Whoever ends up being the main protagonist of Scream 5 better start working on their wind up slap, because Courteney Cox’s Gale Weathers is about to be investigating the story again. Indeed, in what stands as a major coup for Scream 5, Cox is reprising the role of Gale Weathers, a character she’s played in all four previous Scream films, beginning with the 1996 original film and continuing on through 2011’s Scream 4.
The announcement reunites Cox with David Arquette, who is playing the role of Dewey Riley in the new film, making him another mainstay across all five films. This leaves Neve Campbell as the remaining major cast member from the original film who’s yet to officially sign onto the sequel, though she’s confirmed she’s at least had talks about playing Sidney Prescott once more.
“We can’t imagine Scream without the iconic Gale Weathers and are so incredibly thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to work with Courteney,” horror filmmaking group Radio Silence said in a statement. “We’re absolute mega fans of her work and we’re so excited to join her in the next chapter of the Scream saga!”
Radio Silence, the filmmaking team behind last year’s instant cult darling, Ready or Not, as well as a segment in V/H/S, is comprised of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who are directing Scream 5, and Chad Villella, who is executive producing. Also listed as an executive producer is Kevin Williamson, who wrote the original Scream and charted the storyline of all four original movies, scripting two of the sequels himself. However, Scream 5 is being written by James Vanderbilt (Murder Mystery, Zodiac) and Guy Busick (Ready or Not, Castle Rock). Paul Neinstein and William Sherak are also producing.
The return of Cox is a major boon for Scream 5, which is now more and more looking like a true sequel to the previous movies instead of an outright reboot. While the project previously looked to be stepping away from the direct lineage of the ‘90s touchstone horror classics, especially since Wes Craven directed all four of the original movies and passed away in 2015, the inclusion of two-thirds of its triumvirate of plucky heroes signals that the Scream movies continue to be the unusual thing: the horror film series where the heroes, instead of the killer/monster, are the stars.
Cox, who’s continued to see steady success on television from Friends to Cougar Town, was last seen as Gale in Scream 4 where her character was stifled in her journalistic endeavors by living in a small town as the wife of the local sheriff, Dewey. Considering Arquette and Cox’s real-life marriage ended shortly after filming concluded on Scream 4, finding out where their on-screen characters are a decade later may prove an interesting but thorny subject matter.
Spyglass Media Group and Paramount Pictures are picking up producing and distribution of the film after the original movies were made by Dimension Films. Production is slated to begin in Wilmington, North Carolina.