The Weinstein Company — and the Weinstein brothers, Harvey and Bob — are a curious bunch. They made their name with excellent foreign film acquisitions for the U.S. in their early days of Miramax, brought indie to the mainstream with the Tarantinos and Kevin Smiths of the world in the early-mid ’90s, and then showed everyone in Hollywood they were the masters of the prestige picture campaign and Oscar dominance in the late ’90s as well (“The English Patient,” “Shakespeare In Love,” Goodwill Hunting,” and “Chicago” in 2002). Of course, all the while they had their B-movie shingle Dimension Films which brought the world Robert Rodriguez and the lucrative “Spy Kids,” “Scary Movie” and “Scream” franchises. While Dimension has always been part of the business and strategy and TWC has ailed financially in recent years with failed Oscar campaigns (“The Reader,” “A Single Man,” “The Road“), Dimension has become more and more significant in the overall TWC agenda.
So 12-to-16 months ago when it appeared TWC might even go bankrupt, they decided to go back to the well and bring back “Spy Kids” and create a “Scream 4” (they also bankrolled lucrative shlock like “Piranha 3D” and are apparently making a fifth “Scary Movie” picture).
All of this brings us to the highly unnecessary “Scream 4” or “Scre4m” film that lured back director Wes Craven and original screenwriter Kevin Williamson (who eventually bailed or was fired depending on who you ask only to be replaced with “Scream 3” writer Ehren Kruger). Despite a rather pedestrian trailer that looks like recycled footage from “Scream 2 and 3” only with new actors, fans are apparently ecstatic for a return of the film’s now rote and predictable meta and self-referential scares.
To each his own we suppose, but fanboys were up in arms this weekend when Wes Craven announced over Twitter that the production was back in Michigan. Actress Aimee Teegarden also said over Twitter that she was back in Detroit shooting for “Scream 4” which made obsessives worry that dreaded “bad” reshoots were taking place.
Not so, says the filmmaker. “They’re not reshoots,” Craven insisted in an interview with EW. “We had a couple test screenings and we saw two scenes where they had moments you could add to and we just saw a spectacular opportunity. Bob [Weinstein] just said to me basically, ‘You go to your dark side and I’ll give you the money!’ [Laughs] The two scenes were really good, but we saw how they could be spectacular, so we thought, let’s just go for it. They were key moments of the script, so we just decided to go back and go for the grand slam on them.”
Huh, dunno about you, but retooled scenes sound like reshoots to us. There’s been rumors that the ending is also changing. “No, the ending is totally kick-ass,” Craven said denying the claims. “We’re not gonna touch that. [The scenes being added to are] one scene that’s kind of in the late beginning and one scene that’s a little bit later.”
Meanwhile, as you can see above, TWC/Dimension are banking on your ’90s nostalgia, but ’90s nostalgia sure makes for a terrible looking poster in 2011. Hey, whatever works guys. “Scream 4” stars the old gang, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox — plus fresh meat Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Marley Shelton, Adam Brody, Anthony Anderson and Alison Brie. The PG-13 “horror” hits theaters April 15, 2011. A few new pictures from the film below, including a first look at Alison Brie.