What's Going On With Scream 4? Rumors Rampant Of Screenwriter Change-Up And Massive Script Overhaul

UPDATE: There might be more truth and ugliness to this than I first thought was the case. New info at the end of the article.

We've been running a lot of Scream 4 info, and in a piece I ran yesterday one commenter asked why we've been covering it so much. The simple answer is "it's what we do," but the more complex answer is that there's a lot of motion on the picture this week. Partially as a by-product of trying to keep the script secret, the film has been casting quite a few roles even as photography has begun.

But today the big rumor has been that there's been a total screenwriter switcheroo on the picture, with the effect of not only making big changes to this film, but demolishing the option for a fifth. As is so often the case there seems to be some truth to the story, surrounded by a lot of exaggeration.

Rumors starting circulating earlier today about Scream 4 being in trouble because screenwriter and series mastermind Kevin Williamson had been let go and replaced by Ehren Kruger, writer of The Ring remake and Scream 3. Headlines proclaimed a total change in direction for the film and other such hyperbole.

That's not quite what's going on, according to official reps for the film. (via STYD) Yes, Kruger is polishing the script and some changes have consequently been made. Williamson has a commitment to Vampire Diaries and is working on that show's second season.

Further stories suggest that some roles have been significantly changed and/or 'dumbed down,' but we've got little to support that, as far as hard evidence goes. Hell, most of the cast reportedly hasn't even read the full screenplay, and the common word is that it hasn't been sent out to agencies. (Script trading between agency assistants being a primary source of leaked scripts.) I've not spoken to anyone who has even read pages, which is quite unusual for a film that is shooting. (If you've read Scream 4, by all means let us know.)

Some of the further, uglier rumor could be true (I'm no fan of Kruger's, and wonder what changes are really being wrought) but at this point we don't know, so I'll guardedly accept the official line for the time being.

UPDATE: But wait a second — the official line may be total spin. Why? Because Movieline gathered a couple tweets that cast the original rumors in a new light. Zap2it originally posted the story about Williamson being gone and Kruger signing on. There's reason to speculate that the source of that info was actually Williamson, as he tweeted about lunching with the author of Zap2It's article.

And then there was this, from director Wes Craven:

@Zap2it I have not been given control of the script. #SCREAM4