Scream Savior

If he walked by, you probably wouldn't recognize him or give him a second glance. But the genteel appearance of the 61-year-old Wes Craven masks the fact that he is the mastermind behind several mass murders. A director whose credits include the Scream trilogy and the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, Craven lectured at Cal State Fullerton on April 25 as part of Communications Week, the campus-wide event promoting communications careers. After his lecture and in between signing autographs for dozens of the 450-plus students who had just heard him, Craven shared his views on his future and the future of the film industry's.

OC Weekly: Apart from directing, you're also a writer and producer. So how do you feel about the pending screenwriters strike?Wes Craven: I'm sympathetic to any group of people seeking to raise their economic status, but the touchiest subject is proprietary rights and such demands as writers being allowed on the set at all times. If a writer starts pulling actors aside and talking to them all day, that could be a problem. With all the school shootings, what's your take on the argument that TV and film violence causes children to be violent?

I've had 30 years of contact with fans, and I've never gotten anything other than smiles and thanks. It's hard to believe that my films are responsible in any way for real-life violence. If someone has a hair-trigger, anything will make them kill.

What did you think ofScary Movie, the Wayans brothers' parody of yourScream films?

[Smiling] I half liked it and half felt betrayed. It's hard to watch yourself be parodied.

Is it true you're distancing yourself from any potentialScream sequels?

No. I didn't want to do a Scream 4a year or two after Scream 3, but if a sequel is developed in three or four years, I'd consider doing it. But keep in mind that it was not my intention to do more movies beyond the trilogy. If there is a sequel, it will be with all new characters.

Any truth to the rumor that Freddy Krueger fromA Nightmare on Elm Street will cross over in a movie with Jason fromFriday the 13th?

So far it's not going to happen. The script ideas that have been presented are laughable.

Do you want to do more non-horror projects in the future?

It took me 27 years to do a non-horror film in Music of the Heart [starring Meryl Streep], and I'm still kicking myself over that. Eventually, I'd like to do a variety of genres and a small personal film, but I still have a hankering to do movies that scare the shit out of people.

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