Scream 5 and Scream 6 were so secretive during production that even the people playing the killer didn’t always know who was behind the Ghostface mask.
That’s one of the behind-the-scenes, spoiler-free details Scream 5 and Scream 6 producer William Sherak shares with us in the latest MovieMaker podcast, in which he also shares details about working with James Cameron and Steven Spielberg, helping save the Scream franchise from the wreckage of The Weinstein Company, and the joys of practical effects.
You can listen on Apple, wherever you get your podcasts, or right here on Spotify:
“Some of the cast doesn’t know they may or may not be the killer,” Sherak explains in the episode. “A couple of the non-killers didn’t know that they weren’t the killer. We keep it [secret] as far as we go. As long as we can. In Scream 5, we actually had multiple endings of the script. So that they really didn’t know.”
We also talk on the podcast about how Project X Entertainment, Sherak’s company with fellow Scream producers James Vanderbilt and Paul Neinstein, encourages friendship on set. Much of the success of Scream 5 and Scream 6 depends on the dynamic between the Core Four, played by Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding.
“The thing about our sets — and sort of a company line — is it’s really hard to make a movie. Even separate of good movies, it’s really hard to make a movie. So it might as well be hard with people you like,” says Sherak.
The Scream 6 Core Four Are Friends
“We try and create a really fun, familial environment for everybody, the cast and crew. … The whole cast, the Core Four. The text chain from Scream 5 hasn’t stopped,” he adds. “They called it Camp Sherak. Every Sunday, I flew in bagels and lox from somewhere else around the world. And we all had brunch together.”
He continues: “You want that sense of family and community to show up on screen. Because they’re friends. And then all of a sudden, it’s a whodunit movie. That’s where it starts. And it’s so much more entertaining when they actually are friends.
“You can fake it to a point, but you see on screen on Scream 6… this Core Four, they’re really friends in real life,” Sherak continues. “They’re all unbelievably talented actors. But they’re also genuinely friends.”
Sherak also tells us how Project X began collaborating with Radio Silence, which includes Scream 5 and Scream 6 directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and producer Chad Villella, and working with writers Vanderbilt and Guy Busick.
When Will the Scream Franchise End? Maybe Never
Sherak credits much of the endurance of the Scream franchise to Kevin Williamson, who wrote Scream, Scream 2 and Scream 4, and has executive produced all of the films. He talks on the podcast about how the team behind the new Scream films reached out to Williamson for his blessing before Scream 5, and how he stayed on board for Scream 6.
“The genius of what Kevin created in Ghostface is that we don’t have to deal with, ‘Why is our bad guy still alive?’ Because every time it’s someone new in a mask, whereas other horror franchises have to deal with, ‘How does this bad guy keep surviving?’ We don’t have that problem,” Sherak says.
“So as long as we can keep coming up with fun places to put Ghostface, I don’t think this specific franchise needs an end. Because there’s always somebody new and a whodunit movie is always fun.”
The Scream movies also have another advantage, Sherak says.
“New things are constantly happening with kids and the way they communicate and the way they interact with the larger world,” he says. “So there’s always something to comment on.”
Scream 6 is now in theaters.