Scream 7 Director’s Only Film Was a Massive Bomb; Can He Handle Ghostface?

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In the snake pit that is the world of franchises in Hollywood today, there’s nothing more divisive than Scream. What began in 1996 is still alive and kicking, just not with the same spirit, strength, or tone. Scream‘s new generation is divisive in itself, with a refreshing of the concept that appeals to modern audiences, sheds away the skin of ’90s nostalgia, and keeps thriving on the popularity of the horror genre.




The new sequels are able to bring together old and new fans, and the line is clear: both fan circles know their boundaries. You may prefer a rewatch or a premiere, but the important thing is that each has their own world to explore whenever they want.

However, the franchise has taken more than a nick recently. A solid stab in the form of a business plan remodeling that broke a few hearts and angered others. The new stars of the franchise, Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega, were the first to leave the franchise, both in different circumstances and following a set of events we prefer not to remember.

Christopher Landon had signed up to direct Scream 7, the new sequel being planned as a follow-up to Ghostface’s shenanigans, but then he was removed from the project. The adventures of Ghostface seemed to be dead, amidst the people’s pandering for several reasons. But Spyglass Entertainment would never let the project go. The cash cow has just worked too darn well in the last couple of years.


scream

Scream

Release Date
December 20, 1996

Runtime
111

A few days ago, a new change was announced. A last resort that resembles a shot in the dark and a last grasp at a straw for Spyglass. Not only is Sidney Prescott coming back as a character, following Neve Campbell’s refusal to participate in Scream VI last year because she wasn’t being paid enough, Spyglass has now announced a new director, and it’s the one you’d least expect. Not because he has no experience with the franchise, but because he’s only made one other film in his entire career. Kevin Williamson is his name, and if you’re familiar with Scream and all its offshoots, then you know who he is.


Not much is known about his participation, why he’s back, or what story he will tell. But instead of speculating, let’s take a look at what he represents in the industry, so conclusions can be drawn with a strong basis. Scream 7 won’t be as popular as others, but it’s a very interesting and risky project that will surely give people lots to talk about soon.

Timeline of the Scream franchise, so far:

Title

Year of Release

Director

Scream

1996

Wes Craven

Scream 2

1997

Wes Craven

Scream 3

2000

Wes Craven

Scream 4

2011

Wes Craven

Scream

2022

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Scream VI

2023

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett



Who is Scream 7’s New Director?

Kevin Williamson, the Man Behind the Concept

Kevin Williamson rose to fame when he took inspiration from the Gainesville Ripper Murders and wrote a film called Scary Movie. Sometime later, Miramax bought the script to release under Dimension Films, their horror-oriented company, and Wes Craven jumped on board to direct it. What followed was an extremely successful horror approach that blew everyone’s minds in 1996 and renewed faith in the genre, which had fizzled out after botched releases.

However, at the same time, Williamson was also trying to bring to life his concept of a drama series. Columbia TriStar gave him a shot, and Dawson’s Creek started shooting. Six seasons of pure teenage drama, created by a screenwriter who understood how teenagers talked, behaved, and felt. After a couple of years, Williamson started focusing more on movies, and his horror career continued.


As much as he appeared to drift away from Scream, he never completely severed his relationship with Craven and the world he had created. The hiatus materialized when Williamson abandoned his Scream 3 idea and focused on something he could do from scratch.

This was how audiences back in 1999 witnessed a very distinct film that neither people hated nor made a dent in the horror genre. Williamson’s Teaching Mrs. Tingle was a risky move by the director for his debut in the industry, and considering it’s his only credit as a director to this day, such a risk may not represent much for Spyglass, as they have given him a much valued position as a director for Scream 7, or whatever it ends up being called.

Related: How the Scream Franchise Has Outlived So Many Slasher Series


Teaching Mrs. Tingle: A Misunderstood Experiment

A Weird Mix of Tones That Went Mostly Unnoticed

Teaching Mrs. Tingle is a teen comedy horror thriller written and directed by Williamson. Released in 1999, the film was based on an outline written by Williamson long before he was accepted as Hollywood horror royalty and featured teen stars like Katie Holmes, Barry Watson, and Maria Coughlan. They starred opposite Helen Mirren.

In the film, three students design a payback plan in order to prove to their unforgiving teacher that they didn’t cheat on their final exam. Unfortunately, the plan goes too far, and they end up kidnapping Mrs. Tingle and tying her up. What follows is their best attempt to tilt their terrible plan to their advantage. We’ll throw a clue: it doesn’t work.


The film wasn’t well received by most. It was a box-office flop that critics didn’t like very much, and it sadly went unnoticed. To this day, its rating on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes is below average, and modern audiences aren’t very familiar with it. Hopefully, that’ll change soon, as the announcement of Williamson’s involvement with Scream 7 will surely call for a rewatch among fans. Nevertheless, it’s a strange case of a film that had all the features to be successful but failed miserably. Perhaps it was too inconsistent. Or perhaps it had to do with its release circumstances.

We’ll probably never know what happened in the original script called Killing Mrs. Tingle, but the title may give you an idea. The shootings at Columbine caused a delay, and, of course, the title was changed. It’s not clear what else was changed from the original concept. But this couldn’t have been a coincidence.


Columbine heavily affected society, and this could have had a terrible effect on what’s ultimately a harmless film. Just like other movies and TV shows suffered the effects of this horrific massacre, Teaching Mrs. Tingle fell under this indirect wave of scrutiny. You can stream Teaching Mrs. Tingle on Paramount+.

Kevin Williamson: The Voice of a Generation

Were You a Teen in the ’90s and 2000s? Then Williamson Understood What You Were Going Through

It’s very strange that Williamson’s only chance at directing had terrible results. He should have had creative control over everything in the movie. Chances are the intervention by Miramax was too difficult for Teaching Mrs. Tingle to hold, and the film failed in its experimental mashup of genres. It’s entertaining, but it’s not as authentic as other films Williamson wrote.


Nevertheless, his experience is broad and speaks for itself. He could easily be considered the voice of an entire generation, as he wrote notable features and shows that went beyond horror and simply framed stories under the shortcomings of teen circles. Teenage angst has always been a thing, and Williamson’s voice resonated with most of those who felt understood. Some of his scripts include:

  • Scream 2 and 4 are easily the best sequels in the franchise.
  • The Faculty is the sci-fi horror adventure directed by Robert Rodriguez that re-told the Body Snatchers concept with a very refreshing tone and cast.
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer is the teen horror juggernaut that rivaled Scream and featured a very original premise.
  • Cursed: the Craven-directed werewolf film that producers massacred.
  • Sick: the best film to emerge from the COVID era and one of the best horror films of 2022.


So, is that resume enough for everyone to start trusting Williamson and his return to the Ghostface franchise?

Related: 10 Movies That Prove Horror Sequels Are More Important Than Ever

A Risky Move to Save the Franchise

It Will Take More than a Few Names to Save Scream

It’s still too early to make any assumptions about the film’s direction. There’s still silence regarding the film’s script, and whether it will be redone by Williamson or if James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick’s work will be taken into consideration. All we know is Spyglass has decided to bring Sidney back, and a very experienced guy in the Scream-verse will be taking the role of director. To say Williamson is the right choice for Scream 7 is to take a wild guess about a film that’s still being designed. All we have is his past and it’s very divisive.


On one hand, we have Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Williamson’s only attempt at directing, and a film that suffered the consequences of a violent incident that eerily resembled its plot. And then we have his experience of voicing an entire generation and delivering genuinely interesting teenage storylines that are still relevant to this day.

It’s weird that he wasn’t just hired as a screenwriter but as a director, but maybe it’s the only way he could get some control of what will surely be a passion project for Williamson, who was very close with Craven, the co-creator of the franchise. It’s risky, but there’s no other option but to go forward.


In any case, we’re sure he can handle Ghostface, the villain who shape-shifts every now and then. He did it in the past, and considering his recent approach to horror and slasher films, we don’t see how he can fail at making a fun Scream sequel for the fans who still remain faithful to the franchise. He will have to deal with the wrath of today’s chaotic fandom, but for now, we’ll just have to trust him to see what he can do with Scream 7. The man can sure write a pretty good horror film, but can he direct one? Only time will tell.

Considering Scream VI was one of 2023’s notable horror films, here’s a video of some other horror films from last year that are better than their reviews say:

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