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Everything we know about the new Scream movie so far

In 1996, Wes Craven's Scream singlehandedly reinvented the slasher movie while simultaneously heralding a renaissance for the kind of self-aware horror movie that would continue to define the genre for decades to come. With four films firmly under the franchise's belt (all directed by horror master Craven before his untimely death in 2015), as well as a television show that diverged from the film canon, it seemed that the various iterations of the killer Ghostface and their stabby grudges had run their course. 

Written by Kevin Williamson (except for Scream 3, which was penned by Ehren Kruger), the four films in particular seemed to have exhausted any potential plot twists about who could be after scream queen and final girl Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) this time around. In a surprise announcement to startle even the most hardened scary movie fans, it turns out a fifth Scream movie is indeed in the works. Will it be a reboot? A direct sequel to Scream 4? Connected to the television show? Something else entirely? Here is everything we know about the new Scream movie so far. 

Spyglass Media Group is currently developing the new Scream film

Bloody Disgusting dropped the news that Gary Barber's Spyglass Media Group has acquired the Scream franchise and has begun initial development for a fifth movie. Spyglass has been behind a number of successful horror projects such as The Sixth Sense, Shutter Island, Unbreakable, The Happening, The Ruins, and Dragonfly, among a wide range of other films of various genres. 

While Wes Craven's death was certainly an event that halted future Scream movies in their tracks, so too was the franchise tied up in litigation as original owner Dimension Films reorganized in the fallout of co-founder Harvey Weinstein's history of sexual misconduct coming to light. Dimension has since been acquired by Lantern Entertainment, under whose umbrella Spyglass Media Group falls. Writer Kevin Williamson doesn't seem attached to the project as of yet, but it is too early in the news to say for certain if he will remain off the ticket. 

Where did the Scream franchise leave off?

When we last saw our intrepid heroine Sidney Prescott in Scream 4, she was fresh from defeating the newest Ghostface Killers, her cousin Jill Roberts and her boyfriend Charlie. Tired of living in Sydney's shadow, Jill has decided to put herself in Sidney's final girl shoes, framing her cousin for a new set of grisly murders, many of which echo the events of the first Scream film. But in Jill's zeal to play victim, she reveals too much about the attacks, and an injured but still plucky Gale figures it out. Sidney dispatches her cousin with the cold precision of Ghostface herself, and lives to fight another day along with Gale and Dewey. 

The Scream television series, meanwhile, took an entirely new direction with the story. The show's first two seasons, related to the movies in little more than the title, follow a new group of teens facing a masked killer while dealing with their hometown's dark history. Scream's third season, subtitled Resurrection, rebooted once again with more oblique references to the original movies and the return of the iconic Ghostface mask design, but an entirely new setting in Atlanta.

Might the new Scream be a "legacyquel"?

So far, all we have is a whole lot of speculation about how a fifth installment of the Scream franchise might play out. It could easily be a direct sequel to Scream 4. Sidney Prescott's deranged cousin Jill failed in Scream 4, prompting Collider to wonder if a fifth film might be a "'legacyquel' where they bring back Neve Campbell as Sidney and then find a way to hand the series off to a new group of characters." 

This speculation makes a lot of sense. Unlike the new sequels to Halloween that go right back to the beginning and pretend as if other sequels didn't happen, Scream's structure can't so easily ret-con past events, since each film feeds into the next in specific ways. Then again, a fifth Scream could end up being lots of things — a direct sequel to Scream 4 featuring Sidney, Gale, and Dewey in main roles as previously; a reboot that entirely resets the franchise to a new beginning; a prequel that explores characters long dead. A fifth Scream movie might even tie in the events of the two seasons of the Scream television show. Let's hope that whatever they do, it honors not just Scream's legacy in the horror canon, but also its creator Wes Craven's.

Neve Campbell didn't think there would be a 5th Scream

Back in 2013, Scream star Neve Campbell seemed skeptical about a fifth movie, telling Collider (via Digital Spy), "I'm not sure they're going to make it, to be honest. If that were to come up again and they were to approach me, I'd have a chat with them about it." Now, with the news that a fifth film is reportedly in the works, we can only hope that Campbell is one of the first people being approached to star in the project. 

All four previous Scream movies have featured her prominently as the hero survivor and final girl, but if Spyglass has a reboot in mind, then Campbell's future importance to the Scream movies may well be up in the air. That said, a Scream film without iconic survivors Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) would be like a Nightmare on Elm Street without Freddy Krueger or a Friday the 13th without at least one Voorhees. Hopefully this new Scream installment will continue to do justice to the movies that came before. 

Fan theories are already brewing about Scream 5

It doesn't take more than a brief press release about a beloved franchise returning for fans' brains to begin cooking up theories, and Scream 5 is no different. The biggest fan theory involves Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), who was killed in Scream 2 and made a posthumous appearance in Scream 3 via video tape. The theory poses that Randy actually faked his death and will return as the new mastermind in the fifth installment. Jamie Kennedy himself supports this theory, writing on Twitter, "I think this is an interesting angle. And I think I know why he did it." 

And of course we have the requisite fan theory that Sidney Prescott becomes the killer, upending her final girl status and taking a new throne as slasher queen. But this also seems unlikely — Sidney's journey has been one of healing by Scream 4, marked by her memoir title Out of Darkness. An about face this dramatic doesn't fit her character development. Also, the Scream films have always worked against the zeitgeist, so if we're even talking about theories, chances are we'll all end up proven wrong. We'll have our masks on and our eyes open as more details about the fifth Scream movie emerge out of darkness, and into the light.