Scream Writer Comments on New Rian Johnson Shoutout Movie
Full spoilers for the new Scream follow! After 2011 Cry 4 Fans of ridiculed horror movie remakes were very curious as to where the 2022 Scream movie would set its sights. Although the film makes a few references to modern terms like “high horror” and critical darlings like The Babadook, the main thesis of Scream (2022) is the right of fandom, and the way they put it all together is by summoning a figure who knows a little about being the butt of fan scorn, Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. Although his name is never spoken, the Oscar-nominated writer/director is the central figure in the film’s premise. Again, spoilers!
As fans of the Scream franchise know, there’s a “movie within a movie” going on with the “Stab” movies. Based on the book by Gale Weathers, the Stab films began as hilarious riffs on the films as the sequels continued (Cry 2 begins with the premiere of Stab, Cry 3 takes place around the production of Stab 3, and Scream 4 begins with an extended opening showing how ridiculous the series has become with Stab 6 and Stab 7). In the new Scream however, the eighth film in the Stab series was released in the not-too-distant past and drew the ire of “hardcore” and “true” “fans” of the franchise. Dropping the seeds of this as a plot catalyst, the characters tease that this eighth stab film was the one ‘by the Knives out guy”, not only referring to Rian Johnson without saying his name, but drawing a parallel with his work in the star wars franchisee as The Last Jedi was episode 8 of the main series.
In a new interview, Scream co-writer James Vanderbilt spoke about the decision to use Johnson’s status within certain fandom circles as a plot device, telling The Wrap:
“We loved the idea that someone made one that wasn’t well received. Just like some directors have made big IP movies that the fandoms have hugely rejected. There’s a very small percentage of people who feel such ownership over an IP and have such anger towards people that if they don’t do things exactly the way they want, throw it up [stuff], and it feels like something that didn’t exist 10 years ago.”
“I think watching how people attacked him as a person was, oh, we’re in new territory here,” Vanderbilt added. “In ‘Scream’ 1 they talk about Wes Carpenter films, in ‘Scream 2’ they talk about Robert Rodriguez directed Stab. There’s a great tradition of commenting on other filmmakers who are peers at the time, and it felt very natural Rian did this big divisive IP We felt like if someone made the movie ‘Stab’ and it was divisive it would be fun if it was Ryan.
To his credit, Johnson seems amused by the joke, retweeting a meme about it on Twitter after the film opened.
Scream now playing in theaters.