Steven Folkins
May 05, 2013 9:35 am

MTV announced during its upfront this past week that it will finally be turning Wes Craven’s Scream into a television series. I say “finally” because this has been on the burner for some time now – The project was originally brought to MTV almost a year ago by previous MTV programming head David Janollari. I am a huge fan of the movies, but more particularly the REAL trilogy (Scream, Scream 2 and Scream 4). The network has greenlit a one hour pilot with Dimension Films slated for a summer of 2014 premiere. There are no mentions of concept or an actual written pilot as of yet, nor are there any writers hired to do so (hey, MTV- I am totally available). The one potentially great thing about this news is that Dimension and MTVare in talks with Wes Craven to direct the pilot. Now, if that actually happens there is definitely hope for this show.

There is precedent for horror movies being turned into TV shows, some more successful than others. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was once a horror/comedy movie and then a very successful long-running series. A Nightmare on Elm St. (a Wes Craven film, too) was turned into the not-so-great Freddy’s Nightmares. The original Teen Wolf was a comedy, but that was turned into a horror/drama hit for MTV. as well – which might be a reason for the Screamseries getting a pick up.

What will the show be about, though? That’s the major question. Will it be a long running who-done-it? Will it be much like the actual movies and each season focus on one set of killers? It could follow the whole American Horror Storything where it’s a slightly different story each season with the same cast and a different cast member could be Ghostface each season. I think that could be a fun idea.

My favorite thing about the movies – besides Courteney Cox, of course – is their homage to other horror movies in the terms of “The Rules”.

In the first film, there were three rules mentioned to successfully survive a horror movie:

  • You may not survive the movie if you have sex.

  • You may not survive the movie if you drink or do drugs.

  • You may not survive the movie if you say “I’ll be right back”, “Hello?” or “Who’s there?”

In Scream 2, the rules were a little different:

  • The body count is always bigger.

  • The death scenes are always much more elaborate, with more blood and gore.

  • Randy starts to describe the third rule: “If you want your films to become a successful franchise, never, ever…’ before being interrupted by Dewey. However, the film’s original teaser trailer featured an extended version of the rules scene which reveals that originally the third rule was supposed to be “Never, ever, under any circumstances assume the killer is dead.” This referenced Randy’s last line in the first Scream which stated that a killer always comes back to life for one last scare.

  • The lack of a third rule in the film’s final cut was a deliberate in-joke by the crew, referencing the fact that it is impossible to ensure that a horror franchise will be successful.

Scream 3, the worst of the series in my opinion, had rules too:

  • “You’ve got a killer who’s gonna be superhuman. Stabbing him won’t work, shooting him won’t work. Basically in the third one, you gotta cryogenically freeze his head, decapitate him, or blow him up.”

  • “Anyone, including the main character, can die. This means you, Sid.”

  • “The past will come back to bite you in the ass. Whatever you think you know about the past, forget it. The past is not at rest! Any sins you think were committed in the past are about to break out and destroy you.”

The final movie in the series, Scream 4, had a few new rules to survive a horror movie:

  • The death scenes have to be way more extreme.

  • Unexpected is the new cliche.

  • Virgins can die now.

  • To be the new version – you know, 2.0 – the killer should be filming the murders.

  • You have to have an opening sequence.

  • Don’t f**k with the original.

  • If you want to survive in a modern day horror movie, you pretty much have to be gay.

Scream, now being a TV series, would obviously have to make up it’s own rules so it too can be as self-aware and meta as the movies. I came up with a few rules that the creators of the show might think about when working on the pilot (I have even more, MTV, if you need a writer):

  • If you were a former cast member on The Real World you may die.

  • If you danced on The Grind you will probably play one of the parents and may die or be tied up in a closet for the entire season.

  • If you were on The Challenge for more than eight seasons you will definitely die, sorry Derrick.

Featured image via Collider

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