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Scream’s Co-Directors Admit They ‘Ignored’ One Crucial Piece Of Scream History, And Explain Why

Ghostface in Scream
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

The following story contains MAJOR spoilers for the new Scream movie, so stop reading now if you haven’t yet seen the film.

Even though the new Scream movie that’s currently packing movie theaters is titled Scream, it’s really Scream 5… and it does a very good job of paying homage to the four films that came before it. Classic supporting characters like Deputy Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) and Martha Meeks (Heather Matarazzo) return to the narrative alongside the legacy characters of Sidney (Neve Campbell), Dewey (David Arquette), and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox). The directing team of Radio Silence are huge fans of the entire Scream franchise and wanted to honor what had come before them. But they admit that one line of dialogue that made it into their movie retcons a major Scream 3 plot… and they did it on purpose. 

If you haven’t seen Scream 3 in a while – well, you aren’t missing much. It’s largely considered by the Scream fanbase to be the lamest of the franchise, as the action shifts from Woodsboro to Hollywood, where Ghostface is targeting the cast of the movie-in-a-movie, Stab 3. So meta. By the end of the movie, the killer is revealed to be Roman Bridger (Scott Foley), director of Stab 3 who is ALSO Sidney’s half-brother AND the one who baited Billy and Stu to commit the murders in the original Scream. This steals from the mythology of Billy and Stu, which Radio Silence team members Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett really wanted to lean on. 

So when the directors came on ReelBlend for a deep dive spoiler conversation about the new Scream, I asked them about the line of dialogue in their movie that solidifies Billy and Stu as the “start” of all the Woodsboro terror – thereby ignoring the Roman reveal in Scream 3 – Bettinelli-Olpin admitted to us:

It's a really solid question. It's a really, really solid… it’s funny you bring that up, because I was literally watching Scream 3 a couple of nights ago and I was like, ‘Does this count?’ [laughs] I feel like in the Scream (movies) that we all know and love, Billy and Stu started this. It’s weird that we're making a requel that has retcon stuff happening in it. Which just feels kind of like what Roman was, right? It was this thing that happened before, that nobody knew about. But I do think you may have just figured out the one thing that we, on purpose or not, just kind of ignored.

And do you know what? I’m OK with that. The new Scream doesn’t go so far as to say it’s ONLY a sequel to Scream 1 and 2. It definitely includes key elements of Scream 4, so the entire franchise is on the table. But to hear the guys admit that they ignore the Roman reveals is exciting, especially when they tell ReelBlend why. Co-director Tyler Gillett has an explanation, saying:

I think part, too, was just that the start of the saga for all of us, as fans, is so specific to those two killers (Billy and Stu).

I’d agree. What about you? Did that line hit you differently when you heard it? Are you going to seek #JusticeForRoman, as Matt joked on the ReelBlend show? You need to hear their complete spoiler-filled interview if you are a rabid Scream fan. It’s packed with goodies, and it drops on January 21.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.