Kevin Williamson on CBS’s STALKER, the Future of THE FOLLOWING and VAMPIRE DIARIES, and MTV’s SCREAM TV Show
By Joseph McCabe on July 19, 2014
Horror maestro Kevin Williamson appeared at the the Television Critics Association’s 2014 Press Tour this week to promote his new CBS thriller Stalker, alongside stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott. The three explained how their show will offer a fresh look at its titular phenomenon (we’ll share this interview shortly). After the panel, Williamson updated me and a handful of other journalists on all three of the shows he produces – including CW’s The Vampire Diaries and Fox’s The Following – as well as his thoughts on MTV’s upcoming Scream TV show.
NERDIST: What can you tell us about the next season of The Following?
KEVIN WILLIAMSON: We’re gonna have a Comic-Con panel next week on Sunday, where we’ll release some spoilers. We are gonna change the tone this season. One of the things I wanted to do was to create a new season, a brand-new story, a new chapter of Ryan Hardy, which may not be so [much like] the past two seasons. But we’ll get into that at the Comic-Con panel. [New showrunner] Jen Johnson, she has a whole new take. I want to tell a more personal story with Ryan Hardy this year. And I really want to maybe take a different direction and be a brand-new show, so that [if] anyone wants to join this year, this could be the year to do it. Because it won’t rely so much on what happened last year or the year before. There’s the history, and now we can move forward into a brand-new chapter. That’s what we’re hoping to do; and also to take a different tone, take a different chance. Why not just try something different and be unique?
N: How about Vampire Diaries‘ upcoming sixth season?
KW: Vampire Diaries… Julie Plec will kill me, but I’ve read the first six [scripts] and it’s really good, it’s really scary. I love what’s happening on Vampire Diaries this year, and it’s one of those things where [when] I was reading it I was going, “Wow! We should have done that a long time ago.” I think it’s gonna be a great season. I think it’s gonna be our best season yet.
N: It’s a very fast-paced show – how does one maintain its pace and prevent it from getting too fast?
KW: It’s interesting. We also thought, “Are we gonna burn out? Are we gonna burn out story?” And for some reason they just keep coming up with ways to twist it into a new dimension. After the first two or three years, where I was very heavily involved, I said, “What’s gonna happen now? Well, it’s on you guys…” I walked away, they kept it alive, and I got kind of jealous. So I don’t know how they do it, but they do it. Julie is the Earth Mother, and I just bow down to her.
N: MTV is developing a Scream TV show. Do you think that will work?
KW: Oh God. I have no idea. I don’t know what it’ll be. I’m curious. I’ll watch it. I’ll see what’s going on. I’ll give it a go. I watch everything. Teen Wolf turned out to be a fun romp and I’ve enjoyed the hell out of that. So maybe MTV is on a roll. Maybe it will be a cool thriller. I’m all for it.
N: Are you done with that universe after Scream 4?
KW: It’s weird; when I pitched Scream 4, I pitched Scream 4, 5, and 6 as a whole new trilogy. And I don’t think Scream 4 really took off in a way in which they had hoped. I don’t know. I’m not involved. I’m kind of separated from those guys. I wish them well.
N: Could you be a consultant?
KW: No, I think they’re done with me.
N: Do they have your story for 5 and 6?
KW: No, they don’t. It’s all in here [pointing to his head], and in my computer.
N: Could they come get it from you if they want it?
KW: If they want to buy it they can. [Laughs.]
N: How does Stalker differ from The Following?
KW: It’s a crime drama. It’s a CBS show where we actually are following a unit investigate a crime. The Following is sort of a serialized thriller. They’re apples and oranges. And I will say The Following is violent. This show is not necessarily so… I don’t want to compare it to Cold Case, but you know how Cold Case was very emotional and very dramatic? We’re that with some scares. It is a scary show. Scary stuff’s gonna happen. People will die. Not every week. It’s also a story about how we manage these stalkers. How we manage mental illness, how we take the obsession and try to stop the victimization of these people.