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Over the last few months, it’s been revealed that the first entry in the new Scream trilogy, aka Scream 4, is set in Sidney Prescott’s hometown roughly a decade after Scream 3. And contrary to old rumors, the first film will not be in 3D. Courtney Cox and David Arquette were signed to reprise their roles from the get-go, and following a prolonged declination, Neve Campbell signed much to the relief of writer/creator, Kevin Williamson. (He had expressed dismay on Twitter at rewriting the trilogy without her). The final puzzle piece, Wes Craven, remains in talks to direct, which is arguably the most important to its success besides the script(s).

But that still leaves doubt as to whether Williamson—who’s had renewed Dawson’s Creek-like success with the CW’s Vampire Diariesstill possesses an irreverent sensibility to update the franchise for a contemporary world of tailspin pop culture and younger, less established horror tropes. Williamson has now revealed several of his influences for the first film, and expressed the complexity of achieving the right tone…

In a new chat with the NY Post, Williamson doesn’t deny or confirm the possibility that he’ll kill off Campbell’s Sidney, but it’s clearly predictable if he chooses to do so. Emphasizing that his work is cut out for him, he points out that in the years since Scream 3, the Scary Movie franchise has spoofed the horror genre, including his first trilogy, to multi-millions and total exhaustion. (Not to mention, taking Scream‘s original title, and arguably making the Scream brand seem hokier by relation, imo.) What pop culture observations will he address in the 2010 installment?

“I’ve [included] manga comics, Asian ghost girl movies, there’s some PG-13 horror movies in there, vampire movies, M. Night Shyamalan movies and torture porn movies, even though they’ve come and gone.”

I’m not sure what to make of this quote, and any talk therein of Twilight is a cheeseball hazard. That said, incorporating the influence of torture porn could make for a dark twist that ups the ante. Williamson didn’t mention any homicidal interaction on Twitter,thankfully, though my money is on a death by Tweet for sure. I am also glad that he followed up with…

“….one of the things I’m excited about with Scream 4 is that, while we do lampoon and send up the genre, [we] make it incredibly scary. That’s first and foremost.”

When Scream came out theatrically, it definitely made for a great mix of event film buzz and genuinely frightened audiences, especially in regard the tense opener. Those memories—which Scream 2 aptly duplicated—will be what get a lot of 20something and 30something asses into seats. My worry is that Williamson will end up focusing on a batch of fresh-faced CW thespians rather than on skewering their omnipresence in horror this decade (a la the decent All the Boys Love Mandy Lane).

Then again, the Weinstein Company isn’t likely to invest in three piles of shit; they need the first film in particular to be a huge hit and this leaves absolutely no room to cop out on the blood, quips and clever twists necessary. Unlike so many remakes, Scream‘s vitality and success is as much about timeliness and irreverence as thrills. When one considers the number of pre-planned horror trilogies on the market, Williamson’s challenge seems incredibly daunting.

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