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Scream directors tease an R-rated standalone movie packed with Easter eggs

Scream 4
(Image credit: Dimension Films)

The long-awaited fifth entry in the Scream franchise, entitled Scream, is five months away from release and its directorial duo are offering up some new intel on the slasher sequel.

Aside from announcing its R-rating and its self-referentiality, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, collectively known as Radio Silence, explain that the main focus of the film is honoring the franchise traditions.

"With all the Scream movies, legacy is very front and center," says Gillett to fansite Hello Sidney. "And they all build so successfully on one another while also being totally original in their own right. And, that was something that, from the start, we knew was going to be essential in this work and that was a love letter to all the movies and, of course, to Wes. But also was going to take some of its own unique risks, and carve out its own path in the series.”

Unique risks such as dropping the "5" in the title. When filming wrapped last year, executive producer and original Scream writer Kevin Williamson announced the new film's title as simply, Scream. While it might seem risky, it makes sense to encourage new audiences. 

Adds Bettinelli-Olpin: "We have to make a movie that’s a standalone good movie. It has to be entertaining, in and of itself. But also has to be a part of a franchise that has existed for 25 years...This isn’t a movie that you need to have seen 27 other movies to understand."

The first Scream launched the franchise in 1996, its financial and critical success sending a sequel into production immediately. Scream 2 followed less than a year later, with Scream 3 dropping in 2000. It took another 11 years until Scream 4 arrived. While you don't need to have seen them to appreciate the new movie, the pair promises "a ton of Easter eggs" to appease die-hard fans. 

So far, we know little about the movie. Filming took place over two months last year in North Carolina where the entire shoot was shrouded in secrecy. Things were so tightly under wraps, the cast shot several different endings to keep things a secret.

This leads into easily the most curious part of the interview. When nudged for information on when we're likely to see a teaser, Gillett explains: "That’s going to be the challenge with the trailer. There’s a lot in this movie that can be spoiled really easily. We’re so curious to see how the marketing department is going to thread the needle. Because it’s a very narrow one."

What might he be referring to? Could it be the movie completely reworks what we know of The Woodsboro Murders? Was there really another killer helping Billy and Stu in Scream? Did that TV not finish off Stu? The questions are truly endless. Here's hoping we don't find out until opening night (or *I* don't find out until a press screening -- for the love of GOD, somebody let me review this movie!)

Scream arrives in theaters January 14, 2022, and reunites original cast members Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette, who reprise their roles alongside newcomers Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Kyle Gallner, and Dylan Minnette. Ahead of the movie's release, check out our guide to the best horror movies ever made.

Gem Seddon

I'm GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter. I'm a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator. You can find my byline on our best Netflix movies and best Netflix shows lists.