Scream 5 co-writer says the movie wasn't meant as a trilogy starter

Scream (2022)
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Scream 5 co-writer James Vanderbilt has revealed that the film wasn't meant to kickstart a trilogy, but was instead envisioned as a complete movie in its own right.

The film, which is simply titled Scream, is the fifth movie in the horror franchise, and unites the legacy cast of Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette with newcomers like Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, and Jack Quaid. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett direct, making this the first movie in the series helmed by someone other than Wes Craven, who died in 2015. 

"The way we approached it, and I've had this experience before in my career where I worked on movies before where people go, 'Oh, it would be so exciting to plan out two and three! And we'll plant this,' and then the movie comes out, and there is no sequel because it didn't work," Vanderbilt told Screen Rant. "So coming into this, we really looked at it as, 'If we got to make one Scream film, what would we put if we only got one shot at it?' We want it to do everything we could in here and put it in here and make sure that, like Wes' films, it's a full meal from beginning to end."

That doesn't mean more movies are out of the question, though. "If the opportunity came along to make more, I think all of us would jump at the chance," Vanderbilt continued, before talking about his positive experience making the film.

"But we really did want this movie to stand on its own," he added. "We didn't want to make the two-hour trailer for Scream 6. We wanted to sort of take you on the journey, take you on the ride, re-introduce you to the people you love, have you meet some new characters along the way, and really enjoy going back to Woodsboro."

Scream is playing exclusively in theaters now, and has even knocked Spider-Man: No Way Home off the box office top spot.

If you're all caught up on the film, check out our guide to the Scream ending explained, and see our interview with the cast for even more on the movie.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.