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Scream Directors Tried to Make a Rian Johnson Cameo Happen

Scream features a perfect Rian Johnson joke, but the filmmakers wanted to go a step further and include the director in an onscreen cameo.

In what would’ve been a perfectly meta twist, Scream directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett tried to make a Rian Johnson cameo happen. Ghostface has returned to the big screen with 2022’s Scream, and all signs so far point to it being a success. Though there was some apprehension before its release since it’s the first movie in the franchise to not be directed by the late Wes Craven, Scream 5 has won over fans with its fresh, characteristically meta take on the horror genre and Hollywood’s new obsession with sequels, or, as Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown) calls them, “requels.”


Perhaps more than any other movie in the franchise, the new Scream throws in references to all kinds of real life movies, even stretching its jokes beyond horror films. One of the best meta jokes in Scream involves Rian Johnson, the divisive director behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In the same scene where Mindy explains requels, it’s revealed that Johnson directed the most recent installment of the in-universe franchise Stab. Similar to The Last Jedi, Johnson apparently attempted to turn Stab 8 into something new by severing ties to the previous movies. And just like with The Last Jedi, the most devout and traditional Stab fans took passionate issue with Johnson’s movie.

Related: Scream 2022: Every Easter Egg & Horror Movie Reference Explained

Johnson is only referred to as “the Knives Out guy” in Scream, but the directors wanted to take things a step further. Speaking to Variety in a recent interview, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, along with their Radio Silence executive producer Chad Villella, tried to find a way to give Johnson an onscreen cameo. They even had an idea in place, though Johnson’s schedule didn’t allow for it. Gillett recalled:

“We reached out and wanted to do a fake, ‘ET’/’Extra’ press junket thing with him. He was off making ‘Knives Out 2.’ So he had bigger fish to fry than our ‘Scream’ sequel.”

Rian Johnson on the set of Star Wars The Last Jedi

Scream tackles toxic fandom, a concept that Johnson is likely all too familiar with. In directing The Last Jedi, he introduced new concepts to the Star Wars universe and attempted to push it into new territory by erasing the importance of Rey’s origins and offing the beloved Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). While The Last Jedi has a good number of defenders, it has just as many critics, many of whom are longtime Star Wars fans who strongly disapproved of Johnson’s changes to their sacred franchise.

By making Johnson the director of the similarly maligned Stab 8, the Scream filmmakers both poked fun at Johnson’s career and mocked the fans who got so heated over The Last Jedi, particularly though the eventual Ghostface reveal. For his part, Johnson seemed amused at his Scream reference, retweeting a fan post that hinted he’s in on the joke. Including him in the film would’ve pushed that idea even farther, but he was too busy crafting his next Benoit Blanc mystery. Maybe Knives Out 2 will instead find a way to reference Ghostface. Now that would bring things full circle.

More: Scream’s Rian Johnson Joke Made No Sense (Because Last Jedi Was Great)

Source: Variety


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