A couple of weeks ago a report surfaced claiming that MTV’s Scream TV series won’t be using the Ghostface mask from the film franchise leaving many to wonder, how can you possibly have a Scream TV show (or a Scream anything for that matter) without the iconic mask? Mina Lefevre, MTV’s executive vice president and head of scripted development, finally offered up an answer, but it’s not particularly reassuring.
Instead of running with the mask from the four films, MTV’s show will go with a more “organic” look, so organic in fact that there’s talk of the mask being made of flesh. Hit the jump for more on what MTV’s got planned.
First off, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; what’s a Scream show without that mask? There are loads of movies in which teens are stabbed, tons with innocent victims receiving menacing phone calls and a whole bunch more that take a meta approach to the genre. Without the Ghostface mask, there’s nothing that makes this TV show Scream-specific – not yet at least.
Thus far, all we know is that Willa Fitzgerald is playing the popular yet shy and intellectual Emma, Bex Taylor-Klaus is on board as Audrey, the artsy loner who wants to make movies, John Karna is playing computer genius Noah, Carlson Young is Brooke, the school queen bee and Amadeus Serafini is taking the role of Kieran, the mysterious new kid in town. Is any of that tied to the Scream legacy? Nope.
Lefevre insists that the show will keep the spirit of the films in tact, but I’m not buying it just yet.
“Scream was incredibly iconic, but we wanted to reinvent that for TV while of course keeping all the main elements that made it so iconic, including a mask, but also the soapy teen stories, pop culture humor, the scares and the killer. We’re tonally walking that line, yet delivering the scares in a significant way. The mask was a big discussion creatively. We wanted to get a nod and a wink to what the original was, but we definitely wanted to make it more on par with what horror is now, which is darker.”
So a similar tone, soapy teen stories, pop culture humor, scares and a killer make this show a Scream series? I disagree. Set the thing in Woodsboro, make a character a member of the Prescott family or go the easy/obvious route and make Ghostface the villain. That could make this a Scream TV series.
But that’s not what we’re getting. Instead, Lefevre and her team are trying to subvert expectations by creating a new mask inspired by the Edvard Munch painting for the series:
“It’s a darker, almost more grounded, evolved version of the mask. It’s something we’re constantly talking about. How did that mask become that mask? What’s its purpose? How did it evolve? If the Scream movie mask was the more plastic version, for a lack of a better description, this one is a more organic looking and frankly darker version.”
Darker is fine. In fact, organic could be fine too, but according to EW, there’s been talk of this new mask being made of flesh. So this is a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-type spinoff then? The outlet does note that the folks behind the show are still developing the mask, but based on this description, it seems as though they’re going in the wrong direction.
Lefevre did highlight that there’s still a possibility the Ghostface mask will turn up in the show, but at this point, that’s just not enough to convince me this is a worthy rendition of one of my favorite films.
“It’s a little preliminary, obviously because we haven’t even started our writers room, to say that we will never see that other mask or not.”
Mask or no mask, it seems as though MTV is trying too hard to put a unique spin on the property rather than embrace what made it a classic. Odds are, MTV is looking to attract some franchise newcomers and viewers who were a bit too young for the first few films and that does make sense, but it doesn’t give them license to take a film franchise with a significant following, strip it of the elements that make it special and then build buzz by leaning on the familiar name.