The Following, the new serial killer show starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, is based on Kevin Williamson’s unused plans for Scream 3.
Williamson was set to script the third in his and Wes Craven’s slasher satire series but was replaced by Ehren Kruger, resulting in the weakest in the saga. However, Williamson did not let his plans go to waste, and he told ET that the idea of a cult of serial killer fans was something he couldn’t let go.
“In my original story for Scream 3, the killers were basically a fanclub of Woodsboro kids that had formed because of Stab 1 and Stab 2. They were all doing the killings and the big surprise of the movie was when Sidney walked into the house after Ghostface had killed everyone … and they all rose up. None of them were actually dead and they’d planned the whole thing.”
Williamson developed some of these ideas when he returned for 2011’s Scream 4.
“The motive was their quest for fame, so I just placed that into one character with Scream 4. They were trying to top [Sidney’s] Woodsboro story so they could be the legacy of their hometown. All those ideas metamorphosed into The Following.”
In fact, Williamson even wanted to tell a story about an FBI agent hunting a college professor serial killer before Scream. “Back when I was researching Danny Rolling [in 1990 he murdered five students in Florida and later served as the inspiration for Scream], I wanted to write about a serial killer on a college campus, and an FBI agent hunting down a college professor. But then I decided to do Scream. Interestingly enough, Scream 2 was on a college campus, so it all connected.”
The Following starts tonight at 10.00pm on Sky Atlantic. You can buy Scream 1-3 on DVD for £9.50 on Amazon.co.uk