Stories of development hell are as common as jack o’ lanterns at Halloween, but Scream 4‘s ups and downs are the stuff of legend. Fans began clamoring for another sequel immediately after beautiful Scream-er Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) faced her masked nemesis in Scream 3 (2000). But fandom is a fickle mistress, and years of fading hopes and dwindling expectations prompted many bloggers to respond to the Weinstein Company’s announcement that it was finally moving ahead on Scream 4 with skepticism, if not outright contempt.
Take EmpireOnline‘s less-than-enthusiastic assessment: “Since the third film finished the series on a disappointing whimper… part of us would like to see a new film to give it the ending it deserves, [while another worries] that it could be digging up a franchise best left undisturbed.” Kevin Powers at FirstShowing was less polite. “To describe my interest in this project as marginal would be too kind.”
Slashfilm took off the gloves and came out sneering: “Oh Scream. And Scream 2. (And Scream 3.) You were released in such simple times, back when Kevin Williamson was a household name, teen couples giggled at David Arquette’s quirkiness (autism?), and the name Rose McGowan didn’t conjure ripped photos and fire…. If further Scream 4 news is never announced, we’ll gladly toss this post into a Ziploc bag and throw it up in the attic next to our sister’s Party of Five soundtrack.” Did any of this trouble the Weinsteins? Please… they proceeded, full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes!
First, back in February, original director Wes Craven checked in with Bloody-Disgusting.com (who had already broken the news that Williamson was on board for the sequel) and allowed that he wasn’t adverse to directing, assuming the final screenplay was to his liking. “It would take it being… as good [as] the first one was, and the pay day [reflecting] what I’ve done for that company and what I’ve gone through on Cursed.” (Haven’t seen Cursed? Consider yourself lucky and move along.)
Then in June, Slashfilm shared the news that Williamson had updated his Twitter page with this tidbit: “It is not a remake. Scream 4 [is] the first chapter of a new trilogy.” Williamson continued to tweet about original star Neve Campbell’s potential involvement in Scream 4, only to pull all his posts when he realized what a furor they were causing. The New York Post‘s PopWrap blog caught up with him, and he explained: “I’ve had numerous conversations with Neve. She’s a friend. Nicest girl on the planet. It just ain’t workin’ out and it sucks for me. It was no cameo. I’d never play Sid out that way. And I ain’t got no Sid-less scenario. So, I don’t know yet what to do. Hate all the wrong info circulating. My fault. There’s a learning curve with Twitter. I gotta watch it. kev” Wise words, Williamson.
Luckily, the bloggerazzi’s attention was soon captivated by fresh news about the project, when E!Online’s UberBlog delivered the scoop that David Arquette and Courtney Cox had both signed on to appear in Scream 4. In Arquette’s words, “I fell in love with my wife on Scream, so the opportunity to
bring [Dewey] back to life and for my wife to play that really bitchy
character [opportunistic reporter Gale Weathers] again, it’s just going to be really fun.” (Awwww!)
The news spread like proverbial wildfire (or perhaps, like a pool of arterial blood…), with everyone from the LA Times‘ Dish Rag to Perez Hilton reporting the news with a surfeit of exclamation points. Cinematical, for one, isn’t ready to jump on the Scream love boat just yet. “Oh, good, as long as they have the most important cast members on board, I’m sure a new Scream sequel will become essential viewing. (Not!)” The rabid commentators at EW‘s Popwatch are up in arms; most of their comments are in the “No Neve = No Movie” vein, but that could have something to do with the dripping-with-sarcasm title the blogger slapped on the post: “David Arquette and Courteney Cox sign on for ‘Scream 4.’ In other news, a tree fell in the woods.”
Meanwhile, the fanatics busy populating Scream 4‘s IMDB page are engaged in a frenzied discussion on the topic of “Who would do you think should be cast as the famous opening victim?” The responses range from Kate Beckinsale to Eva Longoria to (quelle surprise!) Megan Fox, and passions are running high! Who do you think it should be?Read More