and that started with frame one of the original movie. You have a character say ‘I’ll be right back,’ but he turns out to be the killer. Neve has sex in the first one, but she lives. It kind of drives the audience nuts sometimes because they think they know what’s coming but then we hit them right out of left field.”
New rules and changes in technology weren’t the only new tricks up Craven’s sleeve for the fourth installment- the director also lined up a stellar all-star cast for the survivors of the original trilogy to work alongside with. For lead actress Campbell, she found the new crop of players refreshing to work with on the project.
“The younger cast was great to have on board,” said Campbell. “They all came with a huge amount of enthusiasm for Scream 4. People keep asking us if we had to show them the ropes at all, and we definitely didn’t. They are all such professionals who have already established themselves with impressive careers at young ages so they didn’t need any help from us.”
Campbell went on to discuss how she prepared to step back into Sidney’s shoes once again. “It’s almost hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years now that we’ve been these characters. Sidney is just such a huge part of me so it was natural to come back to play her again. I even rewatched the first three movies before we shot the fourth one, and it was nice to see how well they’ve all held up over the years.”