The MTV series Scream has only aired two episodes so far, and the intense fan reaction only continues to thrive with each snippet, clip, and promotional concept used to spread awareness for the series based on the insanely successful film franchise. The cast of MTV’s Scream, along with the executive producers and writers Jill Blotevogel and Jaime Paglia attended this years San Diego Comic Con and talked all things Scream. As a diehard Scream fan, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to attend the SDCC Scream roundtable interviews with other press outlets, and gain insight on the strong horror series based on my favorite horror films.
With Emma’s involvement in the viral video filmed by Nina, can we expect more secrets from the series lead or do we know everything there is to know?
“I think what’s really cool about the show is that all of the characters have a really rich history, and a really complicated past. No characters are straight forward on the show so I think you’ll be surprised where everyone goes over the course of the season.”
What can we expect from Emma throughout the first season of Scream?
“Emma’s going to become kind of a badass I think, by the end of the season, like- she gets some chutzpah! You know, that happens when you’ve got a psychopathic killer calling you threatening to kill all of your friends [laughs] So I think she really rises to the occasion in a very Sidney Prescott type of way. She starts the first season like a very typical High-School girl who is insecure. She has anxiety about High School things, but over the course of the season she transcends that.”
When it comes to Scream, does she have any idea of the writers intentions for her character Emma?
“We’re really learning what’s happening as we’re going, which is really exciting because every time we get a script we frantically page through it trying to find out what’s going to happen next [laughs] and that’s actually a really cool way to film a TV show because it’s kind of great not knowing who the killer is because the you get to explore all of the options of interacting with everyone.”
Scream has left many easter eggs to the film franchise that inspired the television series, so was the film needed to help prepare and or guide this new world?
“I definitely rewatched all of the movies before doing the series, but it’s not difficult to separate myself from the original movies because our TV show is so different. None of these characters are really copies of the Scream movies and I don’t feel like I’m fighting against becoming Sidney Prescott because Emma isn’t Sidney, she’s a totally different character. I think it’s a great luxury to watch the Scream movies and see these amazing examples of what we’re trying to do, and continue to do, but emulate them in a totally different way in a whole new world.”
If there were a character based on Willa Fitzgerald herself in the Scream series, would she have more of a fight or flight response to a serial killer scenario?
“Definitely fight! I think that when I’m cornered I’m definitely more inclined to fight back than to run away, which may not always be the wisest choice because I’m not that big [laughs] I definitely wouldn’t win.”
The Scream films were always known as a whodunit series, with each twist and turning leaving viewers to speculate who the killer (or killers) may be, which begs the question, who can you trust?
“It’s crazy, that’s what I love so much about the movies, especially the first one. Wes Craven made it at one point where like maybe 6 or 7 characters could have be the killer and the show really embodies that spirit where every episode you have no idea what anyone’s actual true intentions are, what’s really happening in the show. That’s what’s really fun about going episode by episode, is seeing the way stories unravel and the way points of view change, and perspectives change, it’s a lot of fun.”
Of course for a slasher series, many characters deaths are imminent, so how might Karna want to make his grand departure to the fictional afterlife?
“If I die, its going to be this crazy explosion, gunshots I’m hoping, I really want Noah to like really grow a pair in the show. I want him to be this badass vigilante character - that would be so cool, and then go back in a hail of gunfire!”
Being the all important Meta character, with knowledge of the rules and tropes to horror is a coveted position to play, but who else might Karna want to have been in the Scream series?
“In a crazy universe where I could play anyone, I would love to play Kieran because that stare is like insane, and in this universe I would have rock hard abs, that would be pretty cool. But I love Kieran and I don’t trust that guy, there’s something going on behind those eyes and that’s a really cool thing to play.”
With the slasher genre known for thriving in the 80’s and 90’s, clearly things will have to be different with a fresh method to depict a slasher series today, so what might that entail?
“That was another thing that really got me pumped about the show, the movies were so instrumental in revitalizing the slasher genre for the 90’s and making that become relevant again, and so now doing that again we want to keep that spirit alive in the sense that there’s all new territory with technology. The way that technology is being used, you’re always more connected to your friends and so it’s harder to be alone and that creates this huge challenge for the killer, so it makes the scares and kills way more creative and things have to really be set in motion to get these characters to a vulnerable place; at the same time the characters are way more reachable and traceable and that’s a fun thing to play with, which the show really touches on a lot.”
JILL BLOTEVOGEL and JAIME PAGLIA
With MTV adapting the film Teen Wolf into a successful television series, did the executive producers find that it may have been an opening to adapt Scream into a series as well?
Paglia notes “It absolutely helped pave the way, I think that it was a pretty bold move to try to make that particular movie into a TV series and not shy away from potential criticism of it because the series is so different from the movies, and they took the idea of it and grounded it, and really made a phenomenal show. I think when you take a risk like that- it pays off and really does open doors to other possibilities.” Blotevogel adds, “And Buffy The Vampire Slayer was another good example of a show that started from a movie that was of a certain tone, and I don’t even think the movie was that huge of a success but it became this unbelievable world when you opened it up and unboxed it into a series. Because Scream the movie was so good, dark, and funny it wasn’t so easy to say ‘lets do a better version’ [laughs] it was, ‘Let’s try and be as good as Scream within the parameters we have.’”
After two episodes, the talented writers established a back-story with the Brandon James plot including a few subtle references to his brother, so could we learn more about that storyline in the near future?
Paglia begins, “It’s definitely a possibility.” And Blotevogel added, “Always gotta have lots of shadowy characters out there” When Paglia continued, “That’s one of the things we realized- we have some many possibilities In this first season, and it’s nice to know that if we are lucky enough to have a second season there are a number of things we can continue to explore with the same characters, the ones that survive anyways.”
When it comes to his character, Kieran Wilcox, Serafini, what parallels does he find between himself and the Kieran?
“I think part of our way of looking at the world, definitely his being a newcomer. I bounced around a lot between schools and lost a parent around the same age as Kieran.” He added, “We also both have a sense of humor and that’s important to the show.”
With Scream being such a secretive series, Serafini admits that it is difficult to discuss the ongoings of the slasher adaptation, but does add that,
“It’s not going to be a death every episode necessarily.” He continues, “But it’s going to keep you connected to the characters, and those secrets still can’t be revealed because that’s what is going to get everyone talking- those interpersonal relationships and how these characters are very deceitful.”
When Serafini was cast in an adaptation of an iconic franchise, what was his initial reaction?
“Ecstatic! I really didn’t know how to process it because I had never been on a TV show before, this was my first real gig that I booked, and it was just out of the gate so I’m extremely grateful that’s for sure. And seeing that effect that our work has on all of these fans here at Comic Con has made it much more rewarding.”
While on the topic of fan reactions at Comic-Con, had Serafini experienced any outrageous fan interactions so far?
“Nothing too crazy yet, there have been a few high pitched screams and yells as we walked through the hallways, but I did sign my first autograph today which was awesome! I think come season 2, we’ll have a lot more to contend with.”
What can we expect from Will, Emma’s suspicious boyfriend throughout the first season?
“He pretty much messed up in the first episode with Emma, so he’s really going to have to redeem himself so you’ll see Will trying to change his ways of going about things to try and mend things with Emma.”
In the first two episodes, we’ve mainly witnessed a darker side to Will that has made him a questionable character, is he remain on the untrustworthy side or does he have good in him?
“Both. He doesn’t have bad intentions, he wants to do the right thing but when he gets roped in he gets frustrated-and that’s where the darkness comes out because he is frustrated and just really wants to correct it, and that sometimes gets him into trouble.”
With a series named Scream, it is guaranteed that the cast has had to put their vocal abilities to the test, so who dies the actor think has the most recognizable on set scream?
“Probably Carlson [Young] who plays Brooke, she has such this like, cute little voice so whenever she screams, you’re like ‘Carlson is in trouble!’ and you feel protective over her [laughs]”
With this also being Weil’s first time at Comic-Con, what has it been like to adapt to the overwhelmingly large convention experience?
“Everybody has been so loving and supportive so far which is really, really great. I’m just really intrigued by the cosplays,” adding, “And I’m like, ‘this is amazing, people just get to be themselves here and not worry about it. It’s really cool, and I’m a fan of it.”
Of course with it being Comic-Con, you must find out who is someone’s ideal cosplay would be.
“Jon Snow from Game of Thrones.” Weil says before I can finish asking the words. “Sorry [laughs] that was really fast, I’m obsessed with that character, not even a question.”
When it comes to determining the killer, does he ever find himself questioning who the killer may be?
“Oh there’s like an ongoing group thread [laughs] right now we’re all like, ‘we think its-’ and then another script will come out and we’ll keep theorizing. I encourage fans, give us your theories we need help, tell us what you think.”
With Bella Thorne being cast as the opening death, similarly to the trademark Drew Barrymore scene from the first film, what was her response to the role?
“It was so freaking cool. Everything I had done horror- I hadn’t died yet, and I really wanted to die on-screen so this was really great, getting my throat slashed- so classic. How could you not love that, and I got it on my first take so I really take that one to bed with me every night.”
In the past, Thorne has given her praise to the film franchise, so did she have a specific favorite killer or film?
“No…no, I think my favorite movie overall is probably the first one- how do you beat a classic? But the other ones have great callbacks and all of that, which was interesting, and we’re kind of doing that but the first is probably my favorite.”
It was also announced that although Nina may be dead, she will return in some capacity to the series, and she hopes that people will begin to care about the character.
“I don’t really want to play a mean character all the time, I’m really not mean and I don’t know why people want to see me be mean [laughs] so hopefully we see some human qualities to her, that would be nice to know she’s a real person. So far, she’s just a mean girl, but hopefully there will be some meaner parts and some nice parts.” Jokingly adding, “I do hope we see some human parts to her, and I already asked the writers but they have their own ideas.”
Though Thorne was originally offered a larger more present role in the series, other conflicts kept her from joining the long-term cast.
“I didn’t want to relocate, that wasn’t my deal. I’m 17 and I turn 18 in October, and I work adult hours, and I act like an adult, but there is still a very childish side of me that loves being with my brother, and roughhousing with him at my house- and I’m very close to my family so I like living in my house [laughs] not in a hotel room.”
The young actress goes on to admit that she was actually asked to make an appearance on the series Teen Wolf, telling us,
“They asked me to appear on the show and I was working on a movie called Shovel Buddies.” I was actually supposed to be in 2 episodes of Scream before the one I come back in, but I couldn’t because of the same movie Shovel Buddies, so it conflicted with a lot of things.”
What was Thorne’s response to the Scream adaptation and trying to recreate a pivotal opening death scene for the series?
“When they brought the show to me I said ‘If we do this right this could be such a cool new trend that we set, and there will be many, many TV shows that come after us trying to take a franchise and make it into a TV series, and if we do this wrong then this will be the most horrendous thing that ever graced the channel and that will be so embarrassing’ – but I think we did it right and I’m proud to be a part of something that’s so cool.”
With a very passionate cast and crew putting their creative energy into the Scream series, it’s quite obvious that it largely contributes to the success of Scream, and I will continue to joyfully watch each episode of the slasher television show, as should you! Scream airs Tuesday nights at 10p.m. on MTV, and check out my coverage of the premiere screening here and my recaps/thoughts on the first and second episode. Are you enjoying Scream as much as I am?