After scaring up a new generation of moviegoers in Wes Craven’s savvy, rule-bending Scream (and its subsequent sequels), the killer(s) best known as Ghostface is now ready to slash his—her? their?—way into your living room.
As Mark Ausiello reported for TVLine, MTV is developing a weekly series based on the feature film franchise. The project is being overseen by former MTV executives Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley under their DiGa production company. If the show comes to fruition, it would mark the second Scream-inspired project in recent years.
Scream 4 (aka SCRE4M) hit the big screen in April of 2011—but it made more of a whimper than anything else.
Despite the continued direction of Craven, the return (and ultimate departure) of original screenwriter Kevin Williamson, the reunion of veteran cast members Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette and the infusion of new blood by way of a hot young supporting ensemble that included Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere, the film grossed an anemic $40 million at the domestic box office.
Which promptly led to speculation that the franchise was dead, leaving plans for the fifth and sixth installments in a state of Tinseltown purgatory.
So this proposed transition to the small screen would mark a resurrection of sorts—but is it a welcome one? Though little is known about the project, it has already proven a divisive issue among many longtime fans.
Supporters of the cause note that Scream TV can exist as its own entity without having any actual bearing on the films themselves. They point to MTV’s recent success with the scripted drama “Teen Wolf” as a precedent. Further, they make the case that if the show is well received it could provide the much-needed impetus for Scream 5 to be green-lit—and that it could also shepherd in the younger fan base that was (mostly) missing for Scream 4’s theatrical run.
Detractors, on the other hand, worry that a watered-down TV dramatization could sully the Scream name—and even diminish the likelihood of Scream 5. One fan, Zachary Dalton Cook, has even created a Facebook page—“Petition to STOP the Scream TV series from a greenlight”—where like-minded peeps can sound off. He tells me, “The problem is that Hollywood is almost always about the dollars . . . even at the cost of possibly ruining a film’s reputation . . . Scream is part of a very rare group of films (like Star Wars) that continue a story and plot that is centered around a certain group of characters and their lives . . . [Scream] has kept the same studio, cast, crew, story and general plot . . . If there were to be a TV series, none of that would matter anymore.”
Let’s face it, though: Given the tepid reception to Scream 4, Scream 5 is not exactly a risk-free proposition. Further complicating matters is the knowledge that Williamson is tied to both the CW’s Vampire Diaries and the upcoming FOX series The Following, Campbell is now an expectant first-time mother, and Cox and Arquette have officially filed for divorce (though they still appear to get along better than most “contentedly” married couples). Therefore, Scream TV may just be the vehicle to resuscitate interest in what some might call a “tarnished brand.”
As for my own humble opinion? I remain cautiously optimistic. After all, it can’t be any worse than Jersey Shore.
Read other posts by John Valeri for Criminal Element.