Scream creator Kevin Williamson says slasher series ‘coded in gay survival’

Ghostface in Scream standing in a corridor

Scream’s Sidney Prescott faces the same battle for survival as many young, gay kids, says the franchise’s screenwriter Kevin Williamson.

In a new interview, Williamson reflected on how his own sexuality informed Prescott’s character. Played by Neve Campbell, the hero develops major trust issues after learning her boyfriend murdered her own mother.

“One of the things I’ve wrestled with is trust,” Williamson told the Independent, “and Sidney trusted no one.

“Did she really know her mother? Is her boyfriend who he says he is? In the end, she wasn’t even trusting herself.”

Sidney, Williamson said, is anything but the “final girl” – the horror film trope of the virginal teenager who outwits the slayer. But as a closeted gay kid growing up in North Carolina and Texas, final girls were a figure he had long related to.

“As a gay kid, I related to the final girl and to her struggle, because it’s what one has to do to survive as a young gay kid, too,” he said.

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“You’re watching this girl survive the night and survive the trauma she’s enduring. Subconsciously, I think the Scream movies are coded in gay survival.”

Producer Kevin Williamson. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Even the casting of Scream is sufficiently, well, gay. Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Sarah Michelle Gellar was in Scream 2, while fellow gay icons Parker Posey, Carrie Fisher and Laurie Metcalf also appeared.

“It just happened!” Williamson joked. “It’s a gay universe, I guess.”

The upcoming (and confusingly titled) Scream – the fifth film in the series – was one that Williamson “said no fives time” to. “And then, finally, I woke up one day and said: ‘Um, can I be part of it?’ I didn’t want it to happen without me.”

Scream, set to show in cinemas in January, will see the original cast reunite to once again battle Ghostface in the leafy town of Woodsboro.

This time, returning stars Campbell, Courtney Cox (Gale Weathers) and David Arquette (Dewey Riley) will be joined by a fresh face: a queer actor in a queer role.

Newcomer Jasmin Savoy-Brown says she is “proud” to play Mindy Meeks-Martin.

“What I love about playing Mindy is she’s a queer Black woman, just like myself,” she told Logo. “So, I’m really proud of that.”

“I felt I could just fully exist just as myself which is a person who happens to be queer,” she added, “and the writing reflects that.”

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