‘Scream’ Filmmakers Ending Death the ‘Star Wars’ Cameo

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When the filmmakers behind the new “Scream” — directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and executive producer Chad Villella, collectively known as Radio Silence — first read the script by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, they loved how it applied this franchise’s self-aware sensibility to the state of franchise filmmaking itself. 

Rather than tweak the “rules” of horror films or sequels, this new “Scream” slices into fans themselves and how rabid demand for resurrecting long dormant movie franchises has led to the rise of the legacy sequel, or “requel.”

This story discusses crucial plot developments — including a major death and who is behind the murders in the movie — in the 2022 horror film “Scream,” currently playing in theaters.

“It just hit a button with us,” Bettinelli-Olpin told Variety a week before the film’s debut. “We were like, ‘Oh, this is about something that’s very real and the way we watch movies now.'”

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As presented in the movie, a “requel” is anything in which the old cast of a beloved movie franchise — like “Scream” mainstays Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale (Courteney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette) — return to help a set of new characters within the ongoing story: in this case, sisters Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega), the center of a new spate of gruesome murders by Ghostface.

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.'”


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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.”

The Radio Silence team also talked with Variety about their thinking behind their film’s jabs at fandoms, reuniting Cox and Arquette on screen years after their divorce, and how they deflected the studio’s desire to keep hope alive about a dearly departed character.


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