Reports: Weinsteins Destroying Scream 4 From The Inside, Have Axed Scream 5 (UPDATE)

Let’s start on a happy note. The above image is our first look at the Ghostface mask on the set of Scream 4. The real star has shown up to play. I’m glad to see him again.

The picture comes from a local report on shooting at the Livonia Courthouse. The location was being used as a stand in for a police precinct. You may choose to read into the presence of the mask at this location or not.

Now the bad news: it has been reported that screenwriter Kevin Williamson, the creator of Scream, has been removed from the project and replaced by Ehren Kruger. Kruger, you may recall, was the chap who penned the less-than-stellar Scream 3, though from a Williamson treatment.

According to Zap2It, the script has been rather damaged.

Hayden Panettiere’s role, which one source says “used to be really sharp” has now been “dumbed down significantly.” The actress is “beyond frustrated with the changes.” Another source says that Lake Bell, who had to drop out of Scream 4 due to scheduling changes, “dodged a bullet.”

Could there be any truth to this? Zap2it is somewhat tabloidy, after all.

Well, maybe there are clues in Kevin Williamson’s Twitter stream. Firstly, he’s officially calling himself “Writer/Producer Vampire Diaries, Scream 4“. So that’s good. You will note, however, that he’s not actually tweeted a thing about Scream 4 since production started. In fact, the last time he mentioned it explicitly was on May 14th:

Writing #scream4 all night long. Got some Marco Beltrami playing. All’s good.

He has, however, been mentioning his TV show Vampire Diaries pretty solidly. Maybe it’s just a matter of him being more invested in that, particularly since finishing his Scream 4 script? Diaries is in production at the moment, and Williamson is in Atlanta with it. If he went by Michigan to the Scream set, he didn’t tell us.

If Zap2It are right – and so far, I’ve not found anybody to corroborate – then this news is bad. Here’s the worst of it:

…word is that Williamson’s involvement with the project has come to an end entirely — meaning Scream 5 is a no-go at this time.

Some kind of denial would be in order now, Messrs. Weinstein. Something to put out the fire.

UPDATE: ShockTillYouDrop report;

 Yes, Ehren Kruger has been brought in to do a bit of polishing. But no, Williamson isn’t “out” by any means. As you know, he’s also working hard on the second season of Vampire Diaries for the CW. While he’s away fulfilling his commitments on that show, the production called upon Kruger to assist on the script. Some chatter about Lauren Graham’s departure has made it sound like she wasn’t thrilled with the sequel, however, it was another case of production scheduling and she’s off to work on Parenthood.