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Kevin Williamson teases 'Scream VI' as 'fresh reinvention' as meta slasher franchise takes Manhattan

Scream VI heads for the Big Apple Friday, March 10.

By Josh Weiss
Ghostface in Scream VI

Kevin Williamson can't heap enough praise on the sixth installment in the Scream franchise he and Wes Craven birthed nearly 30 years ago. In fact, he's "absolutely floored with how well it turned out."

After all these years, Ghostface — the iconic and knife-wielding maniac of the meta property that breathed new life into the dying slasher genre as it slowly bled out — is headed for their biggest kill zone yet: New York City. Four survivors of the Woodsboro massacre head for the island of Manhattan, hoping to leave all the violence in the past, only to find that it's followed them to the crowded and bustling streets of a metropolitan hub known for its sleepless nature.

"It doesn’t feel like 'Part 6,’ it feels like you're watching this big, huge, fresh reinvention," Williamson, who returns as an executive producer on Scream VI, tells SYFY WIRE during a larger discussion about his COVID-19 horror flick: SICK (now streaming on Peacock). "I love, love, love, love it. I’ve watched the movie with a big smile on my face. I think it's everything and more. And going to New York was awesome. The movie feels new, it feels fresh, it feels like a new movie."

A fast-tracked follow-up to last year's well-received soft reboot (simply titled Scream), the upcoming film hailing from Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Media Group, and Project X Entertainment was once again written by the duo of James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, two members of the filmmaking collection known as Radio Silence, are back as co-directors.

"Radio Silence is amazing, they’re the perfect people to take the torch," Williamson concludes. "I love Scream VI. It’s really good. It’s great. There’s no way around it. I’m very happy with how it turned out … I really do have all that enthusiasm for it. I’m really excited."

Of course, none of this would have been possible without Williamson's transformative Scream script. When we ask about his creative process for conceiving novel twists on well-worn genre tropes, the writer provides a modest answer:

"I don't know what the fresh angle is. The line keeps moving, everything keeps changing. I just write what I want to see. I watch a lot of movies, other horror films, and I'm so happy with the genre right now. I think Blumhouse, James Wan, and Jordan Peele are all doing these amazing things ... I watch everything Aad then I say, 'Well, let me write something I'm not seeing right now. Let me write something that I think I can add to the conversation.’ That’s kind of how I approach it. There's no trick to it or roadmap, really."

Scream VI (2023)

During an interview last year, Bettinelli-Olpin stated that the key was to stay true to the material, while subverting audience expectations.  "It has to take a risk," he explained. "And I think we had a lot of fun on this one being like, 'How do we make sure that we have one foot firmly planted in the legacy and in the history of Scream, but then also try to take a step forward and try to play with your expectations a little bit?'"

The cast includes: Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Mason Gooding, Liana Liberato, Dermot Mulroney, Devyn Nekoda, Jenna Ortega, Tony Revolori, Josh Segarra, Samara Weaving, Hayden Panettiere, and Courteney Cox.

Gary Barber, Peter Oillataguerre, Chad Villella, Courteney Cox, Ron Lynch, Cathy Konrad, and Marianne Maddalena also serve as executive producers alongside Williamson.

Scream VI heads for the Big Apple on Friday, March 10.

SICK, which takes place in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, is now streaming on Peacock.