Exclusive: New 'Scream 4' poster, plus an interview with director Wes Craven

It’s been 10 years since his last appearance in Scream 3, but Ghostface is back for more, as is the original Scream team of director Wes Craven, screenwriter Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries), and the acting trio of Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette. Dimension Films gave EW.com the first look at the final teaser poster for Scream 4, which will hit theaters April 15, 2011. Horror movie maestro Craven, who’ll start shooting the new sequel this June, kindly set aside a few minutes to chat about the fourth entry in his memorably meta series.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So how did Scream 4 come together?
WES CRAVEN: Bob Weinstein [the head of Dimension Films] felt that 10 years was enough of a wait. He felt it was time to give the original three films their due, so he called Kevin Williamson, who started coming up with ideas. For some years, Kevin had the notion of the general course of the next three movies. There was a point where Bob came to me and said, “We want to start showing you pages — do you want to do it?” And off we went.

Did you have any trepidation about revisiting the series so many years down the road?
No, I’m fascinated by what this movie is. I can’t think of another film that has not only a true trilogy, where you’re following a single central character over three pictures, but has the complexity to the story and other characters that also have continued along. And then 10 years later, to come back to those same characters and same actors, and continue that story in a way that’s totally organic. It’s kind of unprecedented.

Are Sidney (Campbell), Gale (Cox), and Dewey (Arquette) still going to be the central characters, or are they on the periphery this time?
It’s a total integration of those three and new kids. The story of Sid, Gale, and Dewey is very much a part of the movie.

And Sid’s still having problems with Ghostface?
There have been 10 years of no Ghostface, but there has been the movie-within-a-movie Stab. We have fun with the idea of endless sequels, or “sequelitis” as Kevin calls it in the script. Sid goes through these three horrendous things, and Stab was based on those horrible things. And then they’ve been taken by a studio and run into the ground in a series of sequels. She has been off by herself and living her own life, and she’s even written a book that has gotten a lot of critical acclaim. She’s kind of put her life back together in the course of these 10 years. But, certainly, there would be no Scream without Ghostface, so she has to confront him again, but now as a woman who has really come out the darkness of her past.

Can you tease what’s happening with Dewey and Gale by this point?
I don’t think Bob Weinstein would be very happy if I disclosed anything. We have been playing CIA with trying to keep everything secret, and we haven’t put any pages out from the current version of the script, except for things we’ve already discarded. Our first experience with casting this time around, the sides [portions of the script used for auditions] that we used were put on the Internet the same afternoon. It was bad back when we made the other movies, too. On Scream 2, we had the first 40 pages of the script show up on the Internet the night they arrived from Kevin, and we had to do backflips to rewrite the opening.

Speaking of openings, are you at least going to continue with having a couple killed at the beginning of the film?
That’s a strong possibility. [Laughs] Certainly, you will recognize what Bob calls the DNA of the film: a very complex murder mystery, a shocking action picture, wonderful humor based on character, and lots of surprises, as well as a movie that kind of copies itself. It’s a pretty amazing script.

What is your opinion of where the horror genre has gone these past 10 years?
It feels like the end of an era of a certain type of film. There are series of films, a lot of sequels, and a lot of remakes, and part of the humor of Scream 4 is when characters comment on that. “Enough of Saw 25 and all!” [Laughs] A lot of films, directors, and studios are the butts of some of the jokes. In order to figure out what’s happening around them, the characters have to figure out where the genre of horror is. So this is a look at horror after 10 years of a lot of sequels rather than original films coming up year after year. One film is successful, and then they make 25 of them. I think it’s time for something new. I’ve done remakes of my own films, too, with The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes, but we feel it’s time for something new and different, and that’s what this film is going to be.

But then is it ironic that this is the fourth film in a series?
Yeah, but I’ve never felt like these are sequels. This is a film about the progress of, at this point, three core characters, and how all of these events have changed their lives, and how the events in their lives have been reflected in the movies around them, which they might like or might really not like at all. I think that makes it really different.

As for the poster’s tagline, “New decade, new rules,” are the new rules going to specifically comment on what’s happened these last 10 years with horror movies?
It’s very much about the last 10 years, and where we are right now. “New decade, new rules” is very much the keynote of the film, that is, trying to figure out what sort of rules (the new Ghostface) is following. How do we fight this killer without a road map? We have to figure out where we are.

Are you returning to Santa Rosa, Calif., to shoot?
We’re actually going to Michigan. We found a wonderful small town that looks very much like the town we had in Northern California. Frankly, the tax breaks in Michigan are enormous, so we’ll be able to put a lot more movie on the screen.

But this Michigan town is still supposed to represent (the series’ fictional town of) Woodsboro?
Yeah. I guess I just gave something away. [Laughs]

Can we count on Scream 4 remaining an R-rated movie with blood and guts and all that fun stuff?
I think that’s safe to say. I’ve very excited about it. At this point in my career, Scream is one of the longest running stories I’ve told. It’s fascinating to still have actors who are very much into continuing their roles and have great chemistry. Part of the reason these three characters are still alive is because they’re so great. We haven’t wanted to kill them.

And, should Scream 4 become a hit, you are signed on for Scream 5 and 6, right?
Yeah, I’m signed on for the duration.

Comments (151 total) Add your comment
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  • tabata

    glorified violence

    • Bob

      Yup. Thank god!

      • John

        Of course it is! The prleobm is that the displayed precision is different from the one used to do the comparison. In this case, you can compare using (Time.now expected_time) < 1, or use a block to set Time.now to return canned values. Hope that helps!

    • Dan

      ….Sorry he isn’t making a horror movie about rainbows and kittens.
      He isn’t one of the most iconic horror directors of all time…

    • Desmo

      Not sure how it “glorifies violence” care to explain?

  • topher

    With the exception of Kevin Williamson, all those people had nothing better to do. So why not!

    • mario


    • Adam

      In case you hadn’t noticed, Courteney Cox has a sitcom on ABC which has been renewed for a second season, and for which she garnered a Golden Globe nomination earlier this year.

      • Hellfudge

        Big deal.

      • topher

        Oh, you’re right, Adam! I totally forgot about Courteney Cox’s horribly unfunny TV show.

      • Desmo

        Too bad you were wrong topher. No amount of smartass comments can change that.

      • Adam

        Topher, you’re just sounding like an idiot. Regardless of whether or not you think her show is funny, it’s still a success and it keeps her busy. As Desmo pointed out, you’re wrong and your smarta** comments won’t change that.

      • Michelle

        I’m with topher…her show is not funny. But that doesn’t mean she’s not busy. People have been on bad shows for years and still be considered a success.

      • Ian

        According to Jim was on for 8 seasons. That doesn’t mean it was ever funny. Just profitable.

      • Magdalena

        since Wes Craven’s Scream 3 graced the sievlr-screen, and as you may recall, Famous Monsters last reported the idea of a Scream 4 was still in talks. a0 But now, it’s

    • Daddy

      Topher, I’ve been busy sleeping with your mother….

      • Andy

        haha good one man. yea courtney cox is obviously very successful. and im sure more successful than topher so who cares what he thinks

  • dee123

    Can’t wait!

    • Liz

      Me too, but will Patrick Dempsey (aka Mc Dreamy) still play the cop/ Sidney’s boyfriend??

      • Michelle

        That would be awesome! But after 10 years, I’d hope they were more than bf/gf.

  • Bubbatwo420

    This is such awesome news, I love the Scream trilogy and have total faith in this creative team to put out something that is truly reflective of a genre that has evolved a lot since the original came out. I’ll be first in line

    • Becca

      I agree! I am no Horror movie expert, but these are my favorite scary movies! I was thrilled to hear about Scream 4, and the possibility of 5 and 6! Can’t Wait!

      • amj

        I like to think of myself as a horror expert and I too could not be more excited! And, even more excited to hear it will be filmed in my neck of the woods. I hope there is a 5 and 6!! And, I hope they can get Jamie Kennedy (or did they kill his character..guess I need to pull out those DVDs). I love Wes Craven..he is a horror genius!!!! I am also thrilled to see the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street!

      • Jess Reo

        Unless if Jamie Kennedy’s character left behind another DVD/video of himself explaining the rules, his return is unlikely

      • hecati

        I have actually heard that Jamie Kennedy will be returning in some form even though he was killed off in the second one.

  • jaime


    Finally some good “knife” scary movie! No more of the SAW and gorry torture movies.


    This series is one of the best horror series of all time!!

    • Shelly

      Me too!

      • Brad

        But if that’s what horror has become in the last 10 years, won’t that mean Ghostface will be following the rules of gory torture movies this time around?

      • Joe

        That’s what I was thinking. The most iconic horror films of the last decade (for better or worse) were Saw and Hostel. These films and those types of scenarios will have to come into play for this to really be current.

  • Matt1

    The Scream movies are so underrated (well, at least 1 and 2 are) by today’s younger audiences! By the time Scream 4 is released it’ll be almost 15 years since the first one was in theaters yet in the 6 years since the first Saw movie we’re about to get Part 7!!?? Kid’s nowdays should revisit Scream and see how much better it is than all these PG-13 remakes of bad Japanese horror movies!
    I’ll be first in line on opening day for Scream 4…
    Who’s comin’ with me???

    • Shelly

      Me! I looooooove Scream.

    • Kevin

      I thought the 2nd one kind of sucked. The 3rd one was actually pretty good… or at least the opening kill was awesome.

      • Terry

        I kinda liked the second one, especially the killing of Jada. She really brought the realism of death out in a way that surprised me. She was in pain, and crying cause she was dying and needed help and no one realised it. Really got to me.

      • Laurin

        I actually thought 2 was better… little more shock value

      • Japanese HIROSHI

        Terry, I couldn’t agree more with you on Jada’s contribution to it. I enjoyed every minute – with her in it. Anyone who watched Scream 2 would witness that she gave it all, and (IMO, unlike some A-list actors/actresses) (she) didn’t care at all if, with certain gestures poured into this hapless movie character of hers, she was gonna look ridiculous before the audience – she simply went on and rolled with it! BIG KUDOS to Jada!
        That being said, equally fabulous or even better is the classic of Drew Barrymore in the original one – KUDOS to her, too, and those who’d finally decided to have her cameo appearance in there . . .
        . . . Last but not least, speaking for myself, Wes Craven is certainly one of the better directors in this genre. The man knows how to produce quality entertainments and, in process, have us all involved and related to the characters. A proud owner of Scream Trilogy (well, not so proud of Scream 3 . . . lol, jk), I have my hope set high for Scream 4. Mr. Craven, keep rocking, and please do not let us down!

      • Ray

        The 2nd one wasn’t that good but the 3rd one was great. But when the Black guy sliped on the carpet.

    • Laurin

      I’ll definitely be there!!!!

    • aaron

      I agree with Matt1… I was 5 when I saw my first horror film and guess what it was… that’s right, Scream! Though I was a little young I still enjoyed it and its sequels. I won’t be missing out on this event! It’s a part of me and who I am

  • Toni (@ImStillToni)

    I have to admit I can’t wait either – say what you want about horror today (or this crappy torture stuff that is passing for horror) but I always held the Scream trilogy in a high regard. At least with Scream there is a clever story and script behind it rather than gore for the sake of gore. But part of me is worried if the film will have a different affect on the audience, as we have grown up along with the characters/actors; however, it sounds like they may have thought about that as well

  • Michael Kennedy

    it is nice to see even in the fourth film they care more about the story and the characters than the blood and guts. I LOVE this franchise. So glad it is back.

    • Ceballos

      Well put…reading Craven’s statements have definitely made me optimistic that at least some thought went into this thing.

  • Johnification

    Whatever your thoughts on this are, Wes Craven is certainly an intelligent, articulate man, and his words give me faith that a lot of care, talent, and thought are going into these new movies.

  • Brian

    Sounds promising, but they’re planning a second trilogy? That could go either way.

    • Dave

      I remain optimistic about a potential new trilogy because it seems they are planning it out ahead of time. It seems they have a general idea of where the story would go for a 5th and 6th film, which is much better than if they only had plans for a 4th right now and then decided to make a 5th once the 4th becomes a hit.

      • jimm


  • Del

    This is great news. Hope it is as good as the first. I will go to my first midnight showing for this movie. I can’t wait for next year.

    • Ismael

      Living in the suburb of a builtsng city, I am from Phoenix, Arizona, specifically the suburb of Chandler. Before that though, I had also lived in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas called Coppell. My parents made sure that each town that I lived in was not only safe but also had a high-quality education system. And because I was never far from a highly urbanized city, entertainment and activities for my friends and me came easily. Even though I wanted to take public transportation, it was never available besides the school buses. I always had to have a car, which was nice after I got my license. Phoenix is known for being scorching hot almost year round. Even this winter, the average was in the high sixties and seventies, a complete change from the freezing South Bend. A lot of older generation people seem to live where I live because it attracts retired people. Golf courses span for blocks and are everywhere you look. Where there are not golf courses or buildings, there are cow farms, sheep, or an endless abyss of cactus and sand. Dust storms seem to occur frequently over summer and make it hard to drive. Historically, I really do not know anything about Phoenix or even Arizona for that matter. There are a few Indian reservations if you head more East or South of Phoenix, but that’s about it. At first, I was skeptical about moving to Phoenix because in my mind it was just a desert, but now I can truly call it my hometown where I feel at home and safe.

  • graeme

    Scream 3 was somewhat worn out, but the first 2 were fantastic. I think Gale, Dewey, or Sidney will die. They will probably die in the opening. I hope it’s not Gale. Courteney Cox is so much freakin fun in these movies.

    • Brian

      I really wouldn’t mind Sidney dying right off the bat. I get that she’s the main character, but I’m sick of her being a whiny victim. Gale and Dewey are much more fun (and proactive, which is just about always better than being reactive).

  • Clint

    I’m freaking pump I love the scream movies Very exiciyed about this !!!!!!!!!!!!:)

    • flammableeye

      Same here. I hope it is successful

  • Pastafarian

    I liked Scream, but I think the Wayans Bros kinda ruined Scream 2. That guy with the hand was way scary. But I was glad to see Frank Dreben come in for Scream 3. It’ll be interesting to see what Wes Craven does with the 4th Scream. No more baby hands though plz lolz

    • Nick T

      You’re talking about “Scary Movie.”

      • Are you for Real?

        I think Pastafarian knows that.

      • Jeffrey

        Trick R’ Treat!!!! Buy this movie it’s great. (Go to youtube and type “Season’s grgenites” it’s a prequel of sort. It’s a cool cartoon.Let the Right one IN30 Days of Night (great sound though, you need great sound watch 30 days of night prequels- 1) Blood Trails 2) Dust to Dust on youtube as well. They’re like 7 2minute clips each.I liked all the Halloween and Friday the 13th’s (besides Jason X)Day of the Dead’s on tv now.References :

    • Johnification

      Isn’t it weird and redundant that Scary Movie is a parody of a parody of scary movies?

      • Fatima

        That’s what I always thought! I was like, “wow, a parody that’s going to dumber than what’s it’s critiquing.” Scream knew horror movies. Scary Movie knew nothing.

      • jeannine

        yeah it is its just the object of it but hey its what started it all

  • Katie

    Awwwww…Shane Dawsons not in it :(

    • Ray

      If no one likes it, then deal with it.

    • Anthony

      I know… But at least he got to audition. Actually, the fact that they were interested in a web-celebrity like Shane, what might that say about the plot? Hmmmmm….

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