[This story contains spoilers for Scream VI.]

Scream VI filmmakers Radio Silence, the collective that consists of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett and Chad Villella, have set a new franchise record with a $44.5 million opening weekend. 

Just 14 months after their legacy sequel Scream (2022) reinvigorated Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven’s slasher franchise by introducing it to a whole new generation of horror fans, co-directors Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, alongside producer Villella, are now opening up about the choices they did and didn’t make. For starters, the persistent rumor that Stu Macher (Mathew Lillard) would reprise his co-Ghostface role from the original 1996 film and serve as Scream VI’s Ghostface mastermind was actually started by their co-screenwriter Guy Busick.

“We love that [Guy did that] … It’s cool to be a part of a franchise where who lives and who dies is so meaningful to people. And who knows, with Guy at the keyboard, anything is possible with Stu Macher,” Gillett tells The Hollywood Reporter with a hint of future possibility.

During the development of Scream VI, negotiations with the unmasked face of the franchise, Neve Campbell, fell through over a salary dispute, and with a potential Scream 7 presumably coming sooner rather than later, the filmmakers aren’t throwing in the towel whatsoever. 

“We’d never give up on her. We love Neve, and we love Sidney. So we’d love to be able to make another movie with her, and we’re not giving up,” Bettinelli-Olpin shares.

The central question of Radio Silence’s two Scream movies is whether Billy Loomis’ (Skeet Ulrich) daughter, Sam (Melissa Barrera), will follow in her father’s footsteps or not. She’s definitely embraced her lineage’s darker instincts during the climactic moments of both films, and even though she left her father’s Ghostface mask behind to close Scream VI, the jury is still out on whether she’ll ultimately resist the devil on her shoulder or succumb to it.

“That’s a part of her character that’s not going to change. It’s something she will always be dealing with,” Bettinelli-Olpin says. 

Below, during a recent spoiler conversation with THR, Radio Silence also discusses the key contributions that Scream’s (2022) co-Ghostface, Jack Quaid, made to Scream VI.

Well, let’s cut the chase. Your past final girl, [Ready or Not‘s] Samara Weaving, is now your first girl, if you will. Was that poetic bookend too appealing to pass up?

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: Yeah, I think [co-screenwriters] Guy [Busick] and Jamie [Vanderbilt] had her in mind when they were writing, and as soon as we read it, we were like, “Oh my God, that could be Sam. That could be Samara.” So it just felt like there was something so fun about that kind of trade off, and the opportunity to work with Samara again is something we’ll jump at any chance we get.

SCREAM VI

Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Devyn Nekoda, Melissa Barrera in Scream VI

Everett

When you decided how your characters were going to die in this film, did you go back through the work of Quentin Tarantino just to be safe this time and avoid any overlap?

Radio Silence: (Erupts with Laughter.)

Bettinelli-Olpin: We didn’t! So there might be [overlap]. We should’ve had Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on repeat.

Jenna Ortega and Jasmin Savoy Brown both leveled up in between movies thanks to Wednesday and Yellowjackets, respectively. Did that change anything for you guys other than box office tracking?

Tyler Gillett: No, I think we recognized their talent on the first day of shooting with them on [Scream (2022)]. It was just really clear that they — and everyone in the cast — is prodigiously talented. And one of the benefits of these movies being made so close together is that Guy and Jamie were really able to write towards everyone’s strengths. We knew in [Scream 5] that we were underutilizing Jenna, and so we knew that she was going to have to have — and should have — a bigger role in Scream VI just because she’s incredible. But that sort of went for everybody. There was just an opportunity to write richer and deeper connections between all of these characters and give them more complicated and nuanced work to accomplish. And we’re just so thrilled that everyone showed up and just absolutely brought it. 

L-r, Hayden Panettiere (“Kirby Reed”), Jasmin Savoy Brown (“Mindy Meeks-Martin”), Jack Champion (“Ethan Landry“), Melissa Barrera (“Sam Carpenter”), Jenna Ortega (“Tara Carpenter”), Mason Gooding (“Chad Meeks-Martin”) and Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream VI."

L-r, Hayden Panettiere (“Kirby Reed”), Jasmin Savoy Brown (“Mindy Meeks-Martin”), Jack Champion (“Ethan Landry“), Melissa Barrera (“Sam Carpenter”), Jenna Ortega (“Tara Carpenter”), Mason Gooding (“Chad Meeks-Martin”) and Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s Scream VI.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

When it comes to the Easter egg museum, was any of that stuff pulled from studio archives? Or did you have to recreate it all? 

Chad Villella: Everything was recreated. There might have been a prop or two from Scream 5, but all the original things were recreated. Some were made from the same material or the same spool of cloth from the original costumes, but the art department and the costume department worked hand in hand to make sure everything was painstakingly detail oriented and very true to form. And they really delivered. It was such a fun set to be able to play in and walk through, and as a fan of the films, it was just really nice to be able to have that all there. 

Both your movies have tempted Sam (Melissa Barrera) with the Dark Side, and she really tries it on for size in Scream VI. How worried should we be about her moving forward?

Bettinelli-Olpin: It’s a great question. I wish I had an answer, but I don’t. Playing with that darkness was there in [Scream 5], but in [Scream VI], Melissa really sank her teeth into it in a cool way. And that’s a part of her character that’s not going to change. It’s something she will always be dealing with.

Melissa Barrera (“Sam Carpenter”) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream VI."

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

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Did Richie’s (Jack Quaid) family stick pretty early as Scream VI’s Ghostface enterprise?

Gillett: Yes and no. There was a version that had a similar shape. We were in development with Guy and Jamie, and one of the benefits of this process is that we were brought in a little bit earlier. The script was being written while we were essentially prepping, and so we were able to help steer some things. So, as the shrine in a movie theater came into being, we knew we wanted something projected, and we knew that the connection to Richie’s family was floating out there. So it felt like a cool way to tie this all up into a nice little package, and make that motive super emotional and really primal and really relatable in a sense. It’s a revenge story at the end of the day, and for a movie that’s so complex in terms of its set pieces and its moves, we wanted that motive to be something about family. The “core four,” as a found family, is its own thematic thing, and so using family and stretching that out over the villain felt like a really natural and interesting way to explore that same theme.

For the film projection, did Jack Quaid give you guys some old home movies of himself?

Villella: He did! Jack Quaid was all over it, and kudos to Jack for wanting to come and play on this one. I think he was shooting The Boys in Toronto when we were filming, and he just immediately responded to our messages and was like, “Hell yes! Let’s do it. Let’s get on the phone and figure out what you need.” And he sent everything, so we’re beyond grateful to him.

Gillett: Shout out to Adam Sand and Adriana King. They were our assistants up in Montreal, and they actually put together [Richie’s] fan films that were being projected. The level of work and detail in them is just incredible. 

Villella: It really changed the third act. 

Bettinelli-Olpin: Yeah, when you listen to the audio of it, it’s all super background, but Jack also came in and did a lot of that for us. So, it’s as if he’s playing a younger Richie. It’s not just the stuff you see on camera, but when you hear a fake Ghostface, a lot of that is Jack.

On the subject of Neve Campbell and a potential return someday, has no one given up on her?

Bettinelli-Olpin: We’d never give up on her. We love Neve, and we love Sidney. So we’d love to be able to make another movie with her, and we’re not giving up.

There was a rumor for a little while that Matthew Lillard’s Stu Macher was the killer in Scream VI, and whoever started it was probably building off of Lillard’s past claims that Stu was the original Ghostface or mastermind in Scream 3. Anyway, did you guys start that rumor?

Radio Silence: (Laughs.)

Gillett: Guy Busick might be one of the guys that started that rumor, right?

Bettinelli-Olpin: Yeah, I talked to Guy about that.

Gillett: We love that [Guy did that], though. It’s cool to be a part of a franchise where who lives and who dies is so meaningful to people. Obviously, right on the heels of Scream 4, Kirby’s [fate] was a huge version of that same thing. That was a big debate, and we loved that we were able to answer that in a way that was really consequential. And who knows, with Guy at the keyboard, anything is possible with Stu Macher.

Radio Silence: (Laughs.)

I know you’ve used dummy scripts in the past to prevent leaks, so was there one actually written with Stu in the fold? 

Gillett: No, but God do I wish that I had a different answer.

Bettinelli-Olpin: There’s still time.

Radio Silence: (Laughs.)

Four characters’ fates were up in the air until the very end of the film. Was there actual debate about who would survive up until the very end of production? Did you give yourselves the option to go either way?

Bettinelli-Olpin: No, everything is exactly as scripted. We didn’t make any changes.

Gillett: For as brutal and as violent and as scary as [Scream VI] is, we wanted this to be a secret feel-good movie, because that’s really what [Scream (1996)] is. All the people that you love – minus Tatum [Rose McGowan], really — make it out alive, and one of the reasons that movie is so lasting and enduring is because it just feels great at the end. So we really wanted to replicate that in as big and fun and grand a way as we could.

Director Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, left, and Director Tyler Gillett on the set of Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream VI."

Director Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, left, and Director Tyler Gillett on the set of Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s Scream VI.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Scream (2022) came out 14 months ago. That’s an insane turnaround time, but it’s fitting since Scream 2 also had a miraculously quick turnaround of less than a year. Are you shocked you pulled it off?

Villella:  Yes, without question. But kudos to the incredible team that did it. Obviously, the three of us, the Project X [Entertainment] guys …

Bettinelli-Olpin: Kudos to us! 

Radio Silence: (Laughs.)

Villella: And Guy Busick as well. It was due to the fact that we were all very familiar with each other and had worked together already on Scream 5 and Ready or Not. So it was just nice being able to put the band back together and get things going.

When you guys left the editing room and took a field trip to see Avatar: The Way of Water, was it a bizarre experience given the Jack Champion of it all?

Gillett: It was pretty bizarre. (Laughs.) Jamie [Vanderbilt] found this amazing Spider shirt that was all Jack Champion, and he was going to give us a hundred bucks to wear it to the premiere. I still might take him up on it.

Jack Champion (“Ethan Landry“) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream VI."

Jack Champion (“Ethan Landry“) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s Scream VI.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

The subway sequence has its own Easter eggs from the horror genre. Were those mask clearances tough to pull off? 

Bettinelli-Olpin: Well, we’re not lawyers, but when we were up in Montreal, we were told that it wasn’t going to happen. And because we’re not lawyers, we were like, “Ah, crap. This is gonna suck. What a bummer.” That was such a huge part of the identity of the [sequence] on the page. They get on the subway and look around to see all these horror icons, and the script then lists a bunch of them. So we really begged for that, and people who were not us figured that out.

Gillett: Real-life lawyers! 

Bettinelli-Olpin: They figured it out, and we were genuinely shocked. We were like, “Oh my God, really? How did you get away with that?” 

Gillett: And there were specific guidelines. They couldn’t do the thing that they’re known to do. They couldn’t act like the character.

Villella: Yeah, even Michael Myers was just standing there on the subway.

Bettinelli-Olpin: You’re opening us up to a lawsuit.

Radio Silence: (Laughs.)

Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) has another Randy-like (Jamie Kennedy) monologue in this film. Does that speech echo any of your own debates with Guy and Jamie during writing and development?

Bettinelli-Olpin: Guy and Jamie wrote that, and it changed very little from what we originally read. We have a text chain with Guy and Jamie that is probably our most active text chain, and it’s always just talking about movies and silly shit. But one of the fun things about Scream is the way it has a conversation with the audience about itself, and as this movie developed, that monologue would shift a little bit. When we’d find new things, they would find a way to put them into that monologue so that the movie was so specifically talking about itself, which happens in almost every Scream.

Conceptually, would a New Nightmare version of Scream be a worthwhile premise? It would certainly take the meta storytelling to a whole new level. Past Scream actors could all come back and play real-life versions of themselves, while using all the movies as a survival guide of sorts. But perhaps the franchise would be eating its own tail at that point.

Villella: That’s a great pitch. You should write that one. I would watch it in a heartbeat. 

Kevin Williamson said the same thing.

Gillett: Is it too meta for a movie franchise that’s already so meta? I think you might be onto something with the snake eating its own tail.

***
Scream VI is now playing in movie theaters. This interview was edited for length and clarity.


movies raleigh nc
movies rn
movies released in 2021
ryan reynolds movies
ryan gosling movies
robin williams movies
romantic movies
romance movies
resident evil movies
rachel mcadams movies
robert de niro movies
ralph fiennes movies
reese witherspoon movies and tv shows
movies streaming now
movies showing near me
movies showing
movies streaming
movies showing now
movies san antonio
movies san diego
movies sacramento
movies san francisco
movies santa barbara
sandra bullock movies
ssr movies
scary movies
star wars movies
solar movies
star wars movies in order
sylvester stallone movies

By travo