Scream 6 directors explain Ghostface's controversial shotgun moment

Ghostface in Scream 6
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

When the first trailer for Scream 6 was unveiled, many longtime fans of the franchise had opinions on one particular moment. It wasn't Gail's tense phone call with the villain or Hayden Panettiere's anticipated return as Scream 4's Kirby; it was the fact that one scene sees the newest Ghostface use a shotgun against their victims. 

In light of the backlash, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett tell SFX that they deliberately set out to "raise eyebrows" by having the knife-wielding killer use a very different kind of weapon – and tease a more competent, more terrifying kind of antagonist.

"We don't want it to be safe. We don't want it to be boring. We want it to be fun and to raise eyebrows," Bettinelli-Olpin reveals in the magazine's latest issue, which features The Mandalorian on the cover (opens in new tab). "When we heard 'Ghostface in New York, and he has a shotgun' it was like: 'What?!' The two feelings of 'What are we doing?' and 'We have to do it!' are often intrinsically tied and that was a perfect example of that."

Though we've seen most Ghostfaces use guns in the series before, from Billy Loomis and Stu Macher to Jill Roberts, they've always been unmasked by that point, which is why Scream 6's Ghostface, stealing a shotgun off of a convenience store owner in full costume and using it against him stands out so much in the teaser. For the filmmakers, this key difference simply highlights how our heroes aren't dealing with an amateur copycat this time around.

"There are a ton of fun, wonderful, classic Ghostface moments, but it's not the pratfalling Ghostface," Gillett adds. "For this to be scary and to achieve a level of visceral tension, we wanted to put the character more in the real world. If Ghostface is trying to get through a door, it's going to happen! There's no giving up. When he's in pursuit, the pursuit doesn't end until he's achieved his goal."

The Mandalorian and Grogu on the cover of SFX issue 363.

(Image credit: Future)

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While Neve Campbell won't be reprising her role as Sidney Prescott in the follow-up, Scream 6 brings back Melissa Barrera's Sam, Jenna Ortega's Tara, Jasmin Savoy Brown's Mindy, Mason Gooding's Chad, and Courteney Cox's Gail from its predecessor. The returning players will be joined on screen by newbies Liann Liberato as Quinn, Tony Revolori as Jason, Devyn Nekoda as Anika, Josh Segarra as Danny, Dermot Mulroney as Detective Bailey, and Samara Weaving as Laura.

Scream 6 releases in UK on March 8, and US cinemas on March 10. Read up on the movie in the latest issue of SFX Magazine with The Mandalorian season 3 on the cover (opens in new tab), available on newsstands now! For even more from SFX, sign up to the newsletter (opens in new tab), sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

Will Salmon
Comics Editor

Will Salmon is the Comics Editor for GamesRadar/Newsarama. He has been writing about comics, film, TV, and music for more than 15 years, which is quite a long time if you stop and think about it. At Future he has previously launched scary movie magazine Horrorville, relaunched Comic Heroes, and has written for every issue of SFX magazine for over a decade. He sometimes feels very old, like Guy Pearce in Prometheus. His music writing has appeared in The Quietus, MOJO, Electronic Sound, Clash, and loads of other places and he runs the micro-label Modern Aviation, which puts out experimental music on cassette tape – yes, really.

With contributions from