Scream co-writer explains that Rian Johnson reference

Scream co-writer and producer James Vanderbilt has revealed why Rian Johnson is referenced in the new movie – minor spoilers ahead!

Within the Scream universe, another set of slasher films exist: the Stab franchise, which is based on the Woodsboro murders (AKA the events of the original Scream film). In the new movie, it turns out the latest Stab installment is very unpopular with the fanbase. It was directed by none other than the “Knives Out guy,” AKA Rian Johnson.

“We loved the idea that someone had made one that was not well received. Much like certain directors have made big IP movies that fandoms have rejected in an enormous way,” Vanderbilt told TheWrap (opens in new tab). “There is a very tiny percentage of people who feel such an ownership over an IP and have such anger toward people that if they don’t do things exactly the way they want to, spew this [stuff], and that feels like something that didn’t exist 10 years ago.”

Johnson directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which ignited the ire of many fans of the galaxy far, far away. That movie is the eighth in the Star Wars franchise, and in the Scream-verse, Johnson helmed Stab 8. It’s a natural fit, then, especially considering Scream’s finale takes aim at toxic fan behavior.

“I think watching how people attacked him as a person was, oh, we’re in new territory here,” Vanderbilt added. “In Scream 1 they talk about Wes Carpenter movies, in Scream 2 they talk about Robert Rodriguez directed Stab. There is a great tradition of commenting on other filmmakers who are peers of the time, and that felt like a very natural thing. Rian directed this big IP that was divisive. We felt like if someone directed the Stab movie and it were divisive, it would be fun if it were Rian.”

For his part, Johnson retweeted a meme that references his shoutout in the film. The director is also thanked in the Scream credits.

Scream (2022) Spoilers Without Context Post, except it’s just four pictures of @rianjohnson smiling. 14, 2022

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Scream is playing exclusively in theaters now. If you’re all caught up on the horror movie, check out our guide to the Scream ending explained for the lowdown on the third act’s twists and turns, and see our interview with the cast for even more on the movie.

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