While the rumors have been flying for months now that original Scream 4 scribe Kevin Williamson – who was forced to leave the production early due to a scheduling conflict with “The Vampire Diaries” – became upset when Ehren Kruger was brought in for rewrites, when we asked Craven about the controversy earlier today the director was quick to deny (or at least plead ignorance) that any bad blood exists there. He instead maintained that the majority of what’s in the finished film was present in Williamson’s original script.
“I kind of feel like those questions are kind of fishing for turmoil,” Craven told us. “I frankly – and I say this in absolute honesty – have never heard Kevin say [he was upset]. So whether he said something to somebody else in an interview I don’t know, but Ehren came in after Kevin had done the majority of the work, and he certainly…the whole idea, all the characters, all the basic situations and scenes, were [written] by Kevin before he left. A large part of the reason that he eventually had to leave the production was that his ‘Vampire Diaries’ show was starting back up, and the…network literally threatened to sue him if he didn’t turn his full attention back to that.
“But at that time, we had all of the script that was really, really important, and it was a matter of massaging things based on the actual locations we were able to find and things like that. So Ehren Kruger came in and did a lot of very interesting work, but it’s very much about Kevin Williamson’s script…stuff [added during rewrites] related to…the action and certain other things that [were] changed because of locations and things like that. So you know, it’s Kevin. It’s Kevin’s writing and his imagination that is on display there. And I’m sure…actually I’m speculating, but it must have been painful for Kevin not to be able to stay with the film. But the process of writing…had just gone too close to the beginning of Kevin’s show, and at a certain point said he could not be there anymore.”
Though I do believe Craven , it would still be interesting to hear Williamson’s side of the story, especially considering the fact that he’s been conspicuously silent on the upcoming sequel for quite some time now. As for the likelihood that either or both of them will return to the franchise for the next planned installment, Craven remained noncommittal.
“You know, it’s so far in the future. It’s gonna be a year [before production would even start on ‘Scream 5’] at least, I would think, because even though Kevin sketched out the general notion for ‘5’ and ‘6’, it was not like he had a…ten-page beat sheet. So it’s gonna be a matter of if Kevin is of the mind to write again in this franchise, and when will we write? My approach to [‘Scream 4’] in general…[was] I love[d] the element of Kevin, I love[d] the element of Courtney Cox and David and Neve…I knew everybody had pretty much signed up, but until I saw a substantial amount of the script I didn’t say yes. So that’s my approach: ‘let’s see the script, let’s see what they come up with, and then I will or I won’t.’“