Wes Craven fans have a lot to be excited about these days, as the beloved writer/director has not one, but two highly anticipated projects on his plate, the first of which is "My Soul to Take," a horror/thriller due October 8.
The second project is "Scream 4." the long-awaited fourth chapter in Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson's hugely popular franchise, which not only reunites the original cast (David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox), but includes a slew of popular young stars, including Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Rory Culkin, Shenae Grimes and Lucy Hale.
When we caught up with Craven to discuss "My Soul to Take," we couldn't help but prod the man in charge for some "Scream 4" scoop, beginning with how he managed to assemble his original stars.
"Well, I could take credit for it, but it wouldn't be accurate," he said.
By the time Craven was asked to direct, Dimension studio head Bob Weinstein had already secured Cox, Arquette and Campbell.
"It was just a matter of me saying, 'Sure,' " Craven added.
For the director, the allure of rejoining the team to work on a good script was icing on the cake.
"I think all of us wanted to do something written by Kevin [Williamson] and to work together again," he said. "We all had such wonderful times on the first three. It has been a return to a great deal of fun — just the pleasure of working together again. We know each other inside and out. There's a lot of shorthand and a lot of fun memories from our past escapades."
Regarding the new additions to the franchise, Craven was full of praise for his young stars.
"The young cast is amazing," he said. "They're extremely bright and a very varied cast. ... They're just great to work with. It's fun to be doing that combination of the sort of classic actors of the first three and this new group of kids. [They] have very different and fresh personalities and great acting talent."
And what about the plot? How does it fit within the franchise, and how does it differ?
"It's a clear and/or pretty well-known [fact] that it's a return to Woodsboro for Sydney Prescott, who is Neve's character," Craven said. "Courteney and David have, as they did in real life, have gotten married and are living in Woodsboro, so it's the story of Sid's return to Woodsboro and the series of events that take place there where those three are thrown together in a wild and crazy way, and then a group of kids that get meshed in the plot."
Speaking of that group of kids, Craven went on to say that managing the appearances of all his young stars — most of whom are speculated to be making quick cameos — has been a pleasure rather than a headache.
"Well, that's the great joy — it's fun," he said. "A lot of these actors I didn't know that well or have not worked with most of them, or any of them, as a matter of fact," Craven explained. "They always say, 'It's great working with you. I've wanted to work with you for a long time,' but it's wonderful working with actors like this that are very young and have a large following already because of their talent, and just to spend one or two days with them to do these kind of set/bit pieces is a lot of fun."
With regard to those one- or two-day roles, we tried to get Craven to reveal a few specifics about two recently announced "guests" in particular: Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell.
"I don't know what I'm allowed to say," he laughed. "They do have a very significant and exciting role in the film, let me put it that way."
What do you think of the star-studded "Scream 4" cast? Who do you think will be the villain? Tell us in the comments!
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