SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not seen the new Scream movie. This story contains major spoilers.
Neve Campbell admits she wasn’t too sure about signing on for the new Scream, the fifth installment of the horror franchise, because she couldn’t imagine doing it after the death of Wes Craven.
But 25 years after the first film was released, directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin were able to convince not only her, but fellow legacy cast members David Arquette and Courteney Cox, to return to Woodsboro.
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“Wes was brilliant and the reason this is such a successful franchise. I really didn’t know whether anyone would be able to pull this off, get the tone right, get the humour, get the cleverness,” Campbell told me just days after the movie’s bonanza opening weekend.
“And then Matt and Tyler wrote me a letter and expressed to me that the very reason they became filmmakers was because of Wes Craven and that their movie Ready or Not was based on the tone of Scream.”
She added, “They expressed to me how much it meant to them to be making this film, and that they couldn’t believe they were actually getting the opportunity to even write me this letter. They really wanted to do right by Wes and honour his legacy. I think if they hadn’t written that letter, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Below, Campbell discusses the movie’s shocking twist and its many Easter eggs.
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When you were reading the script, were you able to figure out who the killers were?
I knew they’d done a good job, because I hadn’t figured it out.
One of my favourite lines in the movie is when Dewey asks you if you have a gun and you say, “I’m Sidney fucking Prescott. Of course I have a gun.”
That was not in the script. The version that I had read, Dewey does ask, “Do you have a gun?” And I say, “Yes.” And then he carries on with something else. But I thought that’s not enough because, of course, she would have one. I remember writing that line.
We have to talk about Dewey getting killed.
I was devastated. I still have trouble wrapping my head around it. I still question whether it was the right choice, because from what I’m hearing, there are a lot of fans who are really upset.
Did you, David and Courteney talk about it beforehand?
We did. We were sad about it. Courteney had tried to tell the directors to shoot it both ways to give themselves the option because Wes would do that sometimes when there were certain characters that were so beloved.
Is the movie a love letter to fandom, or is it a takedown?
I think it’s an acknowledgment [laughs]. Fans exist and are a part of this circle, so in the meta-world that the Scream films are in, I think they had to be acknowledged.
The reality is, without the fandom, is there Scream?
Exactly. We’re number 1 because of the fandom, so you have to have gratitude. Listen, I love the fans. I go to the autograph conventions and I just love them. It’s so much fun to have the opportunity to meet people who are so crazy about these films that they tattoo my face on their legs. It’s crazy. Tattoos of Sidney on their calves! These people are committed — or should be, I’m not sure [laughs].
There are so many Easter eggs in the movie. Way too many to go through right now, but how nice was it that they named Dylan Minnette’s character Wes?
That was so moving. When I walked on the set and saw that banner hanging with his name on it [a banner exclaiming “For Wes” hangs in a scene of a memorial party for Craven at the end of the movie], I started crying. Walking onto a set that was identical to the house that we were in 25 years ago and not having Wes there but having his legacy acknowledged, it was just beautiful.
What do you think Wes would think of the success of the movie?
I think he’s tinkled pink. He’s giggling from the grave right now.
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