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[Editor’s note: The following story contains spoilers for “Scream VI.”]
There’s nothing quite like the opening of “Scream” film, which have always delighted in introducing major stars (hello, Drew Barrymore in Wes Craven’s first film) and then viciously killing them off. While directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett put a twist on that formula for their 2022 “Scream,” in which Jenna Ortega’s Tara is the first one attacked (and then lives! only to go on to become the film’s heroine!), they went back to basics for their “Scream VI.”
This time around, they cast their “Ready or Not” star Samara Weaving as Laura, a film professor giddily waiting for a blind date at a swanky New York restaurant. The guy doesn’t show, but he does call, pretending to not know where the joint is while getting Laura to chat knowledgeably about slasher films and skillfully luring her outside and into an alley where she is, oops, promptly killed by a Ghostface-masked baddie (Tony Revolori).
“When we first read the opening, she was at the top of our mind, we just knew that this would be perfect for her,” Gillett said during a recent interview with IndieWire. “We gave her a call, and she agreed in a moment. There’s a connection and a friendship that we formed so fast on ‘Ready or Not.’ She’s just one of those people that we’ll be friends with forever. She’s one of our favorites.”
Weaving’s involvement in the film hasn’t been a secret — she’s been all over the film’s marketing for months — and that only inspired the guys to have some extra fun with the role.
“Part of the fun of having her involved is, we knew that there was a certain level of energy and the fandom around Samara being in a ‘Scream’ movie, and knowing how we were going to use her was really fun,” he added. “We knew that it’d be the most surprising way for her to appear in the story, given the level of excitement around her involvement. That was just one of many examples of being aware of the expectations within the fanbase, and then finding fun ways to nod to it and also subvert it and twist that.”
Even in a relatively small role, Weaving leaves her mark. She is, after all, a true scream queen. “She has the best scream in the world!,” Gillett said. “Unfortunately, it’s used in a really tragic way in this movie.”
And, for fans looking for more Weaving-centric fun in “Scream VI,” there’s a treat to be had later in the film. Producer Chad Villella pointed to a special Easter egg for eagle-eyed audiences that pops up during a crazy, subway-set sequence in which the film’s core group has to navigate the train during a raucous Halloween evening. They’re surrounded by costumed fellow riders, including plenty fo Ghostfaces, but there’s also someone wearing some “Ready or Not” cosplay.
“In a way, she’s in the movie twice, because there is a woman in a Grace cosplay in the subway scene,” Villella said. “It was nice to have that little nod as well.” Scary!
A Paramount Pictures release, “Scream VI” is now in theaters.