A Nightmare on Elm Street. The Hills Have Eyes. And of course, Scream. Filmmaker Wes Craven spent decades haunting our dreams and creating some of the most well-known horror films ever.
And though Craven passed away in 2015, his legacy lives on—as does his longest-running franchise.
Between 1996 and 2011, Craven helmed four different Scream features. The popular films are teen slashers with a satiric, darkly comedic twist, and are known for keeping fans on the edge of their seat. (Both because of sudden kills and because the identity of the killer always comes with a twist reveal.)
Now, a new Scream film is on its way—the first to be made without Craven. But the cast and creators want to be clear: this movie is very much influenced by and a tribute to Craven himself.
“Wes Craven… you always think of him as the king of horror. He is an incredible director, but he’s also an incredible human,” said Courteney Cox. The actor starred in the previous four Scream films directed by Craven, and returns for the new installment as well.
Cox, along with her long-time franchise co-stars Neve Campbell and David Arquette, said the filmmaker’s clear love and respect for Craven influenced their decision to board the new film. Campbell, the last of the trio to sign on, actually said a letter from directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett about upholding Craven’s legacy convinced her to commit to Scream.
“We are fans on a level that is hard to express,” said director Tyler Gillett.
Even the new cast members, who hadn’t worked with Craven personally, feel his importance on set.
“They love the original. They wanna honor Wes,” said Melissa Barrera of the directing duo. “And it’s so scary!”
Watch the cast and creative team discuss Craven’s legacy and dedicate the new Scream to him in the clip below.
Scream premieres in theaters January 14. But you can get a taste of the scares to come early. On December 21, Bettinelli-Olpin, Gillett, and Chad Villella will host a live discussion on Facebook. Tune in to the Woodsboro Horror Film Club Facebook Page at 5:15pm PST / 8:15pm EST.