Entertainment Weekly is reporting that up-and-coming actress and Julia Roberts niece Emma Roberts has been cast in Scream 4, replacing Twilight actress Ashley Greene as one of the film's female leads. Roberts joins an ensemble cast that includes Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell, who return as Gale Weathers and Sidney Prescott, and David Arquette as Sheriff Dewey Riley. The fourth iteration of the slasher franchise is once again set to be directed by veteran horror auteur Wes Craven, who shares writing credits with Kevin Williamson, writer of the original Scream.
Roberts, who recently played the lead in Nancy Drew and has earned praise for her turn as Addie Singer in the Nickelodeon series Unfabulous, is rumored to be cast as 'Jill,' a character similar to the one played by Campbell in the original Scream. “I’m so excited to be part of this ground-breaking franchise,” Roberts said. “It’s the perfect opportunity for me to do something completely different than I’ve ever done before.”
This could be a break-out role for Roberts, who is also a singer-songwriter; a memorable performance in the upcoming Scream 4 could mean a turning point in her career and help refresh the series, which has already made close to $300 million domestically. Director Wes Craven agrees. “Emma’s talent, beauty, and range will add immensely to the sophistication, intensity, and fun of the Scream franchise as it returns to the screen once more.”
Weinstein's Dimension Films is pushing to begin production of Scream 4 (alternatively titled Scre4m) near Ann Arbor, Michigan late this June.