Scream 5 Director Explains Why The Movie Is A Sequel, Rather Than A Reboot

Neve Campbell in Scream 4

The past few years have been an excellent time for horror fans, as the genre's ongoing renaissance has resulted in a slew of critically acclaimed new movies. Some beloved properties have also returned to theaters, including Halloween and Child's Play. That trend will continue with the upcoming fifth Scream movie, which recently wrapped principal photography. And directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett recently explained why the new slasher is a direct sequel to the previous films, rather than a reboot.

With nostalgia proven to be a valuable force in the entertainment world, a mixture of reboots and sequels have hit theaters to varying results. The generations of Scream fans were thrilled to learn the fifth movie would feature the return of Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette who will be paired with a new cast of young talent. I recently had the chance to speak with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett while they were on Scream's set, and the latter filmmaker revealed why it was so important to have it connect to the previous entires-- rather than being a straight up reboot. As Gillett put it,

I think for us we had this fear, and Matt alluded to this earlier, going into reading the script. There’s just so much weight in what those four movies are. This by the way speaks to the legacy characters. The fact that there are so many characters that so many people want to know more about, want to have more story told with these characters. There’s just a level of love and respect for the world that Wes [Craven] and Kevin [Williamson] created. So for us it felt like the only way to do this right was to create connectivity. And a lot of it is also just what the Scream movies are, right? They’re about lineage. They’re about the evolution of pop culture and the evolution of the genre. And you can’t have something new without also giving a nod to what came before it. And paying respect, and giving a bow to what followed.

Well, there you have it. Scream is many people's favorite scary movie, and Sidney Prescott's story of survival was expanded through the previous three sequels. And it's because moviegoers feel so much connection to Neve Campbell's protagonist (as well as Gale and Dewey) that the fifth installment in the franchise continues to expand upon that same story. We'll just have to wait and see how these trio of legacy characters are utilized in Scream, and if they manage to make it out of their encounter with Ghostface alive.

Tyler Gillett's comments to myself and other journalist for Scream 5's press day show just how much the Ready or Not directors love and appreciate Wes Craven's previous four movies. Their respect for that legacy is exactly how Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin managed to convince Neve Campbell to return and play Sidney Prescott for the fifth time.

Later in our same conversation about Scream 5, Tyler Gillett went on to tease how the movie's mysterious contents will feature both the legacy characters, as well as the group of newcomers. A ton of notable actors will make their franchise debut when the slasher hits theaters in 2022, including The Boys' Jack Quaid, 13 Reasons Why star Dylan Minnette, and Jenna Ortega (You, The Babysitter: Killer Queen). As the co-director went on to explain,

And so for us it felt like that was the only right way to do it. To have a connection to the past, and to find a way to create new and interesting characters that would bring a new audience and an old audience together. And hopefully move the whole thing forward in a contemporary and terrifying and fun way.

This all sounds very enticing, and the movie recently wrapped principal photography in North Carolina. The generations of fans are eager to return to Woodsboro, and see how the trio of OG heroes have continued to grow since they survived Jill Roberts' murderous plans in Scream 4. Additionally, actress Marley Shelton is back playing Judy Hicks, who managed to survive the last sequel thanks to a bullet proof vest.

Anticipation for the fifth Scream movie has been steadily building, especially as production wrapped and the first photos from the set were revealed. The movie's title was revealed to be simply Scream, which elicited a ton of reactions online. Still, the original writer Kevin Williamson has been praising the sequel's script, as well as the work done by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett.

Scream is currently set to arrive in theaters on January 14th, 2022. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies next year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.