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The follow-up series, based on Kevin Williamson‘s hit franchise, is building a marketing campaign around its new mask, as seen in the new key art for the series below, exclusive to The Hollywood Reporter.
“We know that ‘what is the mask going to look like?’ has been a burning question and that we would answer it as part of our campaign,” MTV exec vp marketing and creative Tina Exarhos tells THR. “Scream works on so many levels — the self-aware meta voice, the visceral scares and the thrills of the masked killer. The tone of Scream is iconic — much like the mask. The new evolution of the mask for our series has given us a big opportunity to spark a conversation. Love it or hate it, it’s still gonna kill you.”
Scream kicks off when entitled Lakewood High teen Nina is murdered in an apparent crime of passion. The slaying exposes the inner-workings of the town’s complex social hierarchy. After young loner Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) is outed via cyber-bullying, she finds a way to hold her head up high with the help of nerdy friend Noah (John Karna) and a renewed relationship with Emma (Willa Fitzgerald), her former elementary school best friend. Meanwhile, Emma’s mother and the town’s medical examiner, Maggie (Tracy Middendorf), works with Sheriff Clark (Jason Wiles), to solve the murder and determine if it’s connected to a crime spree from the town’s dark past — a killing spree committed by a previous generation’s “bullying victim” Brandon James.
“[The mask] is definitely key for us — it will be our lead imagery in print and digital. But more important than any single image is for us is to convey the tone of Scream in all we do. We’re focused on delivering the message that we have an intensely scary thriller with sharp commentary. Only Scream can deliver that.”
Co-showrunner Jill Blotevogel tells THR that the series will build a rich mythology around the new mask rather than acknowledging the lack of Ghostface. “Our mask was a post-op surgical mask worn by a deformed teen who went on a murderous rampage two decades earlier,” she says of the new mask, noting that it’s sometimes referred to as the “Brandon James” mask. “We tried to create a look that shared some basic DNA with the original Ghostface mask but meshed with our long-running mystery story that will power the series … Our killer likes to play games and wear masks in many ways — especially using technology — and is a chameleon of sorts.”
In terms of comparisons to the beloved films, Blotevogel says the MTV series will be similar in tone but a bit more ambitious.
“The TV series is inspired by the meta-tone, humor and absolute love of horror showcased in the original movie series,” she tells THR. “It does not involve any of the same characters or situations. There is a masked killer, but not just a slashing killer with a simple bloodletting ambition. This killer is very much a part of the mythology and bigger mystery of the show.”
Blotevogel and Jaime Paglia (Arrow) serve as co-showrunners and exec produce alongside Wes Craven, Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley, Marianne Maddalena and Cathy Konrad. John Shiban (Breaking Bad) is on board as a consulting producer. The pilot was written by Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin (Criminal Minds) and Blotevogel.
Scream premieres Tuesday, June 30 at 10 p.m. on MTV. Watch a new trailer, below.
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