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Why is the fifth Scream movie just called 'Scream'? The directors promise there's a good reason

Scream stabs its way into theaters everywhere on Jan. 14, 2022.

By Josh Weiss
Scream (2022) Still

In recent years, the popular trend with horror reboots and revivals has been to simply name the new movie after the one that first kicked off the long-running franchise. The latest project to do this is the fifth Scream movie, which, as you've probably guessed, is just called Scream. Turns out the film's co-directors — Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (the duo behind 2019's Ready or Not) — have an answer for why this semi-confusing title choice isn't just a cop out.

"It's about paying respect and letting people know we're honoring everything the series is with this movie," Bettinelli-Olpin explained to Empire for the magazines' December 2021 issue. "The world that Wes [Craven] and Kevin [Williamson] built, it's a big universe. This movie is an encapsulation of all that. It felt like the best way to honor that was to show people, 'Yep, it's the Scream that you know and love, and it's going to be something else moving forward.'"

But before the series can move forward with a new generation of heroes, it has to pay homage to what came before. Hence the inclusion of legacy characters like Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), Dewey Riley (David Arquette), and Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton). 

"The most important part of bringing this franchise back to life was making sure the people that were so close to Wes, and so involved in the fabric of what the series was, were involved and gave us their blessing," Gillett said. "There was no version of this story for us that would work without the three of them," the filmmaker added, referring to Campbell, Cox, and Arquette.

"I genuinely was in two minds," Campbell said prior to the first trailer's debut online several weeks ago. "The idea of making these films without Wes Craven seemed challenging to me. I loved the man very much. But Matt and Tyler wrote me a letter, speaking of their appreciation and great respect for Wes Craven, and speaking of the fact that the very reason that they are directors today was because of these movies and because of Wes, and that meant a great deal to me."

Written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, the upcoming slasher co-stars a slew of new faces going up against the one and only Ghostface. Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar co-star as fresh fodder with connections to previous victims.

Kevin Williamson (original Scream screenwriter), Chad Villella, Gary Barber, Peter Oillataguerre, Ron Lynch, Cathy Konrad, and Marianne Maddalena serve as executive producers. Vanderbilt, William Sherak, and Paul Neinstein are producers.

Scream stabs its way into theaters everywhere on Jan. 14, 2022.