Why Scream 5 Isn’t The Title Of The Franchise’s Latest Film, According To The Executive Producer

Ghostface looks menacing in a scene from 2022's Scream
(Image credit: YouTube)

Scream is one of the most famous and popular horror franchises of all time. After the surprise success of the original 1996 film, four sequels have followed, including the 2022 installment. This latest film follows many of the traditions set by its predecessors, yet it is breaking from the other films when it comes to its title. According to one of Scream’s producers, there was a specific reason they went in that direction. 

The first trailer for the fifth Scream film arrived just as spooky season is kicking into high gear. While it doesn’t give away too many of the movie’s inevitable twists and turns, it does give us a good idea of what we can expect -- including a 21st century homage to the iconic opening scene of the original Scream

What might have caused a bit of confusion is the fact that the film shares the same title as the original Scream, even though it is clearly not a remake. Kevin Williamson wrote the screenplay for the first, second and fourth films -- so it’s safe to say he knows a bit about the franchise’s history. As executive producer, he played a role in many of the important decisions regarding this latest film -- and he told Us Magazine there was a clear strategy behind dropping the ‘5’ from its title: 

Well, it was always Scream 5 because it’s the fifth one. So I think we just threw that name out, but I don’t think they ever seriously were going to call it a Scream 5. I don’t think anybody wanted to see the number five after something. You’d have to ask them — Paramount or whoever, but I think taking the 5 off and calling it Scream [works] because it’s brand new. There’s the legacy cast, and how they infuse this new world and there’s this whole new generation and a new cast of characters that are extremely fun. I think it was a great cast. It’s an amazing group of kids and young talent and they’re very, very good. They pop off the screen, and now our Sidneys and our mature characters who enter into it, they’re the adults. It works really really well.

In that context, the decision to not to give it that name does make sense. Even with the three core original stars returning to face off with Ghostface again, they’re clearly entering a new era for the series. If it’s serving as a reboot, in a way that none of the other sequels did, then giving it the same name as the original is understandable. 

What remains to be seen is whether we’ll get a follow-up to this new flick and, if we do, how many of this film’s characters will survive to appear in it? Scream hits theaters on January 14, 2022

Katherine Webb