‘Black Christmas’ Writer April Wolfe on How Her Screenplay Updates and Honors the 1974 Classic

     December 12, 2019

Screenwriter (and former LA Weekly movie critic) April Wolfe cowrites the screenplay for the latest remake of Black Christmas that stars Imogen Poots and hits theaters this Friday. Wolfe along with director Sophia Takal have constructed a script that updates the classic story of a group of sorority sisters being stalked by a mysterious killer in new and exciting ways. Rather than following the slasher cliche of screaming and running desperately from their killer, these ladies stand and fight their potential killer by any means necessary. Blumhouse Productions is hoping that the public’s desire for more horror fare and alternative programming to films like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker or Jumanji: The Next Level will translate into box office success for Black Christmas. Wolfe and Takal’s script has a powerful #MeToo storyline and explores the conversations that men and women are having on college campuses about the rapidly evolving traditional societal roles of women and men in 2019.

Image via Universal Pictures

Before the film’s release, I sat down with Wolfe to discuss how she came on to the project as a screenwriter and what she felt was most important to include in her screenplay that honored the social issues highlighted in the original movie. We talked about what real life experiences she drew from to create the specificity of Riley’s sexual assault storyline. Wolfe also discussed working with Takal to construct a script that stayed away from the traditional slasher vibe tropes and instead focused on the societal horror that is occurring between some women and men on college campuses today in 2019. Read the questions that I asked down below and watch the video above to see Wolfe’s answers. Black Christmas also stars Cary ElwesBrittany O’Grady (Star), Aleyse Shannon (Charmed), Lily Donoghue (Grey’s Anatomy), Ben Black (Roman Empire), and Caleb Eberhart (The Post).

April Wolfe:

  • How important was it to capture the spirit of the original Black Christmas by making sure you explored topical social issues in your script?

    black-christmas-imogen-poots-killer

    Image via Blumhouse

  • There wasn’t a script when Sophia Takal came onto the project as a director. How did you end up cowriting the scrip with Sophia?
  • How much of your real life experiences did you draw from to create the specifics of Riley’s sexual assault storyline in the film?
  • How socially conscious did you want the characters to be in the movie?
  • Who wrote the lyrics for the song that Riley and her sorority sisters perform in the movie at the frat house?

Black Christmas arrives in theaters December 13. For more, check out the official trailer here.

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