It is indescribably haunting. Warping expression. Eyes drooping eyelids. The mouth twisted, howling in silence. The Screaming Masks have become iconic as images of horror characters like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, but MTV is taking the face of the franchise in a whole new direction.
Screaming fans mourned this week after the network released a trailer for its upcoming reboot. In the trailer, fans have discovered, clearly overlooked the most recognizable feature of the original film: the lover Devil face masks are worn by all killers. To their chagrin, MTV replaced it with a new mask, a blurred version of which the trailer is only glimpsed for a few short frames (see below).
In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporteroriginal Screaming manager Wes Craven said that he let MTV use his name in connection with the series, but his involvement beyond that was scant. “I just put my name on it,” Craven explained. “I’m too busy to do many other things.”
More specifically, Craven, 75, said he was not involved in MTV’s decision to remove Devil face mask for series reboot. As far as he worries, even small changes to a proven formula can be devastating.
“In general,” Craven said, reflecting on his own experience with Screaming sequels and beyond, “we didn’t mess with the mask. That’s something we didn’t try to change. With Freddy [Krueger] and New nightmare (lower right), I feel that I should probably stick with the original face (lower left). [With Scream,] we just let Devil face it is in Devil face. “
“It will be safer [not to change Freddy],” Craven explained. “I’m not going to speculate in public, maybe I shouldn’t even mention it, but you know, sometimes you realize that something isn’t broken, so don’t fix it. And that’s the course we’ve all done Screaming movie: Don’t mess with that, it’s just perfect. “
For Craven, the success of Screaming franchise depends on the mask. No other mask can do the trick. “No way. No way,” Craven insisted. “I knew in my bones that [Ghostface] was a unique find, and I had to convince the studio that they had to go even further to get it. “
Created by New York-based novelty company Fun World in 1991, Devil face The mask was first conceived as a Halloween costume. It was mass-produced for many years as part of the “Amazing Faces” package, but it wasn’t until 1996, when the mask was licensed for use in Screamingmaking it one of the most recognizable horror icons in the world.
There’s been a lot of speculation as to why MTV made the decision to redesign the mask for the new series. The network denied it was budget related, stemming from Fun World licensing fees, but CHEAP found out what preliminary discussions about mask incorporation in the series occurred.
“We have been in regular contact with [The Weinstein Co.] for many years while the TV series was forming, “Fun World CEO VP Alan Geller tell CHEAP by email, but “no deal” currently applies to the program. MTV was not available for comment.
For its part, MTV insists the change is simply a creative decision to take the franchise in a more “dark”, more modern direction. “If Screaming movie mask is a more plastic version, “MTV sunbaenim VP Mina Lefevre told EW, “This is a more natural looking and frankly darker version.” However, neither Fun World nor MTV do not rule out the possibility of permission Devil face a cameo in the series, presumably once a good deal is done.
In addition to the mask, Roger Jacksonoriginal voiceover Screaming killer, is another obvious absence from the reboot. “I can’t figure it out,” he said CHEAP about the MTV show. “How can you have Screaming do not have Devil face? It looks like Friday 13th without Jason. Jackson said that MTV didn’t approach him to talk about the killer, or anyone.
Bob Weinsteinan executive producer on the original Screaming and is now an executive producer on the MTV project, agrees that the original mask was special, like the masks in Halloween and The Phantom of the Opera Housebut more optimistic about the changes being made to the program, revealing one key difference between the old and new version.
“The [new] the mask itself plays a story element and that is different from Screaming “It relates specifically to the story,” Weinstein said. Masks have an importance; it’s not a mask for the sake of a mask. “
But it doesn’t quite have the same history.
“When this mask project was delivered to me,” said Brigitte Sleiertin-Lindenartist who developed the original concept drawings for Fun World’s Devil face, “I was tasked with designing ghostly faces for masks and did some drawings with a similar look. So I made a series of sketches of various ghostly, white faces with simple black facial feature shapes. “
“As an animation junkie,” she continued, explaining her inspiration, “I love the old one Max Fleischer cartoons and Betty Boop is one of mine favourite. Those faces are mostly inspired by the ghosts in some 1930s black and white cartoon. “
This confronts the popular assumption that Edvard Chew shrimps picture Shout was the main inspiration for the mask. “The whole Munch-inspired thing is a light-hearted way of shorthand design” Sleiertin-Linden said, “but that’s not where my influence comes in.”
“I just love all that classical animation and that fluid, almost rubbery movement,” she added, quoting the jazz singer. Cab Calloway as another major influence. (Interesting, Alan Geller, Sleiertin-Linden’s ex-boss, adamantly protested that she had created the mask. He claims the mask is his creation and an upcoming documentary will reveal the true story behind its origin. Geller will not provide additional details.)
After the establishment at the beginning ‘90’sthe Devil face The mask had been circulating as a Halloween costume for several years before that Screaming producer Marianne Maddalena stumbled across it in 1996 while looking for a location for the first movie.
A place, Maddalena say, happens to be the Santa Rosa house famous by Alfred Hitchcock‘S The Shadow of a Doubt, at the time, owned by an elderly widow. The woman lives there alone, and – that sounds like a set for a horror movie – Maddalena says she watched the mask covered on a chair in one of the empty rooms.
Maddalena immediately put it in the hands of Wes Craven and the rest is history.
Can MTV rewrite it?
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