Wes Craven’s 1996 movie Scream is a classic that both satirizes the genre and succeeds as a horror movie in its own right; here’s what it could look like if the film was made in 2020 with a new cast. Horror has always been a beloved genre of film, but it has recently been pushing even further into the mainstream. Movies like Get Out and Hereditary have received critical acclaim, and TV series such as Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor and Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story have become incredibly popular in recent history. Scream is a fantastic example of why people love horror: the film cleverly deconstructs popular tropes and motifs while simultaneously demonstrating how well those same tropes work. The film would surely be well received if released anew or rebooted in 2020, especially considering horror’s current mainstream popularity.
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The original Scream follows the lives of several high schoolers in the fictional town of Woodsboro, plagued by the appearance of a masked killer. Sidney Prescott becomes his next target, and she and her friends become embroiled in a complicated series of events as the killer taunts Sidney from the shadows. Already dealing with the trauma of her mother’s death a year before, Sidney must also contend with the town’s reaction to these horrible events as media attention begins to fall on her. As her trauma is both unearthed and exploited, the people around her react in vastly different ways as the town gets swept up in the mystery of it all.
Credited with reviving the horror genre in the ’90s, Scream is also a perfect example of how horror can reinvent itself, like the genre’s current entry into the world of “prestige”. The film’s self-awareness still holds up today, and would translate excellently for current viewers, whether they’re new to horror or long time fans. Some of Scream’s success was attributed to the casting of already-established actors who helped draw in a wider audience. Let’s take a look at some of the stars of today and how they could fit into a 2020 version of Wes Craven’s classic slasher movie.
Zendaya as Sidney Prescott
Zendaya has an impressive lineup of credits to her name, including a supporting role in the MCU and an Emmy award win for her leading role as Rue in the HBO series Euphoria. A young actress with critically-acclaimed skill, she is a perfect choice to play Sidney Prescott. While much of Scream has an ironic and even satirical tone, Sidney’s character is very grounded in the real trauma she experiences both due to the loss of her mother and the threats on her own life.
A classic final girl, Sidney must overcome great emotional struggles to make it out alive. Zendaya’s work in Euphoria exemplifies the way in which she can portray difficult circumstances, like Rue’s addiction, with real honesty and vulnerability. On the other hand, after playing MJ in the MCU’s Spider-Man movies, Zendaya has also proven that she can put up a good fight when she (or Sidney) needs to.
Charles Melton as Billy Loomis
Best known for portraying Reggie in the CW’s Riverdale and Daniel Bae in romantic drama The Sun is Also a Star, Charles Melton is a smart choice to take on Billy Loomis. His experience playing a romantic lead means he would be able to expertly lull audiences into a false sense of security with his charm before tapping in to Billy’s darker, more vengeful side.
Though Riverdale (which also stars Skeet Ulrich, who originally played Billy) might seem like an average teen drama, it boasts incredibly high stakes, meaning Melton would have plenty to draw on when Billy reveals his true colors. In Riverdale, Reggie often expresses a lot of anger, a factor which is key in understanding Billy’s motives. Given the show‘s murderous leanings and high school backdrop, Melton would have no trouble communicating both the gravitas of the situation and the all-important teen apathy that comes along with it.
China Anne McClain as Tatum Riley
China Anne McClain’s acting chops make her a perfect choice for Tatum. In the CW’s Black Lightning, McClain’s character, Jennifer Pierce, displays a combination of carefree snark and genuine convictions in her own beliefs and boundaries, which are all qualities fans may recognize in Tatum. While Tatum is definitely meant to embody certain horror archetypes and tropes, Rose McGowan brought a crucial nuance to the character in Craven’s original movie.
China Anne McClain would follow suit expertly, embodying Tatum’s off-handed cool-girl vibes while still showing genuine care for her best friend, Sidney. Tatum isn’t afraid to stand up to anyone, whether it be adult newscaster Gale Weathers or her high school sweetheart, Stu–– and McClain would be more than up to the challenge.
Victoria Pedretti as Stu Macher
Matthew Lillard’s performance as Stu is unforgettable–– that’s why this role needs to be shaken up a little. Lillard’s style of acting is so zany that it’s inspired multiple memes, so asking an actor to step into his iconic role could be intimidating. That’s why Victoria Pedretti is a perfect choice to take on Stu in a 2020 Scream movie. Considering her impressive resume, it’s a guarantee that she would do the role justice.
The actress has often demonstrated her ability to portray the ever-so-slightly unhinged, and paired with the goofiness she brought to Love Quinn in the Netflix series You, she is a perfect choice. Stu’s character carefully toes the line between hilarious and flat-out terrifying, and Pedretti would be guaranteed to maintain that balance with facility. Her experience in Netflix horror series The Haunting Of… (both Hill House and Bly Manor, respectively) means that she is no stranger to the genre, and would shine in a modern take on Stu.
Jack Mulhern as Randy Meeks
With an encyclopedic knowledge of horror movies, Randy Meeks is a bit of an outcast, and Jack Mulhern would be perfect for the role. In Netflix’s The Society, Mulhern plays Grizz, a quiet but very intelligent student in the fictional town of West Ham. Grizz shares Randy’s wide array of knowledge, often whipping out biblical references and mentions of Arthur Conan Doyle to his confused (and less bookish) friends.
While Grizz is sometimes more reserved, Mulhern often accesses some of the light-heartedness and passion that he would need when playing an excitable character like Randy. In addition to Randy’s astute nature, Grizz also has a strong sense of self and confidence in his knowledge and beliefs. Mulhern would be the perfect candidate to play Randy, both in his self-assured moments and his more insecure ones alike.
John Boyega as Deputy Dewey
Deputy Dewey is a more comic role, and John Boyega would be a perfect choice to play him in a 2020 version of Scream. His role as Finn in Star Wars lends itself surprisingly well to the part, especially when looking at Boyega’s excellent character study in 2015’s The Force Awakens.
There is an inherent sweetness to Dewey that audiences have seen Boyega portray in Finn. Finn’s initial uncertainty in the hero role paired with his overall enthusiasm are qualities that Boyega could draw on to create a fantastic take on Dewey. Of course, Finn has many valiant moments, and Boyega could also draw on his role as Moses in 2011’s Attack the Block when Dewey has to leap into action.
Gina Rodriguez as Gale Weathers
Gale Weathers is a delightfully complicated character–– ambitious and a little slippery, but ultimately heroic. In Jane the Virgin, Gina Rodriguez has shown her skill with both comedic and dramatic storylines. Her comedy experience would be helpful when it comes to Scream’s satirical nature, but her ability to commit to higher stakes would also be invaluable as Gale’s investigation into the murders draws her closer into danger.
Rodriguez’s role in the 2018 horror/sci-fi film Annihilation would also help to inform her performance as Gale, especially when the time comes for a little more action. Her character Anya Thorensen possesses some of Gale’s brazen attitude, and the film’s sci-fi horror elements mean that Rodriguez has experience with the genre.
Florence Pugh as Casey Becker
Drew Barrymore was a huge draw for audiences when it came to the marketing for Scream; casting Florence Pugh in the role of Casey Becker would no doubt have the same effect. Though many horror fans have probably already seen Wes Craven’s classic, current audiences might not know that Casey is, in fact, a decoy protagonist.
With an Oscar nomination under her belt and newfound horror icon status for her portrayal of Dani in Midsommar, Pugh has the star power that the MacGuffin role would require. Her performance as Dani is proof that she has the acting chops to embody the necessary sense of terror and impending doom, and she could also easily embody Casey’s flirtiness, drawing on her more mischievous and youthful performance as Amy in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women.
Next: Recasting Ridley Scott’s Alien In 2020 (Every Major Character)
Key Release Dates
- Halloween Kills (2021)Release date: Oct 15, 2021
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