There must be a rulebook that all Hollywood executives carry, that prompts them on what to say when discussing their upcoming reboots of beloved properties. In it, there are probably two words highlighted, printed in bold and underlined: “dark” and “grounded.”
Those two words have been tossed around so much when conversing about reboots and sequels over the last few years that they resemble something closer to white noise than an actual promise of what’s to come. Alas, they’re here to stay, at least until Hollywood lightens up a little bit, and they’ve just been used to describe the new Scream television series.
The show, which will act as a bit of a reimagining of the beloved horror film franchise, has just received a series order from MTV. It will resemble similar but different characters than those we’ve come to know and love, and may not even feature the iconic serial killer, Ghostface. That, of course, raises a few red flags, and makes it sound like the show will resemble the films in name alone. According to MTV executive vice president and head of scripted development, Mina Lefevre, that’s actually kind of the plan.
Lefevre insists that the series will keep the spirit of the films intact (again, how many times have we heard that before?), despite their efforts to make something new and fresh out of it:
“Scream was incredibly iconic, but we wanted to reinvent that for TV while of course keeping all the main elements that made it so iconic, including a mask, but also the soapy teen stories, pop culture humor, the scares and the killer. We’re tonally walking that line, yet delivering the scares in a significant way. The mask was a big discussion creatively. We wanted to get a nod and a wink to what the original was, but we definitely wanted to make it more on par with what horror is now, which is darker.”
Lefevre and the creative team behind the series are apparently trying to subvert expectations, and are actually taking inspiration from the Edvard Munch painting that inspired Ghostface’s iconic mask in the first place:
“It’s a darker, almost more grounded, evolved version of the mask. It’s something we’re constantly talking about. How did that mask become that mask? What’s its purpose? How did it evolve? If the Scream movie mask was the more plastic version, for a lack of a better description, this one is a more organic looking and frankly darker version.
It’s a little preliminary, obviously because we haven’t even started our writers room, to say that we will never see that other mask or not.”
So, the question for viewers will be, does the mask make the killer? Or can we have Scream without Ghostface, or, at the very least, a “more grounded” version of him?
We’ll find out when Scream debuts for its ten-episode run on MTV in October 2015.