The Scream series will be back in theaters with its next installment, Scream VI, in March. As the latest in a long-running slasher franchise, we pretty much know what to expect as the Scream series has always maintained the same framework, like its fellow properties. Ghostface always murders young people, Michael Myers always comes back, Jason wears a hockey mask, etc. Often, this leads to diminishing returns and eventually something goes away for a while before coming back. Still, there is a way to keep Scream going that would help it stand out from the crowded horror genre.
For those unaware, the franchise — which began in 1996 has had five films release to date — with a sixth on the way. On each film, the identities of the killers have been painstakingly kept secret by cast and crew, and, sometimes the creative direction of certain entries has been altered as a result of production or real-life difficulties. Sidney was going to die in one of Scream 2’s original endings and the third film (which feels ahead of its time today by commenting on abuse of women in Hollywood) was going to be centered around a cult of high-school serial killer fans being masterminded by Matthew Lillard’s Stu Macher from his prison cell. This was changed due to the Columbine massacre and the studio not wanting to focus on evil teens. It should also be what happens next.
To be clear, we are not calling for any kind of retcons, but resurrecting the original version of Scream 3 could make for a fun alternative reality release on streaming in the form of animation. With this take, you could get the original cast back to do their voices (or at least soundalikes who could seem younger) and explore the ending to the trilogy that creator Kevin Williamson intended before life got in the way. He had some interesting visual ideas in mind and to see just what else could happen to the characters we love would be a fantastic ride. You could also get a unique art style, strike a bold stance with an animated horror film for adults (how many can you name?) and set a precedent for other franchises exploring similar what-ifs via scripts their studios had no faith in when they were first written.
In one version of Freddy vs. Jason the creepy Krueger would have urinated in the Holy Grail. At a different point, a sequel to Halloween H20: 20 Years Later would have seen Josh Hartnett’s John Tate return in an attempt to avenge his mother’s death. Wouldn’t these be fun and fascinating? Those behind the franchises have not indicated any interest in digging into their pasts, but we say “why not?” Someone get the people behind the scenes on the phone and tell them to start creating this content to consume.
After all, none of it could be any worse than another remake.