As the fifth installment in the slasher franchise and a direct sequel to Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3 and Scream 4, it was reasonable to expect Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s continuation of the series kicked off by Wes Craven 25 years ago would continue the theme and go by Scream 5.
Obviously, that wasn’t the case, and longtime fans were left a little confused as to why the studio had decided to simply give it the exact same name as the original. The waters were muddied further when one of the directors said it wasn’t a reboot but a sequel, only for Courtney Cox to claim it was neither, but the trailer cleared up a lot of the mixed signals.
In a new interview with US Weekly, executive producer and writer of the first, second and fourth movies Kevin Williamson explained why the latest chapter in the Ghostface saga dropped the numeral suffix.
“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.”
It sounds like it was a marketing decision more than anything, one that opens Scream up to an entirely new audience who might not have seen the preceding quartet, without having them worry over whether or not they need to be caught up on the mythology before heading into the theater in January of next year, which could turn out to be a smart call when the opening weekend box office numbers come in.