Shooting on Scream 4, or SCRE4M if you prefer, began on June 28 in Michigan but the production team has reportedly made a few last minute changes to the cast and the script.
Rumors have surfaced on several news outlets (Zap2It via Bloody-Disgusting) that the script by Kevin Williamson (Scream, Scream 2) has been reworked by Ehren Kruger (Scream 3, Transformers 3) and includes “significant” scene alterations and character reductions. The cast is apparently upset with the changes, which might better explain the last minute departures of actresses Lake Bell and Lauren Graham who both cited the typical “scheduling conflicts.”
Williamson and director Wes Craven are fairly active on Twitter, but the only response from either side was Craven tweeting, “I have not been given control of the script.” The report also indicates Williamson may not only be off the fourth, but won’t be writing the fifth film either.
Movieline even believes it’s Williamson itself who leaked the news of his replacement with Tweets linking him to the Zap2It writer, who cited only anonymous “sources close to the production.”
Meanwhile, a few new names and replacements have been hired. “Community” star Alison Brie (love her) and “Battlestar Galactica” president Mary McDonnell have both been added to the slasher, according to TheWrap, along with confirmations of new additions “The O.C.” star Adam Brody, Marley Shelton and Erik Knudsen. Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, and Rory Culkin were previously cast, while Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette are returning to the slasher series.
This eleventh hour shuffle doesn’t bode well for the project that’s already facing skepticism after the series’ declining quality. Unfortunately, getting ahold of either screenplay draft will be next to impossible since even the actors aren’t allowed to read past page 75 to know the identity of the killer(s). This sequel is intended to hand over the roles to a fresh cast of characters for a new trilogy, so if the following roles sound familiar, well, that’s why:
Brie will play the personal assistant of Sidney Prescott (Campbell is reprising her role). Rebecca envies Sidney’s reluctant fame and fortune, which means she’ll probably feel the cold blade of Ghostface. McDonnell’s role is unknown.
Roberts is set as Jill Kessler, the primary heroine and a distant cousin to Sidney. Culkin is Charlier, a friend and potential love interest for Jill.
Brody will play a cop and recent college graduate who grew up watching a little too much “CSI.” He sounds like a younger Deputy Dewey. Shelton also plays a deputy as one who knew Sidney in high school.
Knudsen plays a horror movie buff and the comic relief, similar to Jamie Kennedy’s role in the first film. Panettiere is also a movie geek, and one of Roberts’ best friends.
There’s even an overachieving journalist and chief editor on the school newspaper, or basically a young version of Gail Weathers (Cox).
Scream 4 is aiming for an April 15, 2011 release.