Scream (2022) Directors Talk Toxic Fans, THAT Death & Rian Johnson (Spoilers)

Scream (2022)
 directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett opened up to Variety about the film's provocative ending, that character's death, toxic fandom, and how they almost filmed a Rian Johnson cameo for the Stab 8 YouTube videos.

On the ending:

By the end of the movie, it’s revealed that the deaths were an attempt to inspire a requel for “Stab” — the faux-horror-movie series within the “Scream” franchise based on the events of the “Scream” franchise. In Vanderbilt and Busick’s initial screenplay, the most recent “Stab” movie was titled “Stab 8.” But while Gillett, Bettinelli-Olpin and Busick were still in production, Paramount announced that the film — which fans expected would be called “Scream 5,” or, cheekily, “5cream” — was instead going to be titled just “Scream,” with no number at all.

“We all had, I think, the same reaction that most people have, which is, Huh?” Bettinelli-Olpin said. “And then we thought, ‘Wait, this was actually a wonderful gift if we can make it work within the movie and…do what we love about ‘Scream’ on that meta level, and just use the movie to look at the movie.'”

On toxic fandoms:

So a scene in which Sam’s boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid) was supposed to be watching “Stab 8” on his laptop became Richie watching a YouTube video of a “Stab” superfan ranting about how terrible “Stab 8” is — starting with the decision to make the title just “Stab.” The video narrator even screams that the title “STA8” was right there.

“Many of those videos exist for stuff that we’ve made,” Gillett said, laughing. “It felt like the perfect way to tie that idea of fandom into that section of the movie.”

On a potential Rian Johnson cameo:

“We reached out and wanted to do a fake, ‘ET’/’Extra’ press junket thing with him,” Gillett said. “He was off making ‘Knives Out 2.’ So he had bigger fish to fry than our ‘Scream’ sequel.”


On THAT character's death:

Given Johnson’s experience with “The Last Jedi,” it is perhaps unsurprising that one of the more controversial parts of the new “Scream” among fans has been the decision to kill off Dewey. The Radio Silence team say that is where the legacy carnage stopped — there was never a plan for Sidney or Gale to bite it. But the studio also had second thoughts about killing Dewey, and asked them to shoot a version where he survived. They ultimately obliged, but in a way that all but guaranteed Dewey would stay dead.

“We very begrudgingly got one shot that you could put some voiceover over, like, ‘He woke up from surgery, he’s gonna be fine,'” Gillett said. “With no intention of ever fucking using it.”

“Just to describe the shot, it was it was an over-the-shoulder from behind Gale and Sid of a doctor’s legs,” Bettinelli-Olpin added. “It was absolutely not really a usable shot.” He laughed. “‘Shot’ is very generous.”

So...they almost added a scene of Dewey surviving. Hmm.


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