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Interview: Filmmakers Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin on SCREAM (2022)

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If the past couple of years have proven anything, it’s that you can’t keep a good horror franchise (especially a slasher movie) down for too long. We’ve had rebooted sequels or “requels” for everything from Halloween to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So, it was only natural that when SCREAM triumphantly returned earlier this year that it took a stab at these current trends in the genre. Recently, I was able to talk with directors Tyler Gillet and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin to cut deeper into what Scream means in 2022.

L-r, Producer William Sherak, Director Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Executive Producer Kevin Williamson, Director Tyler Gillett and Executive Producer Chad Villella on the set of Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

Jacob Davison: Let’s start things off at the beginning. How did you meet and form the collective, Radio Silence?

Tyler Gillett: Oh, I like it! Going way back. Well, Matt and I met working office jobs at New Line and we knew each other as co-workers and office mates…

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: Co-underlings!

TG: Co-underlings. Chad’s our producing partner. Chad and Matt met in an acting class. I think we all came to L.A. with aspirations of making movies. I think we all learned very quickly, as most new people who move to L.A.learn, it takes a long time to do that. If you want to be making movies at a high level you have to ask a lot of people a lot of permission and the barrier entry is really, really hard. So, we just decided to form our own thing. We knew we all loved movies and we knew that we got along and we all had similar ambitions in our desire to work really hard to figure out how to do it. So, we joined forces and started making short films. And honestly, the rest is history! That was 13 or 14 years ago that we started making stuff together.

JD: How did you become involved with this new iteration of SCREAM?

MBO: Jamie, who is the producer and the writer, him and his producing partners Paul and William at Project X they had the opportunity to take on producing the new SCREAM and we had just made READY OR NOT with them. That was such a great experience for all of us when they got the opportunity to produce this, they essentially said “I want to make it with this group.” We’ve had to fight harder for crappy jobs we don’t want that we didn’t get and SCREAM was this lucky… we all had a great experience, we all really like each other, we respect each other. We basically had an interview with the head of the company that we didn’t know was our audition. It was just a general meeting. Then he ended up liking us. We got told “Just be cool. Just be yourselves.” What else would we do, it’s just a meeting. That worked out and we got to do it! It was a very quick process. We were supposed to start in February of 2020 and location scout in March and then obviously the pandemic hit and everything came to a halt.

L-r, Dylan Minnette (“Wes”), Jack Quaid (“Richie”), Melissa Barrera (“Sam”) and David Arquette (“Dewey Riley”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

JD: I see. And how else did that affect production?

TG: It affected it in ways too numerous to list. What I can say is I think the thing we weren’t expecting was that it was going to bring us all as close together as it did. We had this amazing experience I just don’t think we’ll be able to replicate. (Laughter) Hopefully, we’re not making things under the same circumstances! But, you know, to keep the cast and everyone safe and healthy we all hung out at the same hotel. That’s very rare. Usually, people get their own house and split off and you don’t really see them see each other, other than on set and occasionally at dinner when you are off set. But for us, it was day and night. We were spending time together in this conference room in the hotel we were staying at. And I think the level of bond that we formed not only because we were in proximity but because we were all learning how to make something under a totally different set of rules under the circumstances was really profound. I think it was an incredible silver lining in all of the craziness of making a movie during the pandemic was.

L-r, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and Executive Producer Kevin Williamson on the set of Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

JD: Cool! That actually ties into another question I wanted to ask. What was it like bringing in a new cast to work with the returning cast from the SCREAM franchise?

MBO: It was great and it was seamless. I think a lot of that has to do with everybody that we cast in the new cast loves SCREAM and they have a lot of respect not just for the franchise but also David, Neve, and Courtney. It felt like everyone got into it wanting to do their best and wanting to make this something special and then Neve, David, and Courtney were very welcoming and generous. Once they were on board to make the movie it felt like “Here, let me share this with you guys.” And everybody opened up and everyone was welcomed with open arms. I think with us and them and the different generations of cast it made all the difference. And everyone trusted one another, respected one another, got along great, had a good time.

David Arquette (“Dewey Riley”) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

JD: Happy to hear that! With regard to this new iteration of SCREAM, each movie is kind of reflective of the landscape of cinema and horror at its time. So what do you think this new version of SCREAM has to say about horror in the 2020s?

TG: I think it has a lot to say! (Laughter) I think it has a lot to say about the sort of ‘IP Landscape’ and it certainly has a lot to say about fandom and how we engage with the things that we love and how short the distance is between us as fans and the people who make the things that we love is nowadays. How sticky and complicated that can be. I think it tackles all of that and we hope that it tackles it in a way that is serious and has some opinions about it, but at the same time, we also hope that we are making fun of ourselves along the way, every chance that we can get! Every opportunity there was for the movie to provide some commentary on requels and reboots and also raise our own hands and say “We’re guilty of the same things and we hate ourselves for it!” That’s the kind of thing SCREAM movies do when they’re operating at their best, right? They’re so reflective and self-aware of where they fit into that conversation. That was a really fun thing to be a part of by creating something that was actively having a conversation with the audience. It’s not usually something you get to do. Usually, you’re trying to suspend disbelief and transport people into another reality. And a SCREAM movie is so close to our reality it’s so much fun to have a conversation with the audience through the screen.

Melissa Barrera (“Sam”) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

JD: Oh yeah. I completely agree. I thought it hit upon a lot of interesting points. Especially about sequels and fandom just kind of going hand in hand these days. On a similar note, of all horror subgenera, it feels like the slasher is one of the most recurring. Combined with requels and sequels, slashers seem to be the ones that come back the most. Ironically, like Jason or Michael and all that. Why do you think that is?

MBO: I think there’s something so primal about slashers. It’s like the act of getting a knife stuck in you is so terrifying. I think that the subtext of that and the analogies that those movies are making and their relationship to the real world and the fears we’re experiencing at the time that movie is made, the slasher provides a very clean analog for that. I think that can change on the world and based on the villain based on a million different things, but I think there is something just so simple about it. Where there’s a person with a knife and they won’t stop coming after you until they kill you. Then with that foundation, you have limitless options on how you can explore the world around you. It sort of reminds me a little bit of westerns. Westerns were so prevalent and they keep coming back because there’s a sort of blank slate to it. You can apply whatever you want the movie to be about.

JD: I see.

MBO: (laughter) I could be wrong!

JD: It makes sense to me! And on that note, there are some particularly spectacular kill sequences in this movie befitting a slasher. I can’t go into too many details to avoid spoilers, but what goes into making the kill scenes for a slasher like this?

TG: I think for us, and this is something not necessarily unique to SCREAM but I think that the SCREAM movies do, and do historically well, is that all of those kill scenes have a specific identity. You can kind of boil them down to a very specific moment or gag. Because of that, they’re all really memorable. They really have a fun arc and shape. For us, we really wanted to do justice to that. We really wanted to dig in all of our kill sequences. At times there are nods and homages and they’re pastiche-ing other kills that we’ve seen before, but they all feel really unique and have a very specific identity. There’s a gag, on in particular without getting into spoilers, I think people are talking about as the very specific iconic kill in our movie. And that is based on a trope that we have a lot of fun with. That’s the identity of that kill, right? It’s just a very specific thing and we’ve really tried to make sure that everything felt unique and that if it was retreading itself it was very aware of being a retread and then we just flipped the expectation of that on its head. That was just something we all really loved about these movies as fans and wanted to make sure that we saw through in this movie.

SCREAM is now available to rent and buy digitally and VOD as well as streamable on Paramount+. SCREAM on DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4K UHD is slated for April 5th, 2022

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‘Wednesday” Comes To Netflix November 23rd

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Most of us originally thought that the new Wednesday series would premiere in October. It would certainly fit in perfectly with the spooky season. However, when we didn’t see the series starring Jenna Ortega on the Netflix and Chills list we knew we would have to wait a bit longer.

We have received official word that the much anticipated Tim Burton series will be released on Netflix Thanksgiving weekend. The date was shared along with a new poster that you can see below.

Watch Wednesday On Netflix Starting November 23, 2022

The synopsis for Wednesday goes like this:

The series is a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy, where she attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the murder mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago — all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore.

Go deeper into the Wednesday character with Jenna Ortega and Tim Burton in this featurette.

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‘Sinphony’ Trailer Reveals a New Terrifying Anthology Experience

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Sinphony

Sinphony: A Clubhouse Horror Anthology offers up nine new tales of horror all packed in a tense set. The stories range from a witch trying to protect her kids from a killer to mold spores that make you ravenous if inhaled.

The synopsis for Sinphony: A Clubhouse Horror Anthology goes like this:

Conceived and curated entirely on the popular, audio-based social media platform Clubhouse and produced by Screen Anthology, SINPHONY: A Clubhouse Horror Anthology features a group of international filmmakers each exploring a character dealing with tragedy caused by a supernatural entity. 

The directors contributing segments to the film include a new who’s who of horror: Haley Bishop, Jason Ragosta, Sebastien Bazile & Michael Galvan, Mark Pritchard, Kimberley Elizabeth, Jason Wilkinson, Nichole Carlson, Steven Keller and Wes Driver.

SINPHONY’s shocking stories include: an innkeeper’s growing concern about his secretive new guests; a contractor who inhales mold spores that lead to murder; a couple confronting the fact that one of them is a ghost; a witch protecting her child from a killer; a dance craze that has dire consequences, and much more.

Sinphony’s directors include Jason Ragosta, Steven Keller, Haley Bishop, Wes Driver, Mark Pritchard, Kimberley Elizabeth, Jason Wilkinson, Nicole Carlson, Michael Galvan & Sebastien Bazile.

Sinphony arrives in theaters, on digital and in theaters beginning October 21.

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Keanu Reeves Will Return As ‘Constantine’ in Sequel Directed by Francis Lawrence

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Constantine

Keanu Reeves will finally return as John Constantine in a film directed by Francis Lawrence once again. Deadline reports that the new film has been given the greenlight. The first film came out back in 2005 and introduced a very different version of DC’s Hellblazer John Constantine.

The Constantine sequel will be directed by Lawrence and produced by Bad Robot with JJ Abrams and Hannah Minghella. Plus, Akiva Goldsmith is set to write.

Over the years since the release of 2005’s Constantine, Matt Ryan played a very authentic version of the blonde, British demonologist for a shortlived NBC series. Ryan has also given the character voice in animated films as well as portrayed the character in spinoffs to other DC worlds such as Legends of Tomorrow.

The synopsis for Constantine went like this:

As a suicide survivor, demon hunter John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) has literally been to hell and back — and he knows that when he dies, he’s got a one-way ticket to Satan’s realm unless he can earn enough goodwill to climb God’s stairway to heaven. While helping policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) investigate her identical twin’s apparent suicide, Constantine becomes caught up in a supernatural plot involving both demonic and angelic forces. Based on the DC/Vertigo “Hellblazer” comics.

Over the years we have heard buzz about a possible Constantine sequel several times, with no actual flame behind the sparks. So, it is definitely exciting to see the film actually moving forward.

Stay tuned for more Keanu Constantine details.

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